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Sweet! 16 players who competed for teams in the 2019 NCAAW Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen

This Throwback Thursday gallery includes 16 athletes who once played for each of the teams in this year’s Sweet Sixteen, including Jennifer Azzi, Brittney Griner and Jackie Stiles. Also in ‘Hoops Happening’ this week: Breanna Stewart, Fran Belibi and more from the world of women’s basketball!

Jennifer Azzi
Jennifer Azzi, Stanford standout from 1987-90

From 64 teams to 32 to 16, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament field is narrowing and becoming more exciting by the day! When the action of the Sweet Sixteen round tips off tomorrow (Friday, March 29, ESPN and ESPN2), underdog players and teams will rise up to make sure everyone knows their names. Stalwarts of collegiate women’s basketball, meanwhile, will cement their legacies.

So, what better way — on Throwback Thursday, no less — to celebrate players that constructed illustrious NCAAW careers before going on to excel at the professional and/or international levels as well?

Sweet! 16 players who competed for teams in the 2019 NCAAW Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen

The notable players from each of the Sweet Sixteen schools are (in alphabetical order):

NCAAW Sweet Sixteen Schedule

Friday, March 29

Saturday, March 30

Scorching the status quo

From choosing accused rapist Kobe Bryant as a spokesperson for NCAA women’s basketball to sending out social media posts that refuse to acknowledge the existence of the women’s tournament, the NCAA has been getting a two-thumbs down response from many in the world of women’s basketball.

Making matters worse, local television news stations are not covering the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in many markets, while national outlets have committed similarly egregious basketball sins by airing the men’s tournament on the major networks, like CBS, and sticking all of the women’s games on ESPN channels.

And we haven’t even touched on the botched NCAAW bracket reveal by ESPNU.

2018 WNBA champion, league MVP and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart is among the chorus of voices expressing disdain. Via tweet, Stewart expressed a common sentiment that often is uttered about the WNBA as well: the disrespect the league shows the game, and a license for the population at-large to disrespect the game.

Stewart had a legendary NCAAW run while at UConn, surely bringing in a lot of television dollars with the Huskies’ tournament appearances. At minimum, the NCAA owes its players women’s players a public apology for its discriminatory treatment of the women’s game as well as a plan for equitable treatment moving forward.

Elsewhere in the world of women’s basketball

Stanford-bound Fran Belibi wowed the crowd at the JamFest dunk contest ...

And won.


  • Holly Warlick’s seven-year career at Tennessee is over. She was fired after her Lady Volunteers failed to make this year’s Sweet Sixteen.
  • Georgia Tech fired MaChelle Joseph after the school’s “investigation” revealed she had been abusive to players. Joseph tells a very different story, however — that she was fired out of retaliation because she spoke up about gender inequities within the programs.
  • Tennessee recruit Jordan Horston won the McDonald’s All-American MVP award. (Reminder: Maori Davenport was left off the team after missing the majority of her high school season through no fault of her own.)

We all have something to fight for. Something that calls us to lead. The question is, How will you get it done? -Captain Marvel