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South Florida Survivor: Former WNBA Star Overcomes Challenges To Become Confidence Coach

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tall, athletic and beautiful.

Chantelle Anderson is a retired professional athlete, turned confidence coach.

Sounds glamorous, right?

"As people we sometimes look and judge a book by its cover, but everyone has a story. Everyone's been through something."

For Chantelle, that story starts in California, where her parents divorced when she was a young girl.

They struggled financially, and she says her mother lashed out.

"It was physical abuse at the hands of my mom," Chantelle told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana. "We would get beaten for doing nothing. Had to lock ourselves in the room sometimes and she'd be banging on the door."

Chantelle says she battled eating disorders and turned to self-harming behaviors to feel some sense of control over her life.

"When you go through things like that you start questioning, 'Why is this happening to me? Did it happen because I'm not worthy of better? Did it happen because I deserved it?' I struggled with a lot of that growing up," she said.

Basketball became her outlet.

"That's where I found some confidence," she said. "The ability to go on the court and be good at something. Success became my coping mechanism."

She was offered a scholarship to Vanderbilt University, but one final night of fun before moving to Tennessee changed her forever.

"Two weeks before I went to college I was sexually assaulted at a party I was at," Chantelle recalled. "That was the end and my world just crashed and it felt like it was going to be the straw that broke the camel's back."

As devastating as it was, Chantelle didn't let that horrible experience stop her from achieving her dreams.

She went to Vanderbilt, and graduated as the highest scoring player in school history, male or female!

She was picked second overall in 2003 WNBA draft, but even during her playing days, she struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide.

She retired from pro sports in 2009, and was faced with a new challenge-- who would she be without basketball?

Thanks to a lot of self-reflection and faith, Chantelle found her confidence and because a confidence coach.

Through her web series "Call Me Miss", she shares her story and expertise in hopes of helping women find clarity, build confidence and achieve success.

For Chantelle, it's all part of her ongoing journey of survival.

"Whenever we are going through these difficult things there's a point where we are in it and we are just trying to survive," Chantelle said. "But then when you get to the other side, or you get through it enough where it doesn't just become about your survival, but you can look back reach back and extend that hand and help pull somebody else along the path that you just, maybe you're only two steps ahead, but you can reach back and help someone, I think that's when you become a survivor."

You can watch Chantelle's Ted X Talk here-

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