Overseas injuries & WNBA players

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FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo, Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart, right, is embraced by Sue Bird after the Storm defeated the Phoenix Mercury 94-84 during Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal, in Seattle. The WNBA’s 23rd season begins May 24, with the Seattle Storm the defending champion. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

On Sunday, former UConn standout Breanna Stewart suffered an Achilles tendon injury during an overseas game in the EuroLeague Final Four.

Stewart was playing for Dynamo Kursk when she stepped on the foot of a player from the opposing team and went down clutching her ankle. She did not return to the game and Dynamo Kursk lost the game 91-67.

After Stewart’s injury, the women’s basketball Twitterverse became filled with opinions about how if Stewart did not play overseas, as so many WNBA players do, she would not have gotten hurt in the first place. The players compete in overseas leagues so that they have a year-round income and make money during the WNBA’s offseason. Playing overseas can mean players miss celebrating holidays with their families and have little time to rest their bodies since they are playing year round.

Stewart, last season’s WNBA MVP and Finals MVP, has never been seriously hurt before and it is expected that she will miss all or a large chunk of the upcoming WNBA season due to the Achilles injury.

Honestly, I have always felt that it is sad that WNBA players don’t get an offseason because they head overseas in order to earn a livable wage. Besides the superstar athletes, the players do not make that much money and are also straining their bodies constantly for their sport. However, it’s always hard to think about the what ifs of somebody getting hurt. What if Stewart hadn’t been playing overseas? Would she still have been injured because her body was healing or would the injury come up eventually?

While it’s not fair that players must go overseas to make money, they do choose to go and play and there’s really no way to know whether injuries obtained overseas would have happened if they had been resting. A player resting does not equate them not getting hurt. It equates them not being able to see their family and not getting any time off, but it does not mean that they won’t get hurt.


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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