Unfortunately women’s basketball does not get the exposure that it should in both the college and professional game. Individual and team accomplishments do not get mentioned about nearly as much as men’s basketball. Perhaps this is no more evident than when it comes to the USA National Teams.
Next summer in Brazil both the men and women’s national team will be overwhelming favorites to win the gold medal. However you can expect to see more media coverage on the men’s team with the likes of LeBron James or Kevin Durant than you would Sue Bird or Maya Moore. Now it is with good reason that the men’s team get more attention than the women as the NBA is vastly more popular than the WNBA. But what’s probably overlooked is that in recent years as far as international play is concerned, the women have fared better than the men.
Since the 1996 Olympic game in Atlanta, the women’s national team has won the gold medal in five consecutive Olympics. The men on the other hand have taken home the gold medal in the last two Olympics after receiving the bronze in the 2004 games in Athens Greece.
In the last Summer Games in 2012 that women’s team went 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 34.37 points in route to the gold medal. This was slightly more dominant that the men who won their eight games by an average of 32.12 points per game. Some may attribute this to the men’s international game being superior to the women’s. Or perhaps it’s just the women adapt better to international play
Throughout the years of women’s national team dominance they have had some of the greatest female basketball players of all-time represent team USA. The list includes names such as Lisa Leslie, Teresa Edwards, Kara Lawson, Dawn Staley, and Sheryl Swoopes. They may not be household names to the casual fan, but if you ask anyone that follows basketball closely and they’ll tell you how great they were. All of those players are now retired and have given way to the next generation, although Staley is now one of the coaches and will coach alongside with the legendary Geno Auriemma .
On Saturday April 11th from the Moda Center in Portland Oregon, Team USA will play a game against some of the best international players in the world. The game is being named USA vs. The World. Team USA roster will consist of Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Candice Dupree, Brittney Griner, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Odyssey Sims, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen. It should be an interesting an entertaining game that will bring attention to women’s basketball and at the same time showing national pride.
Hopefully with the USA vs. The World game will help the rise in popularity of women’s basketball and an appreciation of their skill. These ladies deserve it as they have been true professionals on and off the court and do a great job of representing team USA.