The NCAA National Championship Tournament is a wrap! Now that Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks are national champions, our attention turns to the WNBA draft. This year’s draft will certainly be one for the books as both Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark have declared themselves for it. As I’ve compared in the past, this could be a Magic and Bird-type rivalry in women’s pro basketball. The fact that these two ladies are in the same draft is kismet. Of course, there’s intrigue as to which team drafts who and their draft order. But the sheer intrigue of it all is healthy for the WNBA.

In an unprecedented scenario, WNBA games are already sold out for the upcoming season. The Las Vegas Aces already had to move their games versus the Indiana Fever to a larger arena to accommodate ticket demands. The reigning champion Aces will face the Fever who are favored to draft all-time NCAA scorer Caitlin Clark. In my lifetime, the energy surrounding professional women’s basketball has never been like this. I like it.

Now there are some, like the L.A. Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike who have stated that professional women’s basketball has “always been this good.” I don’t dispute that at all. But in my opinion, we have never seen this beautiful fusion of great play, visibility, and personality. Players with these defined personas help sell what we enjoy as the NBA today. And with the addition of the likes of Angel Reese to a league with A’ja Wilson and Skylar Diggins, the possibilities are endless.

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Even though the quality of play hasn’t ever wavered in the WNBA, we are seeing an influx of more dynamic talent. Furthermore, a lot of these talented players are choosing to team up and form their own “big threes.” With every season we’re getting more and more of the energy we love during the off-season of team sports with the WNBA. The casual audience is beginning to care more about where players are playing. Not to mention, where they are signing and who is getting drafted.

A lot of this success goes to the players who train to be the best that they can be. But they’re also benefitting from the era that we live in. Thankfully society is beginning to make things a bit more equitable for women in regards to their representation. Being able to showcase your talents and persona in such a light inspires many. With that inspiration, these new fans will be led to support the game even more.

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I look forward to seeing how far this new generation of women ballers can take the WNBA. But what I can promise without a doubt is that this year’s WNBA draft will be the most attended, and watched of all time. The WNBA has incrementally been taking all of the steps to grow its brand. The next few years of its existence will see its greatest growth. It takes movements. In the NBA, it took Magic and Bird, and then Michael Jordan. By the end of the Jordan era, basketball players began becoming commodified. They became businesses in and of themselves. The league has to be over 40 years old at that point. So these things take time. But speaking of time, it’s the WNBA’s time, and I’m so glad that we’re all here to witness it.