Women's Hoops Podcast

Natasha Cloud: ‘Vote like your life depends on it’

"Vote like your life depends on it," says Natasha Cloud, starting guard for the 2019 WNBA champion Washington Mystics. With the 2020 presidential election just two weeks away, The Hard Screen brings you an election special that includes interviews with Cloud and Renee Montgomery, a two-time WNBA title-winner, who both opted out of the 2020 season to focus on social initiatives that emphasized voting. We also break down why it is so difficult for some voters to cast their ballots this year and review what individual WNBA teams have done to encourage voting in their respective cities. ...

Episode 6: ELECTION SPECIAL

"Vote like your life depends on it," says Natasha Cloud, starting guard for the 2019 WNBA champion Washington Mystics. With the 2020 presidential election just two weeks away, The Hard Screen brings you an election special that includes interviews with Cloud and Renee Montgomery, a two-time WNBA title-winner, who both opted out of the 2020 season to focus on social initiatives that emphasized voting. We also break down why it is so difficult for some voters to cast their ballots this year and review what individual WNBA teams have done to encourage voting in their respective cities. ...

THS Extra: ‘Literally, by her sheer size’

Layshia Clarendon discussed the ways the Pulse nightclub massacre was a galvanizing moment for LGBTQ+ acceptance and the reasons Brittney Griner's entry into the WNBA -- 'literally, by her sheer size' -- made a resounding and undeniable statement of authenticity. For National Coming Out Day, we decided to share this clip to underscore Griner's social importance to the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ acceptance, inclusion and rights.   ...

2020 WNBA jersey sales show the old guard is finally getting its due

Sue Bird's jersey topped sales during the 2020 WNBA regular season suggesting the veteran Seattle Storm star, and other future Hall of Famers such as Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury (second in sales) and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks (third in sales), are gaining long overdue mainstream recognition. But what about the league's young stars like Breanna Stewart and A'ja Wilson, who will battle in this year's WNBA Finals for the Storm and Las Vegas Aces, respectively? Will culturally ubiquity come for them before they're teetering on the door of retirement?...

Episode 5: Why Black Girls Are Cheering for WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson

When the Las Vegas Aces tip off in Game 1 of the 2020 WNBA Finals, A’ja Wilson–this year’s WNBA Most Valuable Player, a two-time All-Star and the 2018 Rookie of the Year–will be playing for Black girls everywhere, especially those with apostrophes in their names. Rich or poor, tall or short, athlete or non-athlete, Black women and girls have needed something to cheer about this year and Wilson’s success provides. But fans should not underestimate the pressures and demands she faces as an elite basketball player trying to win a championship during pandemic and protest.In late September, the league announced its decision to award the 2020 WNBA Community Assist Award to all players for their work on social justice. Wilson and Sydney Colson of the Chicago Sky, both members of the league’s newly-created Social Justice Council, spoke to select media via Zoom conference about the council’s work and the impact of racial injustice on their lives.Bethany Donaphin, head of W...

WHY AMERICA DOESN’T DESERVE SPORTS RIGHT NOW

Originally published in "The Hard Screen Newsletter" in June 2020, "Why America Doesn't Deserve Sports Right Now" delves into the historic and systemic racial injustice, police brutality and inequality Black Americans face in the United States that has necessitated athletes and other public figures use their platforms to spur social change. ...

Hard Screen Newsletter Issue No. 4

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Courtney Vandersloot in the East, A’ja Wilson in the West 

A'ja Wilson (Western Conference) and Courtney Vandersloot (Eastern Conference) are the WNBA Players of the Week for games played through Sunday, August 9. Wilson's name already is swirling atop MVP conversations. Can Vandersloot now rise from understated workhorse to bona fide star?...

All-Screen Team: Chennedy Carter dazzles, Hollywood-style

The Hard Screen's All-Screen Team features five players who are dazzling in unexpected ways. The inaugural All-Screen Team (for games played through Friday, August 7) features Chennedy Carter (point guard), Betnijah Laney (shooting guard), DeWanna Bonner (small forward), Breanna Stewart (power forward) and Sylvia Fowles (center) -- all of whom pack plenty of All-Screen bling. ...

#SayHerName (Part 2): ‘Amplify the names’

 TRIGGER WARNING: THIS EPISODE CONTAINS VIVID DESCRIPTIONS OF POLICE VIOLENCE AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL LISTENERS. In this two-part #SayHerName special edition of The Hard Screen, mothers of daughters murdered by police speak on their shattered lives, their partnership with WNBA and demands for change. Joining the conversation are: Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, […]...

THS Extra: Sabrina Ionescu’s Quite Literal Hoop Dreams

One day after No. 1 overall 2020 WNBA Draft pick Sabrina Ionescu dropped 33 points in 34 minutes in her second professional game, Tamryn Spruill spoke with the New York Liberty guard about hoops, opportunities to grow the game and more. In this "extra" from The Hard Screen, a portion of that interview.

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