The Excitement of Women’s Basketball


It is 2024, and women’s sports – especially basketball – are in the media in exciting ways.

Locally, fans of the WNBA were excited to welcome Aliyah Boston as the first overall pick of the draft to the Indiana Fever last year. She spent last summer wowing crowds at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and represented the Fever during the WNBA’s 2023 All-Star Game, only the sixth rookie in league history to do so. She looks to add to her impressive resume this upcoming season, which starts on May 14 against the Connecticut Suns.

If you haven’t made it to a Fever game with your kids, I highly recommend it. Indiana Pacers games are fun, but Fever games are often more accommodating to a family’s schedule. Much of their season falls during summer break from school, and there are many matinee games, which can be easier on younger fans’ sleep schedules.

The organization also hosts many deals and extra events for families during the games. When my husband and I took our oldest son to a game last summer, we went to a game that included a hot dog, chips, and drinks with my son’s ticket.

Ticket prices are usually lower than those for typical NBA games, but your kids will still get the thrill of seeing basketball live in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Of course, ticket prices and availability may change for Fever fans this upcoming season. After a highly-anticipated decision to declare for the WNBA draft, Iowa guard Caitlin Clark likely will end up in Indianapolis since the Indiana Fever has the number-one draft pick again this year.

The media calls Clark a “once in a generation” player, and maybe she is. After all, she led Iowa to its first national title game, amazes viewers with her long three-pointers, helped her team shatter a NCAA attendance record, and recently broke the NCAA Division I women’s leading scorer record to much fanfare, including a “Caitlin Cam” streaming option on TikTok.

But she’s also part of the first generation of players that have known a professional American career in basketball is possible from the day she started playing. Clark was born in 2002, and the WNBA was born just six years prior in 1996.

Playing professionally after college in America has always been a possibility for Clark and that has to mean something for her trajectory – as well as other current stand-outs in the NCAA, such as Cameron Brink, Alissa Pili, JuJu Watkins, Angel Reese and Indiana University’s own Mackenzie Holmes (who just recently broke a big IU record herself).

I remember my grandparents and my dad taking my sister and I to some games during the first few seasons of the Indiana Fever after they joined the league in 2000. I remember the excitement of watching women play professionally in front of my eyes, the utter chicness of the WNBA basketball (its simple and beautiful design feels like a feminist statement to me even now), and seeing the people in the stands just to see women play ball. That said something to me as an 11-year-old.

But in the early aughts, I remember the other things, too—comments about empty stands, about how women’s basketball is a joke, and statements about women’s basketball not being exciting. That also said something to me as an 11-year-old. I would stop playing basketball myself just a year or two later, even though I loved it.

But it’s 2024, and things are getting exciting. And those jokes, while definitely still there, are becoming whispers.

I feel grateful that this generation of kids, including my boys, will grow up seeing women’s basketball taken more seriously. I hope they never see it any differently.


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