Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, July 09, 2009

LA is coming to NY (hope to be very fond of the team after they leave), and Barbara Barker of Newsday writes:
Every basketball player has her own pregame routine. Few, however, have one as challenging as Candace Parker's.

Before tonight's WNBA game against the Liberty at Madison Square Garden, Parker will listen to Jay-Z, stretch and take some shots with her Los Angeles Sparks teammates. Then she will return to the locker room, pull out her breast pump and get down to business.

"This is something I think I can keep doing for Lailaa," Parker said of avoiding formula for her 8-week-old daughter.
She also writes something that sounds mighty, mighty familiar:
The WNBA's reigning MVP is not the first player in the league to have a baby. In fact, on her team alone, there are five mothers. Yet, Parker is pushing the envelope in one important way: She is starting her family at the beginning of her professional career, rather than putting it off until her late 20s or 30s.
I'm still not sure why Barker, like the NYTimes' Crouse, chose to hype Parker's age and ignore all the other basketball mothers such as, to name a few: Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Helen Darling, Le'Coe Willingham, Kara Braxton, Vanessa Hayden, Yolanda Griffith, DeMya Walker, Jia Perkins, Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Scholanda Robinson, and Nikki Teasley (thanks for the list, Melissa).

To ridiculously split hairs, as Crouse did in a response to an email from my friend and colleague Melissa, and say that Sheryl was a whole two years older (um. but the league was BRAND NEW) or the "other players weren't expected to carry the league" (um. player after player has been expected to do that.) is dismissive and insulting to the other players who've been balancing parenting and a professional career. (note how I use don't use "motherhood," since I'm still waiting on the upcoming article about LeBron James' struggles balancing parenting and pro ball)

I don't understand the need to do that in order to honor (or hype) what Parker is trying to do this season.