Joe Twitter might sound tough when he’s making bold proclamations about women’s basketball online, but put him on a court and he’ll get dominated. WNBA teams routinely square off against all-male practice squads during practice, and the women are much better than the men, according to Natalie Weiner of SB Nation.
All-male practice squads are the norm in the WNBA. Teams are not allowed to have women on the practice squad because those teams could use the squad to develop future players.
The men on the Connecticut Sun practice squad are well aware of all the criticism that gets lobbed at women’s basketball online, but they know it’s all completely false.
“I just laugh,” says 30-year-old Garvin McAlister, who is an assistant coach at Post University, a DII school in Waterbury. He’s been on the Sun practice squad for years, and knows better than most just how implausible those online claims to on-the-court dominance really are. “I’m like, ‘You will get killed, what are you talking about?’”
For some members of the practice squad, that feeling doesn’t exist initially. Wes Murphy — who has been a member of the squad since college — said he was surprised at how good the women were during his first practice with the team. Murphy said the women could tell you what they were going to do on the court, and there was no way to stop them.
Jason Pelham, who was trying out for the Sun practice squad, still gets grief from the high schoolers he coaches because he played against the UConn women’s team in practice while in college, as Weiner explained.
“I’ll tell them, ‘Alright, you guys laugh, but one of these girls could come in here and beat every last one of you,” he says. “Any DI women’s player is extremely fundamentally sound, and that’s where you can get easy points and take advantage of people. You kind of have to humble yourself, put your pride aside and realize these are the most talented women basketball players in the world.”
Given that trolls will be trolls, the ignorant and stubborn comments about women’s basketball are unlikely to stop. For some, the only way to get them to reverse course would be to get them on a court with a WNBA player.
Based on the comments from the Sun practice squad players, that might not end well for the trolls.
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