The Senior Women's National Team had a very good run in the London Olympics this summer and despite the losing out on a medal, the outcome should be taken as a sign of not only improvement but a glimpse into the future of the program for our young ladies. Can Ball Ray takes a look at what the Games could mean in the long run ...
The Senior Women's National Team may have ended their run at the London Olympics this past Tuesday against the US but I think there is a victory to be taken away.
The ladies had done a pretty damn god job getting to the Olympics in spite of some pretty heavy opposition. Now I'm not saying that there were forces against them but there is a general lack of support, both financial and non financial alike I would say. Basketball isn't the glamour team sport that say hockey is, particularly when it comes to anything women related so getting to where they went is pretty damn remarkable.
The team happened to not only make it to London but they also stayed in every game that they played leading up to the game against the American gold medalists. They had won two games and were close to winning two others. They had stayed within single digits to against the eventual Bronze medal Australians before succumbing. Their run was definitely memorable and showed that the National Program is turning out some very good female ballers.
This Olympic run is what our up and coming females in the game needed to see.
It may have been the swan song for a few of the players as Olympic athletes, and possibly even program players, but the victory that I was alluding to earlier is that our young females will see that there is success to be had.
In a landscape that celebrates the men's sport above all, this was the injection that our young players and country overall needed. The basketball community, like the overall sports community, can be a little short sighted in light of the lack of success that our Men's National Program has been enduring the last few summers. And with almost all the media coverage centered around the men in both in and out of season, it's easy to forget that our women's program is developing.
How many of you out there thought of the Senior Women's program before they reached the Olympics? How many of you could name five players on the team before the now? More importantly how many of our media outlets, major or otherwise, had any idea who these ladies were that had worked the last four years to get to where they ended up?
This Olympic run is just what the doctor ordered for our country to realize that our ladies are worthy of not only media attention and accolades but also respect both at home and in the world.
Our National Program is churning out players, there is no doubt about that. And it's about time that the success has helped to illustrate that this is now the truth and not the hope.
Thank you ladies for sticking with the vision of the Olympic goal in spite of the minimal support, the lack of media coverage and proverbial deck stacked against you.
This will mean that the next goal for the program, after a climb in the FIBA world rankings, will be a similar and possibly improved showing at the World Championships. The team will likely not be the same with some players either retiring or moving on but what will be certain is that there will be new blood on the roster.
And that future success, as with others, will be rooted in this success of the women who played in London.