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She got game


In what could prove a significant step in the evolution of women’s athletics, a high school girls basketball player did more than just compete in a slam dunk contest Monday against five of the nation’s best high school boys players.

Candace Parker, a 6-3 17-year-old from Naperville, Ill., won the event, beating a field of male competitors that included at least two who could be playing in the NBA next season.

“I was saying earlier that I hope 10 years from now this isn’t a big deal,” said Parker, who will play at Tennessee next season. “That would be my dream. That 10 years from now three or four girls enter the dunk contest and it’s not a big deal. It’s not like, ‘Wow, she won.’ I hope that happens.”

You can catch her winning act on ESPN tomorrow night. Surprising as that was, I’m more amazed by this:

The unlikely winner upstaged, at least for the moment, a highly-anticipated McDonald’s All-American boys’ game that will include as many as 12 players who could skip college and enter the NBA draft. Some players have likened the game to an NBA tryout that will determine draft positioning and salaries.

Emphasis mine. Gonzaga may have flamed out in the NCAAs this year, but I still believe that their ability to retain players through their senior years is a competitive advantage.

Via Eric McErlain.

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One Comment

  1. William Hughes says:

    If you think Gonzaga is impressive for keeping players for four years, consider this. Duke not only keeps their players for four years, but several of them got their undergraduate degrees in three. Their fourth year is for graduate studies.

    As for the young woman winning the dunk contest, the fact that’s she’s 17 impresses me as much as the competition she beat to win.