This year was supposed to be the “rebuilding year” for Geno Auriemma’s team, but wins over 9 top 25 teams rebuked that notion. They have been the best college team in the country this year, but with close games against good competition and the recent scare against Tulane, we can’t just give UCONN the trophy yet. There IS a way to beat UCONN, and if last year’s tournament didn’t emphasize this enough, anyone can lose on any given night. The writers at GladiatHers® love competition and we have a pretty good idea of who can beat UCONN and how they can do it.
Yesterday GladiatHers™ was on hand to see the Minnesota Lynx be recognized at the White House for being the 2015 WNBA Champions. It was the third time in five years that they made the journey; such an incredible feat that it prompted the Leader of the Free World to ask just whose house we were in?! WNBA greats Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Coach Cheryl Reeve were on deck with their teammates and coaching staff with a level of excitement and graciousness that showed they truly appreciated the caliber of their accomplishment and the moment they were apart of.
President Barack Obama offered his sincere congratulations and expressed his genuine support for the WNBA and the Lynx. He gave a brief recounting of the challenging road that the women had to travel to claim their title and applauded the women for their tenacity. While commending Moore for being willing to play in the League despite not earning the large salaries that men in the NBA earn, Obama let the room know that it was absolutely nothing wrong with expecting to get paid the same for doing the same work. Sounds like equal pay is the way for our President.
Following the ceremony, Moore, Whalen and Coach Reeve stuck around for a brief Q & A where they also showed off their spectacular rings. When asked about how it felt to be a part of the WNBA’s 20 at 20, Moore and Whalen stated that although they didn’t set out with expectations to make any lists, they both were moved by the honor and didn’t take it lightly. They each acknowledged that they surrounded by a league and history filled with talented, dedicated women who all deserved recognition. Not to be out humbled by her players, when asked about the key to her success as a coach, Reeve gave all the credit back to the women who played for her; stating that she was blessed to have exceptionally talented and coachable players. Coach Reeve also applauded President Obama for being one of the few leaders who truly believed in and supported the League and even offered him first crack at owning the Lynx when his time is up in 2017.
The Lynx are the definition of champions. They embody the perfect combination of talent, a will to win and an understanding that they have an impact on others and the future of women’s sports. Although they are no longer undefeated this season, the Lynx are commanding the court and seem primed to make another appearance in the Championship game this year. Stay tuned to see what happens in Minnesota this summer.
Today in 2007 the WNBA announced that Atlanta would have it’s very own team and it would be called the Dream. It didn’t take the Dream very long to be a force to be reckoned with. Since 2009 the Dream has not missed a playoffs and has made it to the WNBA Finals on three occasions. They haven’t had a win yet in a finals game, but their quick rise to success suggests that that win is right around the corner.
Today in 1982 marked the first ever NCAA Women’s Championship. Louisiana Tech became the first NCAA Women’s Division I Champions with a win over Cheyney. The first NCAA Division I tournament had 32 teams. Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Cheyney and Maryland met in the Final Four. Baylor Head Coach, Kim Mulkey, was a member of this Louisiana Tech team, setting her up to become the FIRST person in history to win an NCAA Division I Basketball Championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.