One component people ever discuss is the WNBA, which is a reflection about how many people feel about women in relation to sports. Despite the work that goes unnoticed and rarely ever getting the credit they deserve, these ladies have been out here playing their hearts out. Although we're a few months shy of regular season for the WNBA, today is the National Girls & Women in Sports Day (#NGWSD), according to WNBA's official twitter account, so what better time than now to honor the 5 female athletes who really stand out and are always on top of their game? Typically, I wouldn't list 2 players from the same team on my list of superlatives, but this time, I had to bend the rules a little.
|Image source. via SI.com|
PF/C - Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
What is the WNBA without Ms. Parker? Heyyyy, Ms. Parker! No, but really, this girl has game! Not only is she a baller at large, who has set the bar really high, she's smart as hell, having graduated class of '08 with a shining 3.5 GPA. Having followed her career, pretty much since her sophomore year at University of Tennessee, it's been really fun to watch her progress over the years. Aside from being the no.1 draft pick in 2008 WNBA Draft to a team, which I was already a fan of prior to her arrival, and bringing home the gold USA Basketball in the 2008 Olympics she has had so many noteworthy accolades in her career thus far. So yes, my #1 pick for Top 5 Powerhouses is naturally my favorite WNBA player.
|Photo cred. Jevone Moore|
F - Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
Earning the title for WNBA's MVP for the 2015-2016 season (3rd from the franchise to do so following Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie) and having just earned a spot on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in 2017, Nneka has made her mark in professional basketball. Not only is she a player with so much passion, the right amount of aggression, and a killer work ethic, her stats say it all; averaging a smooth 19 points per game, shooting a little over 60% from the field, ranking third in the league for rebounding and scoring, and that's only a partial summary. It helps that she has an even more dynamic team on the hardwood with her and a league of notable Sparks alumni to support. This past season, the team earned the No. 2 seed in the 2016 WNBA Playoffs and pulling off a 26-8 record this season with 11 consecutive wins.
|Photo cred. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports|
SF - Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
Maya Moore is also I player that I feel a sort of connection to and a player that my family has personally endorsed. Being the no. 1 draft pick in 2011, she's the only player other than Candace Parker whose career I'd been following since their college ball days. She definitely hit the hardwood as a powerhouse, leading her team to 36-2 record her freshman season and consistently delivering a stellar athleticism each season during her reign at the University of Connecticut. Obviously, it didn't end there; the Lynx made 3 consecutive WNBA finals once she arrived and she helped them achieve their best record in franchise history. She was also the first player in WNBA history to lead the league with 3-pt field goals/shooting percentage. There's a reason why she was the first female basketball player to ever sign to Jordan (brand), which-aside from overall stats-is pretty dope. And she's from Georgia! See, connected.
|Photo cred. Marcus Ohlsson-Nike|
PG - Skylar Diggins, Dallas Wings (Tulsa Shock)
Standing at a mere 5'9", Skylar Diggins has easily become an athlete that I just cannot get enough of. She's absolutely gorgeous, but her athletic abilities make her even more special. Her freshman year at Notre Dame, not only did she start in 30/35 games, but she was the fourth in team history to score over 400 points as a freshman and accumalate100 assists in a debut season. Averaging only 8.5 ppg in 2013, only to turn around in the following scoring 20.1 ppg, was the first testament that she was ready to work.
|image source via Sports Illustrated|
SG/SF - Elena "Delle" Donne, Chicago Sky (recently traded to Washington Mystics)
For someone who has overcome a great deal of adversity, Elena "Delle" Donne consistently makes name for who she is athletically. After graduating from the University of Delaware, she was selected 2nd overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft to Chicago Sky and scored 22 points in her debut game as a rookie, leading the team to a 102-80 victory against the Phoenix Mercury. The same season, she became the first rookie to be voted into the 2013 WNBA All-Star game. Having earned MVP and scoring a career high 45 points in an OT win against the Atlanta Dream in 2015, she continues to prove her value on and off the court.