Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Basketball Women by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

It should not matter what your appearance is, if you’re good enough for the job, you should be given the opportunity to excel at it.  However, throughout time, stereotypes have been built into our minds, that something should appear a certain way.  What is acceptable and what is not, is ingrained in our retinas.  Our perception of successful is present whether we are the one interviewing for the job, or the one doing the hiring.  However, every now and then, something, or someone comes along and changes our entire perception of how we view the world along with the individuals who operate inside of it.  

Basketball has always been at the forefront when it comes to social issues and the NBA has done an outstanding job throughout the years of being progressive in these areas, being one of the most diverse workplaces you can find.

This past week marked a notable milestone for the NBA and for the San Antonio Spurs as they hired Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.  The San Antonio Spurs are known as a no-nonsense franchise that does not do things for publicity stunts.  They didn’t hire Becky Hammon to make headlines, they did it because they believe she is a tremendous coach who will be just as effective as any male coach could be.  

Also, the NBA Players Association recently hired a new boss, a female boss, Michele Roberts.  Michele Roberts will be the first woman to lead a men’s professional sports union.  Yes, a bunch of male athletes filled with testosterone and covered with tattoos, sat down together, voted, and selected a woman to represent their best interests.  

In addition, Violet Palmer is also a long-time female NBA referee who at the moment, is the only female full-time referee in the NBA.  

These recent events in basketball display that there are so many different ways to have an impact on the game.  

Sometimes playing a professionals sport is just not in the cards, but you would still like to be involved in some capacity.  Then there is also that other thing called time.  Time eventually catches up to all athletes, and you have to think about what you are going to do next.  

For many of us, basketball is more than just a game.  It’s an activity that kept us out of trouble as young people, it’s an activity that helped us learn about discipline, it’s an activity that introduced us to a wide range of teammates from all different cultural and social economical backgrounds.  Sports has a way of bringing people together and looking past many of the injustices and flaws that exist in many other areas of society.  

Before you can want to become something, you have to believe it’s possible.  You have to be able to visualize it.  You have to have some type of concrete evidence that you are not crazy, that what you are dreaming can become a reality.  The entire basketball family all over the world thanks Becky Hammon, Michele Roberts, and Violet Palmer for allowing us to imagine the unimaginable.   

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

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