Phoenix Mercury guard Ketia Swanier will be spending the off-season working with her organization Ketia4Kidz. (Photo by Craig Bennett/112575 Media)
There is no doubt that we live in a cynical world. There is so much going on, and a lot of it isn't good. We use sports as an alternative; a distraction. A way to separate ourselves from the "real world" at times, and enjoy the competition, skills and game.
However many of the women that play in the WNBA don't just bury their heads in the sand and pretend that there is nothing going on in the world. They are active in charities, have their own foundations, give freely of time, energy and money. It is one of the things that makes these women so important, in my opinion, and why we need them and the WNBA to be there, to be role models for the youth of today, the people that need to make a difference.
Many know about the work done by Tamika Catchings and Sylvia Fowles, both currently nominated for prestigious awards for their charitable work. But there are so many others.
With the Dishin & Swishin show, I try not only to concentrate on the "on the court" activities, but the "off the court" as well. This week's show, which will be posted on www.wstrradio.com after 1 pm ET today (Wednesday 10/20), covers that so well. Not only did I talk to Kentucky women's basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell & his star Victoria Dunlap and NY Liberty legend & Fan Development Leader Kym Hampton, I also talked to WNBA players making a difference.
This weekend both Sophia Young of the San Antonio Silver Stars and Ketia Swanier of the Phoenix Mercury are leading events/activities that are raising money for those that need it the most...children.
Sophia became involved with Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives (http://www.rmya.org) a couple of years ago. It has become a cause that is clearly important to her, and this Saturday, 10/23 in San Antonio, Sophia will be hosting the Sophia Young Stars 'N Style Charity Fashion Show. I talked to her about the event and the organization.
Ketia, a self-proclaimed "military brat" has her own foundation, Ketia4Kidz, with the goal of making life easier for the children of military personnel. I knew the cause, but until she actually talked about having her father deployed to Iraq while she was in High school, the cold reality facing these kids never really sunk in. This Saturday, 10/23, Ketia is putting her basketball skills to good use, hosting a camp at her old school in Columbus, Georgia. The Phoenix Mercury think so much of Ketia and her endeavor that Ann Meyers-Drysdale will be flying in to be a special guest. I talked to Ketia about her foundation and the event.
Finally, if you will allow me a second to promote something near and dear to my own heart. I have been an ardent supporter of breast cancer awareness, as I feel anyone involved with the support of a woman's sport in particular needs to be. Not nearly enough time and effort goes into finding a cure for this horrible disease, but the Kay Yow Cancer Fund arm of the Jimmy V Foundation gives 100% of the money it raises to cancer research. I am currently nearing the end of my own personal "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign, where the money raised through my page will go to the Kay Yow Fund. Unfortunately, with about 10 days to go, I'm only at 20% of my goal of $2,000. I NEED YOUR HELP. If you can, please contribute. If you can't please go to my page linked here, and Become a Fan. The pages with the most fans go to the front page of razoo.com and get more publicity for their cause. Thank you.
My Real Men Wear Pink page: