In honour of the recent March Madness tournament, I wanted to switch things up a bit this week and take a moment of appreciation to acknowledge the ascension of women's basketball. I think anyone that follows the game can agree, right now is a really exciting time to be a women's basketball player.
Women's sport, in particular women's basketball, has skyrocketed recently on a global level. Thanks to the most recent NCAA tournament, the women's March Madness interest soared and the numbers prove it. According to ESPN, the NCAA women's final drew almost 10 million viewers, making it the most viewed college game in history- men or women. HOW SICK?! Between the generational talent of Caitlyn Clark, the relentless competitors of LSU, and many other alluring up and coming stars, the women's tournament was the talk of the nation. People were talking about the women's brackets and players, and not the men's. For once, the women's tournament was the main character, not the afterthought.
While the women's NCAA tournament this year was a huge moment for women's basketball, the game has been slowly making it's pivot in recent years. While media coverage and viewership have continued to climb, opportunities have as well - particularly at the NCAA level. Between the new era of NIL deals, endorsements, and collaborations, you can now build your brand as a student athlete and make a lot of money doing it. Possibilites are endless and personal empowerment is at its highest. Not only has women's basketball taken off in North America, but overseas opportunities are more competitive than ever, and if you follow international basketball you will see why. Thanks to social media, it's easier than ever to follow Euroleague, Eurocup, WNBL and many other elite leagues to understand just how high level the talent is and how exciting it is to watch. The unmatched atmosphere, fanbase, and passion of international basketball is something special and something that will only continue to grow on a global level.
With all of that said, if you are an up and coming women’s basketball player, you should be feeling inspired and motivated! The sentiment around the women's game has changed, and the direction it's going is definitely an exciting one. People are now paying attention. The world is now paying attention. We still have a long ways to go, and equality is no where near where it needs to be yet - but women’s basketball is finally beginning to gain the traction it has long deserved. It's our turn, and it's our time, to finally have a seat at the table.