In 1995, two events happened that changed my world.
The first happened in March. On a wonderful night, and day, and then night, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My role that day was to not get in the way too much, although to this day she reminds of the part where she wanted her head raised and I hit every other button on the bed control BUT the head raise. It looked like something out of a cartoon, but hey, I get sent to breakfast after that so it wasn't all bad!
The second happened a month later, when Rebecca Lobo and Jen Rizzotti helped shake up the women's basketball world, leading the UConn Huskies to their first national championship. Being in Connecticut, it was impossible to miss the story, and not become captivated.
I admit it; I was one of those anti-women's basketball types, that there was no way the women could play the game like the men. Well I was right. The women CAN'T play the game like men. They play it DIFFERENT. Not better, not worse, different. And it is an exciting, captivating, thrilling sport. I was hooked.
The two events will always be intertwined for me. Maybe it's because I have a daughter, who is an athlete, but I have become a big advocate for women's sports and women's rights. Thanks to so many incredible women, starting with my wife, I can tell my daughter with 100% conviction in my heart and soul that she can do whatever she wants, and be whatever she wants.
When the Orlando Miracle moved to Connecticut, it was a natural progression for my family to become season ticket holders of the Connecticut Sun. While my daughter collected every possible piece of memorabilia (http://www.wnba.com/sun/news/siforkidsroom.html), I talked to players and coaches and gathered information. I became a founding poster on the now infamous RebKell board, and when Abigail Hull offered me a job writing for www.off-court.com I jumped on it. It was busy, it was fun, and it was a beginning.
Jaye Reese and The Wiz became familiar with me, and invited me to join Women's Streaming Talk Radio, and host an hour weekly internet radio show on www.wstrradio.com on women's basketball. Saying yes was easy, designing the show was not so easy, and the hardest thing of all, was coming up with a name.
I thought about what makes me love basketball, and one thing in particular jumped out at me, the wonderful sound the cords of a net make when a ball effortlessly slides through without touching iron, like on a Diana Taurasi or Tina Thompson jump shot. Swish!
And I went back to my 1995 resources. I asked my daughter for advice. Yes, I'm in my mid-forties, and I do ask my fifteen year old for advice sometimes, I admit it. Hopefully, she in turn asks me for advice when it's REALLY important. She told me "Dad, you're going to be dishing out info right? How about using that?" It fit so perfectly....Dishin' and Swishin'. A show, and now a column, was born.
We'll talk Women's Hoops here. I'll write some, but I hope, more importantly, you'll listen to the audio I'll have in this section of Swish Appeal. No one can tell the stories of the game better than those that create them. So we'll have pieces of my interviews for WSTR on here. I hope it inspires you to go listen to the show each week. It's on every Wednesday, beginning at 1 pm ET. Just click on the play button, and it will start from the beginning whenever you want to listen on Wednesdays.
Some of my guests in the past months have included Chantelle Anderson, Angela Taylor, Renee Montgomery, Kara Lawson, and Nneka Ogwumike. Full features were devoted to the NCAA tourney with some of the best writers in the country, including Jayda Evans, Mel Greenburg, Wendy Parker, John Altavilla and Kris Gardner. And my favorite show, the one I am most proud of, was a very special show on The Pink Zone and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
This week we will have the Greatest of All Time on, the latest member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, Cynthia Cooper.
And we're just getting rolling.