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People who claim they don’t watch the WNBA because it’s not good basketball do not know what they are talking about. Maybe it’s true that the women don’t play above the rim much, but if the San Antonio Spurs taught you anything as they dismantled the Heat (on the court and quite possibly, as a team—we’ll see what free agency brings), it’s that great fundamental basketball with screens, cuts, and precision passing can be incredibly exciting. Someone you should watch? Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream. She was straight beastmode playing for the University of Louisville, and those skills have translated nicely to the WNBA.  Upon joining the Atlanta Dream, McCoughtry soon made a name for herself as an outstanding scorer with excellent penetration and a penchant for drawing the foul. After grabbing Rookie of the Year honors in 2009, she went on to finish third and second in points per game for 2010 and 2011 respectively. She also led the league in free throw attempts twice. On September 8, 2010, McCoughtry set an WNBA playoff record with 42 points in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Liberty. In Game 1 of the 2011 WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx, she set Finals records for most points in a quarter (19) and most points in a game (38).  I know she missed a dunk that one time…but I wouldn’t bet against her. At 6’1” and 160 pounds, she has a body built to fly.

One of the most dominant basketball players in recent memory came out as gay Wednesday, casually mentioning the fact in an interview as if it were an afterthought. The news media and the sports world seemed to treat it as such, too, with little mention of the star’s sexuality showing up on social media or on message boards, and virtually no analysis of what the revelation meant for tolerance in society as a whole.

At first glance, it seemed implausible. After all, players, fans, coaches and league executives had been waiting with bated breath for weeks, if not months and years, to see if an active team-sport athlete would come out. So how could this sort of revelation be treated with such nonchalance?

“Because it was a woman,” said Jim Buzinski, a co-founder of Outsports.com, a Web site about homosexuality and sports. “Can you imagine if it was a man who did the exact same thing? Everyone’s head would have exploded.” (x)

vine

Glory Johnson of the WNBA dunks and she’s only 6’3!!

Girls.
Can.
Jump.

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Elena Delle Donne

In her debut season, no. 2 pick Elena Delle Donne led all rookies in points (18.1 ppg), free throw percentage (.929, 157 for 169), and minutes (31.4 mpg). The Chicago Sky forward/guard helped the Sky to the best record in the East (24-10) and a franchise-first playoff berth. Based on her notable performance, the Delaware product was a unanimous selection by a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters.

Baylor center Brittney Griner celebrates in confetti after defeating Notre Dame 80-61 at the Women’s Final Four championship game in Denver. Griner scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Lady Bears completed the first 40-0 season in college basketball history. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

DEITSCH: Griner, Baylor complete 40-0 season with victory over Notre Dame
KILLION: Griner shines bright, faces stirring comment

We disparage female athletes so we don’t have to make room for them,” says Nicole LaVoi, a professor at the University of Minnesota and the associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports. “People can’t just say, ‘Wow, Brittney Griner is a great athlete.’ We need to have a caveat: ‘She plays like a guy, she looks like a guy, she must be a guy.’ These qualifiers marginalize what Brittney has done and serve to keep the current pecking order in place, whereby men’s sports are more valued, more culturally relevant — the norm.