Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One week later: What's up in women's b-ball

Hey, the WNBA draft was on Monday.
In an uncharacteristic move, I turned on the television in the middle of the day, and it just it happened to be on ESPN anyway and there it was--the draft. Otherwise, I would have had no idea. I mean, I knew it was coming, but I don't pay all that much attention to the WNBA so it was not high on my list of thing to tune in to. But I am glad I did. I didn't know anything about Australian Liz Cambage (love the way her last name rolls off the tongue). I think she is, as I tweeted, going to be an interesting addition to the league. And when Brittney Griner goes pro in a couple of years--two 6'8 players!
But will we watch?
Shannon Owens writes about the troubling phenonmenon of collegiate stars fading into the shadows when they get to the WNBA--not because they are performing badly, but because the WNBA itself remains in the shadows of other professional sports. Owens's column focuses on Maya Moore, the number one draft pick on Monday but speaks to the fate of other #1s. Sure, we still talk about Diana Taurasi, but almost always in the context of her history with UConn (or her positive (false) drug test). But how much discussion is around her ongoing WNBA career?

So while intercollegiate basketball is losing its star--Maya Moore--a new one, according to some sources (ok just the Bleacher Report so here's your shaker of salt), is being born: Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame.
There was talk about then then first-year Diggins last season when Notre Dame made the tournament. But with its appearance in the championships, Diggins has been legitimized as one of the--if not the--next stars.
Personally, I'm not a Diggins fan; she has that Taurasi type attitude that I do not like. But it's nice to have a star who doesn't play for UConn.
One could say that Griner is a star as well. But she will never get the same attention in her remaining two years as Diggins will in hers. Why? Well Griner is a little too masculine for the mainstream. And Diggins is already being referred to as a beauty, a cutie, etc. She has gotten the attention of major music stars like Lil Wayne and Chris Brown (maybe not the attention she wants given Brown's past).
The Bleacher Report notes that Diggins is "already getting an Allison Stokke-like following around the World Wide Web." Um, not necessarily a good thing. Let's not forget that Stokke, the pole vaulter, was not all too keen on the overt sexualization of her that started when she was in HIGH SCHOOL.

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