The WNBA announced yesterday that Bethany Donaphin was promoted to head of WNBA League Operations. She played professionally, including two seasons with the New York Liberty, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford and Master’s in business administration from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has previously worked for some of the country’s top corporations.
Donaphin is but the latest example of current and former WNBA players doing big things in other professions, thanks in large part to educational pedigree.
A persistent lack of societal visibility and media attention means women coming into the WNBA must sign up to earn unequal wages for equal work. This reality is behind the high rate with which collegiate women’s basketball players graduate college before entering the pros (with very rare exceptions).
In other words, women basketball players do not have the privilege of skipping out on their schooling. (Yes, this would be male privilege.) To ensure their long- and short-term financial futures, female basketball players graduate in droves, as witnessed in recent weeks.
Many of the top names in the game are college graduates, and many of these women put their skills to work while still playing ball. Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen graduated from University of Minnesota with a degree in sports management; now she is head coach of the U. of Minn. women’s basketball team. Connecticut Suns forward Chiney Ogwumike graduated from Stanford; she recently signed a multi-platform commentator deal with ESPN.
So, thanks in large part to sexism and gender inequality, women basketball players are becoming double and triple threats in a broad spectrum of fields — finding new ways to shine and maximize their potential.
Other happenings in women’s hoops
“True leadership knows no gender.” —Becky Hammon
A reminder that bears repeating.
- Stanford women show they’re the cream of the crop
- What Kevin Garnett’s Area 21 gets right about women’s basketball coverage
- Chicago Sky’s Gabby Williams keeps rookie diary
- Mother’s Day meal idea includes spirited beverage
- Mercury’s DeWanna Bonner has a very clear goal for the 2018 WNBA season
- Lindsay Whalen makes a young Lynx fan’s day
- Holly Rowe discusses cancer battle during Skin Cancer Awareness Month
- May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
- College basketball coach discusses harrowing skin cancer ordeal with graphic photos
- Connecticut Sun waive Tara Buss