If you've watched the coverage of the WNBA Finals you may be under the impression that Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird single handedly beat the Aces. And believe me, I have retweeted every photo I've seen of Stewie drunk on champagne and Bird & Rapinoe demonstrating gay excellence. But let's take some time to celebrate the rest of these athletes. Here's what to know (or rather, some facts I find charming) about your 2020 WNBA champions:
Alysha Clark goes by "The Eraser" because of her defense, and she was the only unanimous member of the all-WNBA Defensive Team this year. She also plays offense very well, and knows when it's her day to make the big shot, which in my analysis makes her very good at the basketball. If you want proper analysis of her play, she was on Winsidr's film room this year discussing it. If you want a proper recipe for peanut butter popcorn, check out her cooking blog.
Natasha Howard ("The Flash") was Defensive Player of the Year last year and in the running for MVP. This year, she was considered to have an "off" season but averaged 9.5 points and 7 rebounds per game so really she's just being judged on the ridiculously high standard that she set for herself. As seen above, she can make a T-Shirt look very cool, as she also demonstrated when she did this segment with a stylist in a rugrats T-Shirt. Also has maybe made the best celebration video?
You can learn a lot about a person by the company she keeps, and Jewell Loyd ("Gold Mamba") attracts incredible cheerleaders. Her Gold Mamba nickname comes from her mentorship by Kobe Bryant ("He's the first person to ever believe in me before I got into the league") and her mom is the best cheerleader on the internet. She pays its back: here is a very sweet story from fellow Chicago Sky ticket holder Eric Nemchocke about how giving she is of her time. And now you can pay HER back for her insane finals performance because her merch is NOW AVAILABLE, BABY.
Epiphanny Prince is an NYC legend. She holds the record for most points scored in a single girl’s high school basketball game with 113, beating Cheryl Miller's 105 points and Lisa Leslie's 101. Woj got deeply offended about it back in the day for some reason, but at least he didn't title his article "Look Out, Kobe: Girl Scores 113 In HS Game" (not linked on purpose). She's out of high school now, which you can tell because she rocks the slightly grey roots which I think is deeply cool. Her skills have remained.
Sami Whitcomb was not in the finals because she is with her wife in Australia for the birth of their first child. Earlier this season her teammates threw her a Wubble baby shower which is incredibly cute.
Morgan Tuck has been here before with Breanna Stewart. They won a national championship together in college, and in a locker room tradition started by Morgan, they knighted each other afterwards. She says she found the head coach's real sword on day (?) and started asking people if they wanted to be knighted which is incredible. (h/t to Kurtis on twitter for asking whether had Morgan had packed her sword). Also I just learned that Morgan and a few other WNBA players are on cameo - so why not have a new champ give you a pep talk?
Jordin Canada was the starting point guard last year while Sue Bird was out and she led the team to the playoffs last year even with Stewie out as well. So what I'm saying is, it's completely unreasonable that the Storm get to have Canada as their back-up point guard. The photo above is not from the championship but I just wanted to highlight this fantastic jumpsuit she wore to the WNBA draft. Apparantly she is also a great singer and claims that LeBron James wishes he could sing as well as she can.
Ezi Magbegor makes me feel old and lazy. She turned 21 while she was in the Wubble, which she celebrated by painting and making s'mores with her teammates. She is now the second youngest player ever to win the WNBA finals. If that weren't enough, she was going to college full time in the wubble and took literal final exams and played in the WNBA finals in the same week?!?
Crystal Langhorne is a two-time WNBA All-Star and 2009's Most Improved Player. A certified champ, her jersey has already been retired at her college (the first Maryland player to have her jersey raised to the rafters while still active). She became a meme in 2016 which is cracking me up.
Apparently only strangers call Mercedes Russell by her first name. Here's a great article from Percy Allen covering just some of her nicknames: "Slim," "Big," "And 1 Mixtape," "MerSladedezz" and "Bones." If you like baby content, here's her being interviewed by a small child. If you need more adorable content, here's a cute gif of her & Jewell hugging that I don't know how to embed into the blog.