Saturday, April 07, 2007

"YES M'AM!" Immediately after Dee Davis of Vandy was drafted by the Houston Comets on Wednesday, she was asked by ESPN interviewer (and former WNBA star) Rebecca Lobo whether she was ready to let her new team know that she was "willing to pass the ball on demand to Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson." Davis's eyes opened wide and she virtually snapped to attention as she said, "For sure. Yes m'am!!" Davis wasn't the only star-struck kid in the WNBA draft suddenly hit by the realization that she was about to join some of her childhood idols, and about to have her dreams come true.

Number three overall pick Armintie Price of Ole Miss, drafted by the Sky, when asked by Lobo whose autograph she'd like to have, answered "probably Lisa Leslie, once she dunks on me and probably sends my layups to the three point line, I'll probably get a picture (taken with her) afterwards."

South Dakota State's Megan Vogel, drafted in the second round by the Mystics, was riding in a taxi back to her hotel in Cleveland when she saw Temple Coach and WNBA legend Dawn Staley on the street. According to Vogel, "I got so excited, and almost pushed my dad out of the cab as it was moving so I could talk to her. We paid the cabbie and she was very nice in letting me take a picture with her."

And the Terps' Shay Doron, who grew up in New York going to Liberty games at Madison Square Garden and was in fact drafted by the Liberty, when asked if she were "happy to be in NY" told, "Oh my . . . if there’s another word for happy . . . thrilled. . . just so, so happy, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s a dream come true. I’m in New York. Madison Square Garden. I’m speechless."

In fact, it seemed to the BasketCases as we watched the WNBA draft that these college seniors as a group appeared more in awe about what was happening to them than perhaps any other class of draftees to date. Thinking about it, we realized that the WNBA has existed for nearly half of their lives; most were pre-teens back in 1997 during the league's inaugural season. Most were already playing basketball, the rest soon would be. And while the league's early stars grew up watching the NBA, these young women actually grew up with female role models who played professional basketball. They went to their games, they watched them on TV, they idolized them. And now they get to play with them. Thanks to Title IX and the WNBA, it is now possible for little girls to grow up watching women play professional basketball in Madison Square Garden, to dream about playing there themselves, and to have those dreams come true.

We hope that never changes.

Photo Credit: NBA-TV (a joyful Shay Doron and her mother immediately after Shay learns that some dreams really do come true)


Post a Comment

<< Home