Do you know who the 2018-19 NBA MVP is? Of course you do. It’s Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Now do you know who the 2018-19 WNBA MVP was? I can undoubtedly say that most of you answered no to that. It was Breanna Stewart, a member of the Seattle Storm’s team, for those of you who were wondering. Stewart not only won the WNBA MVP title, but also won Finals MVP in the same year, as she helped her team win their first championship in 8 years, averaging 25.7 points during the series.
But it is no secret that women’s sports, and female athletes alike, do not get the recognition they deserve, often overshadowed by an industry and league that has systematically been powered on the showmanship and achievements of male players. And the WNBA particularly fall victim to this, despite the collective team of strong and undeniably, talented women who crush the courts time and time again.
With a constant need to create more buzz around the WNBA, it is exciting to see a potential prospect in women’s basketball come from the daughter of one of the greatest players of all time, Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, or Gigi for short, has been catching the attention of college prospects, the media, and even NBA players as she plays for the Los Angeles Lady Mamba basketball team. Gigi Bryant’s game, at such a young age, has begun to reflect the elite level moves, skill, and speed of her father, which is what can make her “one of the greatest female basketball players” as she has been honed by LeBron James.
With Kobe’s ‘Mamba’ status and reign of five championship wins, Gigi has large shoes to fill. But with her dad as her coach, and the talent that she has already begun to present, shows that she will, with no doubt, live up to the title of ‘Mambacita’.
The infamous Bryant name, if she enters the league, will bring grit and attraction to the WNBA, which can really benefit the association as a whole. The WNBA struggles to match the crowd and funding of the NBA. In fact, players currently in the WNBA are lucky if they make 20 percent of what NBA players make, partly due to the smaller crowds that they attract. Although a Bryant name may provide the WNBA with the boost that they need, it does not negate from the legitimacy or talent that the women’s basketball league already holds.
It will be exciting to see Gigi Bryant make a name for herself, bringing well-deserved attention to the WNBA and all that it has to offer. Mambacita is ready to step on the court and it will be HER time to play.