With toughness and grit, WNBA players embody American values at their purest

Las Vegas Aces star and 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year A'ja Wilson - Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been a sports fan since I was a kid. I loved the competition and lived and died with my team, pining for those championships. And when my teams didn’t win that championship, there was always the next season, when everything reset and new dreams began.

As I got older, I found that as exhilarating as it was to watch my team win a championship, there was a bit of a letdown in the offseason. That same reset that gave hope for a championship also was a reminder that the championship is short-lived. All that hard work and magic that created a champion would be reset the following season.

I began looking for more meaning in the sports I loved.

I became attracted to the backstories and culture of sports. Tom Ziller, originally with "Sactown Royalty" and now with "Good Morning It’s Basketball" was a great link to these stories, whether through his writing or links to writings by others. Through these links and writings, discovered the wonderful world of the WNBA.

The W was very interesting to read about but there was little access to the games. For me, the nearest WNBA team was seven hours away and there wasn’t much of a TV schedule. In an early June 2018 newsletter, Ziller pointed out that a WNBA League Pass subscription was only $20 for the season.

I signed up, and it was like an invitation to this magnificent secret club.

I became a Las Vegas Aces fan, partly because it was their first year in Vegas and my first year as a fan, and partly because of the buzz of excitement around this team, particularly rookie A’ja Wilson. I watched as many games as I could, began to learn about players from other teams and became a fan of those teams as well.

And then the cherry on top was the Seattle Storm-Phoenix Mercury Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals. What a freaking game!

The biggest thing that has captivated me about the WNBA, though, is the grit and toughness.

These players are fighters. From fighting for victories, fighting for better coverage, fighting for better travel arrangements, fighting for better pay to fighting for equality. It amazes me that this league that so represents American values at their purest, receives so little credit and publicity. The W now has me hook, line and sinker.

Thanks to Tom Ziller for relentlessly putting the WNBA in front of me and Thank You to Swish Appeal for giving me a place to share my fandom.

Long live the W!