Hey there, Swish Appeal.
My name is Sabreena Merchant, and I am joining this site for what I hope is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
First, a bit about myself. I have been a part of SB Nation since 2018 as a contractor for Clips Nation and Silver Screen & Roll, writing and podcasting about the Clippers and Lakers. At that time, I was also covering the WNBA for a few outlets, including Women’s Hoops World, High Post Hoops, The Athletic, and Dime Magazine.
I joined SB Nation full-time in February 2020, focusing mainly on the NBA while also creating a permanent home for Los Angeles Sparks coverage at Silver Screen & Roll and contributing WNBA pieces at the dotcom. Over these last two years, I’ve also spent time covering soccer, football, hockey, and college sports; basically, if a team exists in Los Angeles, chances are I have written about it for SBN.
Although I consider myself a sports fan at large (though basketball is my first and truest love), and really enjoy the breadth of topics I have been able to cover at SB Nation, over the past year, it became clear to me there was one item I was more passionate about than anything else: women’s sports. When I first got into journalism, I was worried about being pigeonholed into covering women because I am a woman, but that was the wrong way of thinking about it. I like writing about female athletes in part because of what we inherently have in common. The struggles that women in society face are just as applicable in sports, and those stories are fascinating to learn and to tell.
And yet, because of my other obligations here, I never got to devote as much time to the the WNBA as I would have liked. I am happy that our Sparks beat managed to cover almost every game these past two years and that our California team followed UCLA and Stanford women’s basketball through the NCAA Tournament last year, but I wish I could have done more.
That wish has been granted!
As of today, I am a full-time part of Swish Appeal. Women’s basketball is the end-all and be-all of my responsibilities at SB Nation. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and equally delighted that the company is investing more in WBB. Over the years, SB Nation has covered the women’s game (I see you, Matt Ellentuck) but this is the first time in the company’s history an employee has this beat as a primary and sole responsibility. You may see me pop up in various places talking about the NBA, but those are side projects. This is the number one job.
While it’s too soon to get into all the details, I’m excited about the ideas we’re tossing around for how to take our WBB coverage into some new and exciting directions. Zack already does a great job leading this site, and Avery, Cat, Edwin, Eric, and Zachary are all fantastic in their coverage; I’m happy that I get to support them and together, we can dream even bigger.
WBB never stops. WNBA free agency is already here, Athletes Unlimited and EuroLeague are powering through their seasons, the NCAA Tournament is fast approaching, and we’re going to do our very best to make sure Swish Appeal is a place where you can fan out for all of it.
It’s a great time to be a basketball fan, and there’s no place I’d rather be covering this sport than here.