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Girl Power: The 5 Trailblazing Athletes Bringing Light To Women’s Sports

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

The most important month for college basketball has wrapped up: March. 64 men and women’s teams fought for the 2024 NCAA National Championship trophy. On the women’s side, the South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes and in the men’s bracket, the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies defeated the Purdue Boilermakers. However, something about this year’s tournament was different. The women got as much, if not more, attention and traction than the men. The women’s final championship game even racked in about four million more viewers than the men’s championship game, something that has never happened before. 2024 brought a whole new audience to women’s sports inspiring girls and women everywhere. Here are some of the most notable contributors to this new era of women’s sports.


As a bitter UConn student who wishes that the Huskies could have pulled off the win against the Hawkeyes in the Final Four game this year, I cannot deny the immense contribution Caitlin Clark has had to this sport. The 6-foot senior has become a household name simply due to her skill. Averaging over 30 points per game, Clark shattered countless records including the most points in women’s NCAA tournament history, all-time NCAA Division 1 men and women’s leading scorer, most three-pointers in a single season by any male or female Division I player, as well as receiving numerous other accolades. Clark had young boys lining up for her autograph; she became an inspiration to people around the country and despite never winning a ring, her legacy will go down as one of the greatest in women’s college basketball. Projected to go as the first overall pick in the WNBA draft, there is still a lot in store for Caitlin Clark.


Angel Reese, known to some as the Bayou Barbie, is another prime player that people enjoy watching. She was a pronounced player on the court with her sass, her long fake eyelashes, and her colorful acrylic nails. Reese averaged just under 20 points this season in her journey to the NCAA tournament, where she and the Louisiana State women’s team would ultimately lose to Clark and the Hawkeyes in a 2023 championship rematch. Despite her immense skill and her championship ring, controversy surrounds Reese, especially when it comes to her alleged beef with Caitlin Clark. People long awaited these two players and teams to rematch. Clark and Reese have since squashed rumors that they dislike each other but the dynamic brought lots of viewers to the screen. Reese has greatly contributed to women’s sports, including showing young girls that you can play “like a girl” with nails and a full face of makeup.


Judea “Juju” Watkins was a top recruit in the senior class of 2023 and helped to reinvent the University of Southern California’s women’s basketball program. At just 18 years old, Watkins helped lead the Trojans to the Elite 8 where they would fall to UConn. Watkins now holds the record for most points scored by a first-year women’s college basketball player and averaged about 27 points per game. During a specific night of the tournament, women’s basketball was advertised as being “Clark vs. Reese” and “Watkins vs. Bueckers.” For Watkins to already be listed as a great in the NCAA tournament and among the company of these impressive senior players is a testament to how talented she really is. People who have followed Watkins this past season have a lot to look forward to with this rising sophomore.

4) Paige bueckers

Last, but certainly not least, is the star guard of the UConn Huskies. Now I may be biased as a UConn student, but Paige Bueckers is my favorite women’s player to watch. Bueckers was the player to watch her freshman year at the University of Connecticut. She suffered an injury her sophomore year but would return later in the season. Bueckers spent her junior season on the bench with an ACL injury so it was a well-awaited return when UConn Nation got to see a finally healthy Bueckers for the 2023-2024 year, and she did not disappoint. Bueckers led the Huskies to their 23rd Final Four appearance, averaging over 20 points per game. Despite making a name for herself on the court, Bueckers has also racked up over one million TikTok followers, where fans enjoy watching her make dancing videos with her teammates. Lucky for the Huskies, Bueckers will be using her final year of eligibility to return to UConn for the 2024-2025 season.

5) The South Carolina gamecocks

The 2024 NCAA Division I champions did not come as much of a surprise. The South Carolina Gamecocks finished the season with an impressive 38-0 record; a perfect season. Led by female coach Dawn Staley, the team brought South Carolina their third title in the last seven seasons. Staley has turned the Gamecocks into a force. Kamilla Cardoso led the team in points and rebounds and was a major aspect to this team. The Gamecocks have lots in store for next year as they are getting a lot of players back. The impressive season by South Carolina brought many new viewers to women’s basketball as people wanted to see the skill and domination they were capable of.

If you didn’t follow the women’s basketball tournament this year, this is so much in store for the 2024-2025 season as we will see new and old players continue to shatter glass ceilings and elevate women’s sports. As a women and a sports fan, it has been an amazing thing to see. Go Huskies!

Sophie McAvay is a member of the U Conn Her Campus chapter. She is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences. In her free time she loves to read, run, listen to music, and hang out with friends and family.