Breaking down the NCAA ladies’s championship recreation and match : NPR

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By Calvin S. Nelson

In Sunday’s NCAA remaining, the Iowa Hawkeyes misplaced to the South Carolina Gamecocks. NPR’s Ailsa Chang talks with sports activities journalist Kavitha Davidson concerning the banner 12 months for girls’s faculty basketball.


It has been a banner 12 months for girls’s faculty basketball, and whereas all eyes have been on Caitlin Clarke in yesterday’s NCAA remaining, they noticed her group, the Iowa Hawkeyes, lose. However taking out the South Carolina Gamecocks was by no means going to be straightforward. In any case, they have been undefeated all season. Right here to speak concerning the championship recreation and the match is Kavitha Davidson She’s a sports activities journalist. Welcome.

KAVITHA DAVIDSON: Thanks a lot for having me.

CHANG: Nicely, thanks for being with us. So first, I imply, it has been this wonderful season. Do you’re feeling just like the championship recreation lived as much as that?

DAVIDSON: I believe it completely did. And, you understand, these of us who’ve been watching each of those groups all season noticed precisely what we anticipated. You realize, Caitlin Clark units one other document – I do not know what number of are left, frankly…

CHANG: (Laughter).

DAVIDSON: …Scoring 18 factors in that first quarter. And South Carolina simply confirmed how dominant they’re and why they’re undefeated and actually took over that second half.

CHANG: And that is the third nationwide title for the Gamecocks below coach Daybreak Staley, proper? Like, what are you able to inform us about her teaching model and all of the success that she’s had with this group?

DAVIDSON: It’s. So it is the third title that she’s obtained below her belt. It is the second that they’ve received within the final three years. Within the final three years, the Gamecocks have misplaced a complete of three video games. You realize, while you use the phrase dominant, it is – you understand, it is actually onerous to…

CHANG: Yeah.

DAVIDSON: …Overstate how dominant this group has been. You realize, and it is exceptional what they have been capable of do. They misplaced all of their starters from final 12 months and nonetheless didn’t lose a beat, and that may be a credit score to Daybreak Staley, the way in which that she recruits, the respect she has of her group. Clearly, she’s obtained one of many biggest basketball minds that we have ever seen. However she stated one thing attention-grabbing yesterday about her recruiting, which was the second-most essential factor she appears for when bringing gamers into South Carolina – is how their relationship is with their dad and mom as a result of what she stated was…


DAVIDSON: …If I’ve gamers who respect their dad and mom, they will respect our group.

CHANG: Nicely, I do wish to discuss Caitlin Clark, regardless that her group did not clinch the championship. It was Caitlin Clark’s final collegiate recreation final night time. She’s shifting on to the WNBA. And I noticed that after the sport, Coach Staley congratulated Iowa on, you understand, an excellent season, after which she personally thanked Caitlin Clark for lifting up the game, which was actually cool to see. How would you describe Clark’s affect on ladies’s basketball at this level?

DAVIDSON: Yeah. I imply, once more, like, she’s damaged the entire information. She is essentially the most prolific scorer, males’s or ladies’s, that the school recreation has ever seen. And it actually will communicate to her legacy, how a lot she has executed for the ladies’s recreation, for girls’s hoops and for school hoops. Now, I do wish to say that, you understand, as generational a expertise as she is, ladies’s basketball has had – for many years – the expertise and the superstars, however we’ve not had the entry to them. They have not been placed on tv. They have not been featured on “SportsCenter.” So she got here round at precisely the suitable time when the folks accountable for these varieties of choices have lastly come to the desk with, you understand, the funding that’s now being put into the programming choices, the advertising of those video games. And, you understand, these of us who’ve advocated for girls’s sports activities for years have stated very merely, should you put ladies’s sports activities on tv, folks will watch. And that is what we’re seeing now.

CHANG: Yeah. That was Kavitha Davidson, sports activities journalist and co-author of the guide “Loving Sports activities When They Do not Love You Again: Dilemmas Of The Fashionable Fan.” Thanks a lot, Kavitha.



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