The University of Illinois’s female basketball squad knows something about slam dunks. To the team’s chagrin, though, they’ve only ever been on the receiving end. In November 2000, at the Maui Invitational in Hawaii, Tennessee standout Michelle Snow slammed the ball through the hoop against the faltering Illini. The dunk capped off an impressive first half for a dominant Volunteers squad that went on to win the game 111–62.
The first woman in NCAA history to record a dunk was Georgeann Wells, the West Virginia Mountaineer who threw down in 1984. This week, LSU’s Sylvia Fowles joined Wells, Snow, Charlotte Smith (North Carolina), Sancho Lyttle (Houston) and Candace Parker (Tennessee) in a club exclusive to women who have dunked in an NCAA game.
The bottom line is that women’s hoops is way under represented in our culture, and especially in these towns, because of a real obsession with men’s hoops. Despite the fact that they shoot better, commit less turnovers and generally, have a better respect for the game, women’s basketball suffers at the expense of their “inferior” body size and most importantly, because they simply can’t present the crowds with any court shattering dunks or Alley Oops.
I will be the first to say that I don’t enjoy women’s basketball as much as I enjoy the men’s. But I am trying.
The University of Illinois’ Women’s Basketball team is set to start rebuilding their program this fall under the guidance of new coach Jolette Law. After a relatively disappointing run under Hall of Fame coach Theresa Grentz, the Illini are out to a 3-1 start this year and are hoping to return to post season play as soon as possible.
Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for clips like these.