10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Women's Basketball

BlogHer Original Post

I've been wanting to write a post about women's basketball for a while now and I had so many ideas that I wasn't sure where to start. Then I was inspired by microblogging. (I love you Twitter.) Instead I will write ten short posts on why you should all be watching women's basketball, and since we all love lists, I give you:

10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Women's Basketball

10) Women's Basketball Empowers Women

There is nothing quite like watching women's sports to really understand how powerful women can be. Sure this applies to any sport, but basketball is particularly fun. If you want to get pumped about strong, amazing women watch Brittany Griner dunk. Did I mention Brittany is still in High School? She has a long career ahead of her, I know I'll be following her progress.

9) The WNBA has a rule about education.

The WNBA has (in my opinion) a fantastic rule about player eligibility. Ideal draftees are 22 years old and have completed college (or are about to graduate). The WNBA isn't drafting teenagers. This encourages young women who aspire to play basketball professionally to go to college and get an education.

I posted Article XIII of the WNBA Rules here if you want to read the actual wording of the rule. I just love the fact that this organization promotes higher education.


8) Sound fundamentals

I know the running joke about women's basketball is that the draw is strong fundamentals, which make for boring games, but I disagree. A well-executed play is like a dance. It is choreography and it can be beautiful.

7) Diana Taurasi

When I was pregnant with my twins and on hospital bed rest, I spent weeks watching Diana Taurasi lead the University of Connecticut to their third straight National Title. She was an exciting player in college and she's even more dynamic in the pros. After 5 years with the Phoenix Mercury, Taurasi is still fun to watch.

Did I mention that Taurasi has her own blog? And believe me, Diana Tuarasi is one hell of a writer and is spunky to boot.

She also has two Olympic Gold Medals. You should be watching Diana Taurasi.

6) The NCAA Tournament

If you aren't watching Women's Hoops you are about to miss the tournament. The NCAA Division One Women's Basketball Championship Tournament starts on March 21st. If you like watching the Men's Tournament during March Madness you will love this.

5) Sponsors

The companies that sponsor the WNBA and Women's College Hoops have wonderful campaigns to promote women's sports. (e.g Addidas, Me, Myself and Nike Gamechangers ) Title IX won't hold us forever. We need corporate sponsorship, especially in this economy where all non-academics are being cut out of school budgets.

4) Candace Parker

I could write a whole post on why you should be watching Candace Parker play, but I don't have to because Allison Glock at ESPN already did. Candace Parker has it all. She's the league MVP, Rookie of the year, AP Female Athlete of the year and she is expecting a baby in May.

Can you beat that?

Oh wait. I can. She is also business savvy. Ask Megan from Women Talk Sports :

Parker is demanding a different kind of attention… the kind that focuses on her talent and her story, not her sex appeal. And that is the most promising thing I’ve heard about the future of women’s sports in a long, long time.

3) The WNBA cares about bloggers

They really do. The WNBA  is reaching out to female bloggers . I spoke with them personally and they answered endless questions when I was fact-checking this post.

2) Role models for kids

In the days where Chris Brown can be up for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award and Mike Vick and Charles Barkley are both in athletes to look up to, we need to do better. I'm not saying that the NFL and NBA don't have upstanding players because they certainly do. What I am saying is that it is nice for our daughters (and sons) to have professional athletes to look up to.

When I was in high school a great (female) basketball player could aspire to get a free ride to college and then at best win a National Championship and possibly coach college. Now a little girl can grow up and play basketball for a living.

1) Great stories

The WNBA has great stories everywhere ever you look:

Candice Wiggins lost her father (a professional baseball player) to AIDS when she was a toddler. She also lost her house in a fire and was hit by a car backing out of her driveway as a young child. Yet, Wiggins came out of a troubled childhood like a shining star. She takes pride in playing clean.

Read about Courtney Paris saying that she was going to pay back her entire scholarship if Oklahoma didn't win the Championship .

There was the controversy when Becky Hammon played for Russia in the Olympics .

Pat Summitt has more wins than any other basketball coach - male or female. And she is still coaching.

I assure you there is more where those stories came from. So, have I convinced you? Are you going to start watching women's basketball? If so, come on over for the NCAA tournament later this month, I assure you it will be on my television. I'll even buy the beer.

Special thanks to Megan Heuter and Liz Henry for helping me flesh out this post.

Photo courtesy ESPN the Magazine.

Contributing Editor Sarah also blogs at Sarah and the Goon Squad and MamaPop.

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