I have to admit that I really didn’t pay attention to the WNBA. I think the last time I was interested with the league is when Cheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson and the Houston Comets had a dynasty and won 4 straight championships (1997-2000). After that I lost interest and it seemed like the league was beginning to disintegrate because teams were folding (like the Comets, Charlotte Sting and Miami Sol) or was relocating (like the Detroit Shock [now Tulsa Shock] and Utah Starzz [now San Antonio Silver Stars]).
Now the WNBA and ESPN signed a six-year extension on a broadcast deal where a total of 30 games would be shown each season on ESPN networks. The campaign for the 2013 season – 3 To See – that featured the three new rookies that are sure to raise the WNBA to the next level – Skylar Diggins (Shock), Elena Della Donne (hometown Chicago Sky) and Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury). It looks like they are starting the season off as expected.
In their debut, Griner and Delle Donne made their mark. Britney Griner got the dunks, becoming the first WNBA player to do it twice in one game. Elena Delle Donne had the better game and got the beatdown against the player picked ahead of her in the draft.
Delle Donne outplayed No. 1 overall draft Brittney Griner and had one of the best rookie debuts in WNBA history, scoring 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the Chicago Sky to a 102-80 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Monday.
The national TV audience tuned in to see Griner dunk she didn’t disappoint, throwing down a one-hander early in the fourth quarter and a vicious two-handed in the closing minutes. That put her in select company, joining Candace Parker (twice) and Lisa Leslie as the only WNBA players to dunk in a regular-season game. As always you probably seen the dunks in the ESPN’s highlight rotation.
Led by Delle Donne’s 16 points, Chicago took advantage of Griner’s early foul trouble and raced out to a 24-point lead halftime lead.
Griner finished with solid numbers in her debut: 17 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and two history-making dunks.
*Shoutout to WNBA for the vid!