Across professional sports leagues this week, players decided not to play in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The WNBA, which has dedicated this season to the Black Lives Matter movement, did not play their scheduled games on Wednesday or Thursday.
Yesterday, Sue Bird joined Holly Rowe on Sports Center alongside the WNBA player’s association board to talk about the decision and actionable responses to support the movement.
“Affecting change comes in a lot of forms,” said Bird. “As important as it is to be in the streets, to be out protesting, to keep that energy up, we have to take that energy to the polls.”
Bird and other former Huskies in the bubble have been using this season, alongside their teammates, to expand their platforms in the fight for social justice.
Outside of the wubble, former Huskies have also been leaders in the fight for social justice. Maya Moore has taken the past two seasons off to fight for criminal justice. Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes chose to opt out this season to focus on fighting for social justice reform.
The league’s actions have not gone unnoticed by current UConn players as well. Christyn Williams expressed her excitement to be a part of the WNBA in the future, because they stand for so much off the court as well.
The @WNBA is something I can’t wait to be a part of. They stand for so much more than just hooping. I love to see it— Christyn Williams (@christyn2000) August 27, 2020
With games set to resume on Friday, here’s a few other UConn updates from around the league:
Sue Bird has once again been sidelined with a knee injury. While Seattle did not miss a beat during Bird’s battle with a similar injury earlier this season, the Storm dropped two of their last three without her on the court. Morgan Tuck is also out for Seattle with a knee injury of her own.
Elsewhere in the league, Moriah Jefferson added a knee injury to the long list of ailments she’s suffered during her injury-riddled WNBA career. The injury is similar in nature to the right knee injury she just recovered from right before the season started, and will require surgery that will sideline her for the rest of the season.
Crystal Dangerfield still leading the Rookie of the Year race
Dangerfield continues to shine in the starting point guard role for Minnesota and is strengthening her Rookie of the Year resume in the process. She’s scoring over 14 points a game for the Lynx and shooting over 46 percent from the floor, a stat line that has pretty good history in the Rookie of the Year race:
I've been jumping on that Crystal Dangerfield for Rookie of the Year bandwagon...so here's a list of all the #WNBA rookies to ever average 14+ pts per game on at least 46% shooting (@WBBTimeline)— Calvin Wetzel (@cwetzel31) August 24, 2020
All of them in this millennium won Rookie of the Year (and all were 6-2+)#CD4ROY pic.twitter.com/6cuwQflta2
Dangerfield is also averaging 3.2 assists from deep, shooting 37 percent from deep and leads all rookies in Win Shares with 1.3 so far this season, which also ranks in the top 25 in the league.