Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Once again, the Ladies in Orange have proven victorious! It may have taken Pat Summit 9 years to reclaim her crown, but reclaim it she did last night, as the University of Tennessee Lady Vols beat Rutgers to become the NCAA Women's Basketball Champions of 2007. I can't say this game was exactly as fun to watch as the one on Sunday night when they came from behind to trounce UNC and their little Ivory Latta, but I definitely enjoyed myself overall. GO VOLS!

The only purely ridiculous moments of this particular sporting event came with the repetition of questions about Candace Parker's "future" at Tennessee--i.e., would she, a mere sophomore (though academically a junior), plan on dumping her college team for the professional league, like so many male basketball players do. I have to say, this line of questioning seemed about as rationale to me as... well, I can't even thing of an analogy because it makes simply NO SENSE at all.

Let's look at the facts: upon entering the WNBA Candace Parker stands to make a whopping $43,000 in salary--assuming she is one of the first 3 players picked. Ahhh, the commentators argue, but she could make closer to a million dollars if she goes to play in Russia or North Korea! Oh, ok... WHAT?! Give me a break. No 20 year old woman with any kind of wits about her is going to make a rational choice to leave her education behind a little early for the prospect of having to live thousands of miles away from her family and friends for just a little (and it is, in the circles Parker is hanging in, just a little) money. Parker's brother is in the NBA; her boyfriend is in the NBA. She's not her family's meal ticket at the moment. So the idea that we were supposed to even entertain, for a moment, the idea that this little lady was planning on leaving Knoxville (where winning 1 championship makes you decent; to be spectacular you have to win 3-- in a row), was just laughable.

The great thing for Candace Parker is that, barring injury, whenever she does come out and go pro, she'll still be the greatest women's basketball player the US (and maybe the world) has to offer. And if there is any justice, she'll be able to make some serious money on endorsements and the like here at home. She may still end up playing in Korea and Russia just like the rest of the female super-stars, but just like the rest of them, she'll have her diploma in her hand when she does.

To that very point, the NYT published this article today.

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