Women all around the country are continuing to be social influencers on younger generations, whether it be minor impacts in your nearest city or bigger impacts on the whole country. There is no denying that women are owning their moment to shine and changing the game for the future of sports.
In the city of Tampa, records were broken and titles were won for the USF Women’s Basketball team. For the second time in three years, the team has achieved a regular-season title. The Bulls went 15-1 during the conference and beat opponents with an average of 14.9 per game. The star trio this season; Elena Tsineke, Dulcy Fankam Medjiadeu, and Sammie Puisis had a combined average of 50 points per game ranking top 40 in the nation for scoring at one point. As Elena and Dulcy will not be returning for next season’s roster, they left their mark on South Florida with the opportunity to continue building the program towards more victories.
Not only was history made at USF, but throughout the nation during the NCAA Division 1 Championships. Women are outstanding in any standards put prior towards the division and catching the eye of the people. With a record-breaking high of 9.9 million people on ABC network women’s basketball set a new expectation with a wider range of audience. The LSU Tigers won 102- 85 against the Iowa Hawkeyes making them the first-ever Women’s Final Four team to ever reach triple digits during a tournament.
Of course the main event is the game itself, but it’s important to realize the players that have brought this curiosity and viewership to an all-new high. Angel Reese and Catalin Clark. Changing the game for the future, with a combination of confidence and skill, they have brought a wider audience from the younger generation by inspiring greatness and authenticity. Clark spent her season scoring up as much as possible, especially in round 8 of the NCAA tournament by making the first-ever 40-point triple-double in Division 1 from men or women. Reese has become a role model for fans with her blunt personality that doesn’t hold back for anyone.
After the tournament win against the Hawkeyes, Reese said. “I don’t fit in a box that y’all want me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. But when other people do it, y’all say nothing. So this was for the girls that look like me, that’s going to speak up on what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you. That’s what I did it for tonight. It was bigger than me tonight.”
This quote will stick with all women tuning in, especially black women who have dealt with the norm of the game being different just because they are women. With women not being allowed to be excited or passionate about their own careers. The noticeability of women’s basketball is still fresh and there’s still a long process towards a more equal share between men and women, but through continued motivation, competitiveness, and perseverance towards change will lead to a brighter future in women’s basketball. It all starts with what happens behind the scenes, on and off the regular season, and who is willing to show out to capture the attention of investors.