Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, July 02, 2009

No disrespect intended to Candace Parker and all the joys and challenges of being a working mom, but jeez, Karen Crouse, how well do you know the history of the WNBA?
There are a dozen mothers playing in the league, but Parker, the reigning W.N.B.A. rookie of the year and most valuable player, is a trailblazer in one respect. Unlike Leslie and Thompson, she did not put motherhood on hold until after she had ushered her professional basketball career into its second decade.
Let's start naming W players who "did not put motherhood on hold," like, say, Sheryl Swoopes?
Swoopes was the first player chosen by the WNBA, which assigned her to the Houston Rockets [WHB note: well, we all make mistakes, don't we] as play began in June, 1997. Then along came the baby. She gave birth to Jordan, named after Michael Jordan, on June 27. About six weeks later, on August 7, Swoopes took the court in her WNBA debut, playing about five minutes in a 74-70 victory by the host Comets over the Phoenix Mercury. "I was very nervous for the first game after being out of competitive basketball for a year," the Associated Press quoted Swoopes. "There's a big difference in pickup ball and getting out here. It's going to take awhile to get the butterflies out."
Swoopes received a warm applause from the crowd. At courtside, some fans hovered around the baby, held by her husband, former football player Eric Jackson (the two divorced in 2000). "Upon learning she was unexpectedly pregnant, her biggest fear was telling her agent and other WNBA associates about her condition," All wrote in Pregnancy Today. "She kept her special secret throughout the first trimester 'in case something happened,' and then shared the news. 'I was nervous about what everyone would think, but they were all very supportive,' she says."
While I appreciate the fact that the NYTimes' is giving a W player some ink space, there's something about the tone of this piece that sets my teeth on edge in so many different ways, I'm having trouble sorting them out.