Thursday, December 15, 2016

*WNBA struggling to remain relevant

“After two decades, of being in existence the WNBA is struggling more than ever for relevance,” said Richard Sandomir, a sports reporter from the New York Times. The WNBA struggling to gain and hold long lasting public interest in the league. Even though the WNBA has an advantage of being backed by the NBA, that doesn’t mean that they get more air time or broadcasting. In the article,  WNBA Struggling For Relevance in the New York Times, it tells us about the struggles the WNBA has trying to stay afloat and gain relevance with everyone.


Building the league was the easy part, but when they built the league they didn’t think of how they were going to be funded or how the league would go over with people wanting to watch and follow the teams. The WNBA every year is sponsored by the NBA, and yearly they bring in about $25 million, which is just a mere sliver of the NBA’s $930 million. Owner of the WNBA Liberty team James Dolan said, “The WNBA hasn’t made money in past years, and there is a slim chance it will make money in the coming years.” With that being said, my understanding is that if the WNBA doesn’t start to generate money the league will collapses and be nonexistent, causing all the player to have to uproot their lives and move overseas if they want to further their careers of basketball.


Mary Jo, director of  the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports, said that the women's league has always and still to this day takes a back seat to the men's league, even with the number of fans they have. She continued to say that women sports are looked over and are not considered a core “staple” in the world of professional sports. A new league President was hired and is trying to get more television coverage for the WNBA, in order to gain more viewers and attendance to games.


After everything the WNBA has gone through, they will give up on the dream of keeping the league alive. The article states that they don’t want to be the third women’s professional sports league to succumb to failure of staying intact. The owner of the Chicago Sky says, “ It’s not easy to get the word out about our league, we don’t have the support and all the free media. We have to fight hard for what we get. But I am optimistic that we will be able to pull through and remain what we are today.” It is sad that day to day these players, coaches, and owners have to worry about their league and for some their only source of income to be taken away from them because they have to take a back seat to the NBA.

As a High School basketball player, I find myself sometimes thinking it would be cool to be able to play in the WNBA, but then come back to reality that I am far from good enough to be able to make it. But for the people who are good enough to make it that far, it is sad that there is a chance there won’t be a league when it comes time for them to make their own appearance into the “ big leagues”. I feel that something should be done and that people should fight to keep the league alive for the current and the up and coming players.

Monday, December 12, 2016

*Title Nine An Impact On Women's Sports

On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a document that gave women around the world more freedom in education and federally funded activities. This document is known as Title IX, which prevents sex oriented discrimination in anything that the federal government funds. This made it easier for women to participate in the activities that they had previously wanted to but were either not allowed to or were made fun of for wanting to do based on their sex. Any group from 1972 to present day, are no longer to discriminate based on a person's sex if they receive funding from a federal agency. Though Title IX is known for making education and activities easier for women to participate in, it doesn’t only apply to females. It also applies to males and gender nonconforming people. Title IX also gives aid to people in situations where they are being sexually assaulted and or harassed based on the gender they present themselves as. This ensures that students are not sexually taken advantage of due to being female or male. This was put into place so that in schools and even workplaces nobody was sexually harassed or discriminated upon due to what their sex is or what they look like. And if people were made aware of any of this going on and they didn’t put an immediate stop to it, the federal government would put an immediate halt on any money that the company, school or business was receiving from them. Title IX was implemented to make safer workplaces and schools for not only women but males and gender nonconforming peoples.

Title nine has impacted women in many ways, this was the opportunity for women to prove their athleticism was just as good as any man. The women were not allowed to compete in many competitions, could not get scholarships and were overall separated from equal rights. When title nine first started the participation for women's sports jumped to about 41% compared to 7% because they were able to have funding. For example Billie Jean King, who couldn’t get a tennis scholarship while studying at Cal State Los Angeles, campaigned for higher pay and professional treatment for women tennis players. When she created a league for women to compete in and later on having a tournament against the men's team called “battle of the sexes” she was most famous for defeating former Wimbledon champion and tennis player Bobbie Riggs. In 1973 a match captivated and changed the way women looked at themselves, one player had said “I just had to play,” announced in a news week paper and in another interview another lady had said “Title IX had just passed, and I wanted to change the hearts and minds of people to match the legislation.”

Title nine impacted women by equal access to higher education, more career opportunities, protection to pregnant women in schools, increased the amount of  aloud to teach in schools, it changed gender stereotypes in the classroom, fighting against sexual harassment stopped, access to all sports benefit ted women to play on varsity sports team to help show their talent, scholarships were now offered to women for academics and athletics, the self confidence in all women increased.

This world changing law  "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” has helped shaped women into an understanding to be who they want to be without the help of others. Being able to compete in a sport they love with other women to earn scholarships or even just a medal, helps them build confidence, determination and a better understanding of life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A New Rule In Basketball

A new rule has come about in the world of basketball, that affects what happens when a player is shooting a free throw. The people lined up on either side of the key can now leave when the ball is released from the shooters hands. Before you couldn’t leave until the ball hit the rim. But now everyone but the shooter can leave early. I feel that that gives an unfair advantage to the team who is not shooting the free throw. I believe that the shooter should be able to leave when the ball is released from their hands, so that way it's not four on two for the rebound.

The rule was set into place so that the teams could get into the boxing out position before the ball hit the rim and bounced off. They said that it gives both of the teams a better chance to get the rebound. But in all reality it doesn't give the team who is shooting the free throw any advantage. It gives less time for the shooter to get into position, and that team is already at a disadvantage due to that there is only three of them versus the four from the other team.

I feel that to make this a completely fair rule everyone should be aloud to go when the ball releases the shooters hands, as to make it fair for everyone. If the people who set the rule in place are afraid that it would cause to many line violations they shouldn’t have changed the rule to begin with. I believe that the shooter should be allowed to leave when the ball releases their hands so that it doesn’t give an unfair advantage to the other team.

I can see why they changed the rule because with the old rule there were many line violations. But with the new rule I feel that there is just as much because the shooter tends to leave a tad early because everyone else is doing the same thing. So, I think they either need to go back to the old rule or they need to change it to where the shooter can leave when the ball releases their hands just as everyone else can.  


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The 5 Games You Aren't Going to Want to Miss This Season

As the fall sports seasons are coming to an end, players are headed inside to get warm as the winter sports season begins. The women’s college basketball season is set to start in just one short week, with five of the most exciting games of the year, you will definitely not want to miss them. Women’s basketball gets some people excited the way to others get excited for Monday nights during football season. So, here is a little insight on these exciting games.

Baylor and UConn are set to take the court November 17th at 7:30. UConn coming off winning 4 back-to-back NCAA titles is about to meet their match in this game. UConn has lost most of it players at the end of last season and is having to start over fresh, whereas Baylor has ten well experienced players returning to take the floor this season. Baylor may be able to dethrone the reigning champs, but this will be the game of the year. This will be a game you don’t want to miss out on.

Texas returns a number of players for the 2016-17 season. Southern Carolina and Texas is going to be another one of those nail-biting games, that you are not going to want to miss. Southern Carolina only return 2 of their starters from last year, but have 4 letter winners coming up in the lineup. Texas has 9 players returning to the court this year. Both of these teams were ranked in the top ten last year and look to do the same this year. These two teams are very evenly matched, and when they played each other in an exhibition game earlier this year they showed to have about the same amount of talent.

UConn and Notre Dame, this matchup between the four time champs and one of the NCAA teams with the most number of returning players and the best depth, this could be good. UConn has the toughest schedule of any of the colleges this season and other than Baylor this may possibly be one of the hardest games for them. Hopefully their new and the little old talent they have can come together and pull this win off.

Washington and Oregon State are set to play each other, and Washington is looking to take down the beavers this time. The beavers have beat Washington three consecutive times just in the last season. Oregon State has quite a lot of returning players as well as Washington. These two teams are conference rivals and they are each hoping to take down the other.  

Notre Dame and Syracuse these two who match up right before the season ends are each hoping to come out on top. Going into this game Notre Dame will be the favored team, but not if Syracuse can help it. This is not going to be an easy game for Syracuse to win, but I guess we are just going to have to watch it on February 19th to see what the outcome of the game actually is.  

These are games that you are not going to want to miss out on. These five games are going to be the games of the NCAA season for women. So, set your DVR’s to record these five games.

Friday, October 28, 2016

How Well Do You Know Basketball: An Exclusive Interview With Kenny Parker

By: Becca Parker
Kenny Parker, who also happens to be my father, is very knowledgeable on the subject of basketball. He himself played all throughout childhood, high school, and college. He played at Cuddeback Elementary, Fortuna High, College of the Redwoods, and Humboldt State. Throughout his career he won many awards, he won four HDN all county stars in basketball, and seven all together. While in college he was all conference player of the year two years in a row. He now resides in the Fortuna High School Hall of Fame, as well as the College of the Redwoods. There was various questions asked in the interview earlier this week.

How long have you coached Women's basketball?
Parker said, “I have coached basketball in general for 25 years.” I have coached on the Women’s side for about 12 of those 25 years. I coached at Rio Dell Elementary, Fortuna Middle, Ferndale High, St. Bernard’s, and Fortuna High.
Did you enjoy coaching Women’s or Men’s more?
“Both were very fun to coach.” Parker said, “ Men just like to get in and get physical in a way that some women won’t, but on the other hand women can get just as physical.” One reason that Parker said that Women’s basketball may have been his favorite is because they play with more finesse than the men do. Parker said, “ I would have to say I enjoyed Women’s basketball more.”

In general what is your favorite aspect of the game?
“My favorite part of the game is watching some drive to the bucket and either pull up and take a short jumper, or go all the way,” said Parker.

Do you enjoy watching Women’s basketball?
I very much so enjoy watching women’s basketball. It always looks like they are having so much fun when they are out on the court playing.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Injury Prevention

Last year in my advanced conditioning class I learned how to prevent knee injuries and strengthen our bodies in healthy ways, which made me think of women's basketball. They made me think of each other because in order to play basketball you have to be strong and healthy; your body gets pretty beat up throughout the season.

ACL tears are one of the most common injuries in female athletes, and female basketball players, in particular. Advanced conditioning can help you to prevent those unwanted knee problems, and with all the cutting and jumping you do in basketball you need to have strong and knees so that your knees can take all the sharp cuts and the landing on the wood floors.

You also need to be well conditioned so that you have the stamina to play an entire basketball game and in that class you do a lot of exercises and cardio workouts which really helps with your stamina and your endurance. The class gets you prepared to be able to run up and down the court for as long as you need.

Also, in that class you work out your arms, a big part of basketball, without them you wouldn’t be able to dribble and shoot the ball. It helps you to strengthen your arms which will help you get the ball to the basket.

It can also help with your jumping which you should be able to do if you are a basketball player. The box jumps that you do in that class will tremendously help you with rebounding and even with your layups. There are lots of injuries in women's basketball, so advanced conditioning teaches injury prevention.  

The Road to Recovery

In the summer of 2016 the Bonham High School  AAU team was in Sacramento. They were playing at the Hardwood Palace at 4:30 P.M. It was the first game of the tournament. The games were running a little behind schedule so the team only had 4 minutes to warm up. The starters took the court, they were Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Lily, and Zoe.

The team took the court despite the nerves they had since it was the first game of the tournament and of their AAU season. The ref threw the ball up and Bonham won the tip, Zoe got the ball and drove it in to get the first two points of the game up on the board for Bonham. The team went down and played defense, resulting in the other team turning the ball over and Zoe getting the long pass from Sophia and scoring two more points for Bonham. The other team's coach called a timeout because his team was beginning to get frustrated. The two teams took the court once again.

It was the other team's ball and they finally scored their first two points. Bonham got the ball and Sophia brought it up the court. When she passed the half court line she passed the ball to Zoe. Zoe started to drive to the basket and do a Euro Step when she fell to the ground and let out two high pitch screams. That is when her team mates knew that she was hurt.

The coach ran out onto the court along with Zoe’s older sister. Usually they wouldn’t have went out if Zoe had got hurt because she usually did not scream and would just get right back up. When they got out to Zoe she wasn’t talking, crying, or even making any noise. She was just sitting on the court holding her bent knee, she couldn’t straighten it out. When they asked Zoe what happened she told them that she thought she had dislocated her knee because she felt it pop out and then back in. They let her sit on the floor for a minute so that she could slowly get her leg to straighten back out. Once she got it straight again her coach and her sister helped her stand up. They told her to hold on to them and to put pressure on her foot to see if it would hurt. Zoe put her foot on the ground to take the first step and immediately started to cry, it was the most painful thing ever. When they finally got her over to the bench they elevated her leg and put ice on it. She told them that it hurt a little but it was burning terribly. She looked at her sister who was a nurse after she told her what it felt like and she could tell by the look on her face that it was not a good sign. About 10 minutes later all the pain and burning went away and Zoe wanted to go back in the game. Her coach immediately told her no, which made her think she had really done something bad.

About one week later Zoe went to get an MRI of her knee just to be sure that nothing was wrong. She was doing everything she had done before she got hurt, but her parents just wanted to be sure that she wasn’t hurt and that the pain hadn’t just gone away. On July 28th Zoe went to Redding where she had her MRI. 11 hours later Zoe got the worst news that she could ever have gotten. She had torn her ACL completely so much so that it had disintegrated, she had torn her meniscus completely, and she had fractured and dented her Femur. It took Zoe about 15 minutes of crying to realize that she just wanted to get the surgery and get back out on the basketball court as soon as she could.

On July 29th Zoe went to UCSF to meet with the surgeon who was going to do her surgery for the consultation. When the surgeon got into the room she checked out Zoe’s knee. She said she had know idea how Zoe had no pain and was hiking the day before she had went down their. The surgeon said it is one of the worst ACL, Meniscus tears that she had seen. She left the room to go and see when she could do the surgery because she was leaving for the Rio Olympics on August 2nd. She told us before she left the room to check that she probably wouldn’t be able to do it until she got back. But she came back with the best news. She told Zoe and her family that on August 1st she would open up a spot just to do Zoe’s surgery. That was the best news Zoe had got in a while.

On August 1st at 7 A.M. Zoe got to the hospital and was being prepped for surgery. At 9 A.M. Zoe was wheeled back for surgery. And at 12 noon, Zoe was wheeled into recovery. At 12:15 Zoe woke up from surgery and the nurse told her that she would have to wait an hour to see her parents, and when her parents got back there she was so happy to see them. She was still groggy though from the anesthesia.

Zoe now is on the road to recovery and is 3 months out of surgery and is doing great.