I'm A Woman, But I Like Basketball, Too

I'm A Woman, But I Like Basketball, Too

So stop thinking it's weird.

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I was raised to love the sport basketball. My mom went to the University of Kansas, so obviously it's a must to know everything there is to know about basketball. While I did play it for a while, I'm a much better fan of the sport than player. However, people are constantly shocked that I know all the rules of basketball.

My freshman year of college, I decided I needed a job, so I became a basketball referee for USF Intramural Sports. So I know all the calls a referee is going to make, and I know when a call is bad. I'm not saying I'm an expert referee for basketball, but I certainly know more than the average Joe.

The amount of times I receive shocked faces when I talk about basketball is alarming. Are women not allowed to enjoy sports, too?

Just a few weeks ago, I was wearing a Jayhawk shirt around campus. Someone said, "Oh you a fan?" And I said, "Yeah, I love the Jayhawks." This person said, "Number one in the nation," which I had to correct, since we were in fact number two (we're number one now though). This person looked completely shocked.

The same can be said when I tell my guy friends I like basketball. (Those who know me really well know that I know my sh*t.) Everyone's always like, "Yeah? Prove it."

Except, what do I have to prove? It's not like I'm lying. I do know basketball. Very well. I've been watching the Jayhawks win and lose since before Mario Chalmers dream shot in the 2008 National Championship game. I've watched these young men grow up and be drafted into the NBA.

I can even tell you some stuff about the announcers. I don't get why people think that I'm strange for liking basketball so much. Hell, I probably like basketball more than some basketball players do.

I can tell you what teams have bullies. I can tell you what teams are genuine. I can tell you which teams fight everyday to be the best they can be. Sure, Kansas may be a really good team, but that's not why I root for them. I root for them because they represent everything a team should be.

When one player isn't doing as well, another steps up. They don't bask in the glory of being the best. They strive for the highest, and they deserve every bit of it.

So, next time I tell you I like basketball and probably know more about than you do, don't look so shocked. It's not that big of a deal.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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