Jeanette Lee "The Black Widow" is not only one of the most famous pool players in history, she is one of the most accomplished, decorated, inspirational, strong, funny, kind, down to earth & sexy humans that has ever walked the planet. Along with countless others, I watched Jeanette mesmerized while she competed regularly on ESPN during the 1990's & 2000's with the Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA).
Not only was she an unbelievable pool player (at one point holding the #1 Female Ranking in the world), but she was dressed to the nines, carried herself with complete confidence, & was smoking hot! Jeanette is the definition of the full package. Another testament to her mainstream popularity is that more often than not, when people find out I'm a pro pool player, they ask me if I know her or have played her. I'm very proud to respond that she is a friend of mine & a real life superhero!
Her legacy as a champion is unquestionable with dozens of titles in a variety of disciplines, multiple hall of fame inductions & a Gold Medal in the 2001 World Games. As her fellow competitor it's hard to tell which is more intimidating; her persona at the table or the intensity of her cheering fans. I confess both of them got to me as a young pro during our 1st match in 2014 when I proudly lost 9-6. I was so excited to play against one of idols!
Besides her accomplishments in the arena, she has an amazing reputation as a top notch exhibition entertainer & TV personality, which includes an appearance in the 3rd Season of Korea's Dancing With the Stars in 2013. Make sure to check out her awesome salsa routine on YouTube by clicking on the dancing photo. Jeanette has also been the face of Bass Pro Shops, the APA, featured in the 2010 ESPN Body Issue, had a bike built for her on the show Orange County Choppers & made an appearance on Fox Sports Nets "Sports Science".
Playing against Jeanette is truly a thrill because she is so talented & always gives 110% to win. It either brings out the best in you or makes you crumble! Off the table Jeanette's "Black Widow" killer instinct melts away to a warm hearted soul with a quick wit & the sharpest sense of humor. She will often go out of her way to make fans feel extra special with a hug, a photo, an autographed glove or her famous flirtatious shark moves. Anyone who's had an encounter with her, on or off the table, will never forget it!
Jeanette's Rock Solid Strength in the Face of Adversity
A Lifetime of Pain & Surgeries
Many might assume that this gorgeous & talented woman has had an easy road to success, but nothing could be further from the truth. At age 12, Jeanette was diagnosed with scoliosis & immediately underwent surgery to correct her spine. She has had more than 10 neck & back surgeries & has spent most of her life in intense pain, but during decades of competition most would never know from the way she carries herself.
Check out the amazing CNN Health interview about Jeanette's Scoliosis here: https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/31/health/turning-points-jeanette-lee-op-ed-article/index.html
An Intense Diagnosis with the Support of a Community & the Willpower to Survive
On February 17th, 2021 an article was released by AZBilliards.com on social media that would change the pool world forever. I remember exactly where I was when I read the headline "Jeanette Lee Diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer", first was shock & then tears welled in my eyes.
I immediately messaged my best friend Jennifer Barretta to see if she had heard & we spoke of how terrible the news was. Over the past couple of months Jeanette's strength of character has shown brighter than ever. She has bravely gone through 3 rounds of chemotherapy & surgery, while whole heartedly documenting her experience through Facebook live. What a real life inspiration to so many!
One of Jeanette's proudest roles in her life is that of mother, including her 3 beautiful daughters Cheyenne (16), Chole (11), & Savannah (10). Jeanette has been a single mom for several years & became very worried over her daughters' futures. So her close friends & business associates created a GoFundMe to raise $ for their educations.
It's the Jeanette Lee Legacy Fund- https://gofund.me/a16db585