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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

As far back as I can remember, I have played basketball. As a kid, my parents spent the majority of their time working as college basketball coaches. And the majority of the time I spent with them was when they were working as college basketball coaches. Because of this, I have a special place in my heart for basketball, and it has always been a part of my life. I have watched so many college basketball games throughout my life, more than most people ever will. I have seen how the crowds swarm into the gym once the girl’s games end and the men’s games begin. Every seat in the house is full for the men, while the women struggled to get one full section. It has always bothered me, especially when I experienced it firsthand as a high school basketball player. My own friends wouldn’t come to my games, but they wouldn’t hesitate to make an appearance at the boy’s game. There has been a cultural trend of holding men’s basketball on a pedestal while the women sit on a platform below.

You cannot deny the media coverage of men’s basketball is worlds apart from the media coverage and airtime of the women. Men have always had higher production values, higher quality coverage, and higher quality commentary. There is almost 4 billion dollars being distributed to the NBA athletes while only a fraction of that is going to the WNBA athletes. The highest paid WNBA player makes .5% of the salary of the highest paid NBA player. That is jaw dropping. 

I do not watch professional basketball, but I think I can name every NBA team and at least two players on each team, while I cannot name one team in the WNBA. As for college basketball, have you ever made a march madness bracket for the women’s basketball tournament? I know I haven’t. While it is all very upsetting, the 2024 women’s basketball march madness has changed the way people think about women’s basketball and it is amazing to see. 

Throughout the tournament, I saw women’s basketball players all over social media, both in uniform and without. Their social media followings have skyrocketed, and so many have made appearances on famous podcasts, interviews, and countless commercials. They are receiving incredible deals and partnerships with brands that have been known to partner with famous male athletes. 

The class of 2024 have attracted so many people with their personalities and passion for the game. They have captivated and inspired so many fans across the country. These women are so exciting to watch and have incredible versatile skill for the game. Many of the popular players this year have changed the way women’s basketball is played. Their intensity, shooting range, trash talk, and incredible passing ability is a joy to watch and has elevated women’s basketball as we know it. And that isn’t even including their following on the court. 

Women’s basketball games have begun to regularly air on ESPN networks, an already big change from previous years. While they are still fighting for more screen time, the games that are shown on ESPN are breaking all kinds of records. The anticipated rematch of last year’s championship game, and Iowa’s matchup with UConn each broke and set a new record for the most watched women’s basketball game with millions of viewers each. Both incredible numbers, but the Championship game this year broke every record with a peak of 24 million viewers. That is more than any basketball game EVER and the 2023 MLB world series! Incredible, to say the least.

The following generated this year from the players, coaches, and teams has been unmatched. These women have become someone so many people look up to and have made history with their presence on and off the court. They have made amazing strides for women’s basketball all around the country and have set an amazing example to so many young girls who dream of playing basketball. They have been called “architects of change”, as they are redefining what it means to play basketball as a woman. 

As the class of 2024 moves on to bigger things and higher levels of basketball, they leave behind a clear path for the upcoming stars of women’s basketball. The future of women’s basketball is in amazing hands and has such a bright future, with a new generation of athleticism, passion, and inspiration to come. I cannot wait to see it, and I only wish I got to be a bigger part of it.

Rhiannon Henry

West Chester '27

Hello! My name is Rhiannon Henry! I am a writing major at West Chester University and I am so happy to be a part of HerCampus! I play softball at WCU, I love movies, art, music, and my friends and family! Writing is a huge passion of mine, and I can't wait to contribute to the HerCampus community!