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If "Basketball is Basketball", Should WNBA Players Compete in the NBA 3-Point Contest?

In the NCAA three point championships during March Madness, the winners of the men's and women's shootouts meet in a head-to-head matchup.

Not only have women competed well against the men, but they've won.

Chasing the Title: April 2008
Katie Gearlds got some clips and a mention in the NCAA three point competition. Eventual winner Chioma Nnamaka from Georgia Tech was compared as being strong just like Katie Gearlds last year. She let herself get intimidated by men's winner Darnell Harris and she broke the streak of the women's champion beating the men that was two years running.

So why not have WNBA players compete against the men in the NBA All-Star Weekend three point contest, either mixed into the field or by selecting separate men's and womens champions?

"You know, I think it would be fun," said New York Liberty forward and Haier Shootout participant Nicole Powell in a phone interview with Swish Appeal this morning. "It's just all about promoting basketball, promoting the athletes, promoting the game. And so I think it would be fun and probably enjoyable for the women and the men."

Earlier this morning, Henry Abbot of ESPN's True Hoop wrote about how the NBA currently selects its participants for the three point contest, suggesting that attempts, not percentage, determines who's selected.

How to make the 3-point contest - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
Looking at the invitees, they are volume shooters, for sure. It's nearly a who's who of 3-point field goal attempts in fact. Morrow has shot 166, which is just shy of Pierce (174), and well behind Gallinari (326), Frye (277), Billups (238) and Curry (205). So for Anthony Morrow, who's shooting more 3s per game, and hitting more of them, than Pierce -- I guess the lesson is that he just has to shoot more? "I guess so," he says.

In 34 games last season, Powell hit 77 of 212 attempts in 34 games, making her first in the WNBA in attempts and third in made three pointers. If part of the goal is to promote the athletes, then why not put the best men's and women's volume shooters against one another and see who comes out on top? As with the NCAA, people might just be surprised and maybe it would attract a new fan or two.

"The women gotta show their personalities too and that hey, we're fun off the court, we can do things on the court," said Atlanta Dream forward and All-Star weekend participant Angel McCoughtry in an interview with Swish Appeal. "That opens people up to say, 'Oh alright, she seems cool. She seems alright. Let me come check her out.' That's how it works."

If "Basketball is Basketball", then the more ways the women have to show off their talents on the court, the better.

Related Links:

McCoughtry on playing for celebrity assistant coach Mario Lopez.

Powell on the value of WNBA players participating in NBA All-Star weekend.