Women in sports, for some odd reason, have not received the respect that they truly deserve. I’m speaking from a world that I know very well, which is the basketball world. If you truly know the game of basketball, you would understand and see the beauty in watching women play the game. There is a lot to be learned from watching women play.
I grew up in a household that consists of a lot of women. Some of these women actually played sports on a high level. My mom played collegiate basketball at Cleveland State University. My younger sister, Siedah Williams, played at the University of Virginia, was named an ACC legend, and is the only player in Ohio history to win four state championships. My youngest sister, Adjoni Williams, also has a state championship on her basketball resume. I really learned and grew to love the game watching my older sister, Na’Sheema Anderson (played as Na’Sheema Hillmon) play throughout her high school, collegiate and professional career. Sheema was a State Champion at Trinity High School in Cleveland, OH, Ohio Ms. Basketball award recipient, a Kodak All American, and the 11th pick of the now defunct ABL. After school, my older sister would pick up my younger sisters and I from school and we would go to practice with her daily and then attend all of her games. It’s safe to say I learned the game from a woman. I can also say I witnessed superior toughness from a woman. I watched my sister dominate the SEC while being pregnant the entire time. As I got older I realized that the things I learned from my big sister, were not talked about or emphasized as much in the men’s game and I was grateful to be around the game.
Watching women play, you first notice that the game is not as aggressive, per se, as the men’s game. Not many women play the game above the rim, so they rely on being fundamentally sound. What the women’s game lacks in high flying dunks, they make up for it with superb footwork and textbook formed jump shots. Watch some of today’s female superstar basketball player’s play and you will see exactly what I mean. Candace Parker is one of my favorite athletes to watch play. She has a complete game. She is crafty on the low block, can shoot, handle the ball, and seemingly makes her teammates better through her leadership on the court. My other WNBA favorite is Mya Moore. When Mya Moore is done playing, she will definitely be in the conversation of being one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time and one of the greatest winners in any sport. Mya Moore is a pure scorer. She uses her deadly jump shot to set up her strong drives to the basket. She also possesses a lost art in the game which is the midrange game and she is elite in this area on the floor. On my all-time favorites list of female ball players, besides my sisters and niece Naz Hillmon are Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Nikki Teasley, and Chamique Holdsclaw just to name a few. If you are not familiar with these names, google them.
This post comes in light of some comments I seen on social media with regards to women’s hoops. Recently my niece and some of her teammates from the University of Michigan went viral by posting a video of them doing some “synchronized shooting.” While I usually don’t pay any attention to the comments, this time I did and they left me scratching my head. I saw ignorant and belittling comments like “but can they cook,” “now go make a sandwich,” just to bring a couple to light, but believe me there were more. I’m not surprised by the comments because I know human beings can be trash at times, but I am surprised by who the comments actually came from. Comments like these usually come from some of the worst built, non-athletic, couch coaching, never played a sport type of men. That’s just weird to me, especially when you have some of the greatest athletes of today, like Lebron James and many others acknowledge and cheer on women in hoops. Here is my appreciation post to women in sports. Keep going and keep showing your greatness on and off the court!
STRIVE TO EXCEL!