BASN Women’s Basketball Spotlight

By Richard Kent
Updated: February 18, 2008

CONNECTICUT — We have it in football with the Dallas Cowboys. We have it in baseball with the New York Yankees. We have it in college football with Notre Dame. So why not women’s basketball?

Here is a vote for Rutgers as America’s team and here are the reasons.

Last year, there was that heartbreaking call against the Scarlet Knights which almost caused them to lose to Duke with less than a second on the clock. Then there was the whole Imus situation which led to Rutgers appearing on the cover of Newsweek.

Unheard of for a women’s college basketball team. America got to see the quality and fiber of the Rutgers players. Essence Carson emerged as the leader in the absolute definition of scholar-athlete; articulate, bright, and talented musician and a great college basketball player with a WNBA future.

She might even be a broadcaster some day. Watch out Doris Burke.

Then there was the travesty of the Stanford game this season when Epiphanny Prince was called for a foul with one-tenth of a second to go and with the ball 90 feet from the basket.

The latest saga involves the win against Tennessee which turned out to be a loss, because time stood still.

We all know about the difficult life that head coach Vivian Stringer has lived, especially with the tragic death of her husband one Thanksgiving and that story will be chronicled in a book which will be coming out in March for all of America to read.

Rutgers is a timeless story. You want to root for Carson, Prince, Matee Ajavon and Kia Vaughn because they have been so close and yet so far away from taking all the marbles in the NCAA’s in their very illustrious careers.

Time is running out. Both Carson and Ajavon are seniors. This could be the year for the Scarlet Knights. They have already beaten UConn, the most complete team in the country. They “beat” Tennessee and own wins against LSU, Pittsburgh and California.

Rutgers is battle-tested and ready for the NCAA’s. They have faced eight out of the top ten teams in this country. More importantly, they have a story to tell. It is written on the faces of their players and their coaches.

That story may or may not unfold in March and into April in Tampa. Even if it doesn’t we know there is a great women’s basketball story in New Brunswick, New Jersey.