Column: The WNBA deserves more recognition

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Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart (30) and Alysha Clark (32) defend as Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi (3) gets off a pass in the second half in a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Seattle. The Storm won 91-87 in overtime. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart (30) and Alysha Clark (32) defend as Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi (3) gets off a pass in the second half in a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Seattle. The Storm won 91-87 in overtime. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Whenever I tell people that I like sports the next question out of their mouth is always, “So what’s your favorite sport?”

When I respond with basketball, I then explain that I am more of a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and women’s collegiate level fan than a National Basketball Association (NBA) fan.

The reactions I get in response to that statement are always very mixed. I’ve heard everything from, “Can they dunk?” to “Do you know who Maya Moore is?”

My love for women’s basketball originally began with UConn’s team and then it expanded to the WNBA. Founded in 1996, the WNBA is an American women’s basketball league composed of 12 teams.

At its inception, the WNBA had eight teams and was very much an experiment of sorts.

In the past 21 years, however, the league has grown and evolved. Multiple generations of players have gone through the league and some now coach WNBA teams, collegiate teams or, in the case of Becky Hammon, are assistants on an NBA team.

Because the WNBA is a pretty small league, only the top tier players are in it regardless of whether they are American or from abroad. This allows for fierce competition.

Currently, the WNBA is in the playoffs with the semifinals going on this week. Playoff WNBA games are the most exciting games of the year. The early playoff games are one-and-dones with the semifinals and finals series being best of five.

There are many former star UConn players in the semifinal games including Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart and Tiffany Hayes.

Anyone who enjoys watching UConn women’s basketball games would enjoy watching WNBA games. The quality of the players and games are extremely high, and chances are that if you enjoyed watching a player thrive on the UConn women’s team then that player is in the WNBA.

Also, any player you probably liked to watch go against UConn players is most likely playing in the WNBA.

Every year, more people start watching the WNBA and fall in love with it. These fans come from many backgrounds and have different basketball-watching experiences. Some people have been lifelong fans of the sport while others are new to the scene.

But the amazing thing about the WNBA is that it is an inclusive fan community where everyone is welcoming and willing to share their knowledge about the sport.

So next time you’re thinking about buying tickets to the hottest game, go to a WNBA game and see for yourself what it’s like to watch the best of the best play in an awesome environment.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.

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