Sports/Opinion: Rangeview’s under representation of female athletes

Feature Photo By: Toli Geshow – Sophomore Brianna Linnear attempts to make a free throw shot during the red and white game. The ladies have a game tomorrow at Vista Peak starting at 12:00pm.

By: Toli Geshow, Review Staff

When we think about basketball, the picture that typically comes into mind is a man tomahawking while being 40+ feet above the ground, or a man with killer handles that could possibly be on an “AND1” commercial.

Yet in reality, about 2.9 million athletes in the United States identify as a female.

Here’s the breakdown of female athletes who play basketball according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association:

  • 430,368 women play high school basketball.
  • 16,532 women play basketball in the NCAA.
  • 147 women play basketball in the WNBA.

Basketball, like any other sport, has a tendency to unite people together to play and enjoy the sport. No matter what stage the game is played in, viewers appreciate the work the put in.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case when gender is brought into the conversation. Some young females say, basketball is an environment where they can get away from reality for 32 minutes, but many of them feel that those problems carry out on the court.

“I feel like the girls deserve a lot of respect for the things they accomplish,” said junior Siaosi Vakafuhu, “I feel like they don’t receive enough recognition.”

During, the red and white game the lady Raiders prepare to catch the rebound form the free throw. The ladies have an overall record of 11-4. (Toli Geshow)

Here at Rangeview, the basketball program is heavily dominated by boys –even though our girls do their share and represent the school. Many Lady Raiders have noticed this and have become disconnected from the student body.

Senior Guard Zahla Neal-Coleman said, “When it comes to the games, our stands are empty while the boys’ stands are full and the crowd’s jumping but either way we come out with a win and do what we have to do to make the playoffs.”

The Lady Raiders have had quite a season so far with an 11-3 record while being undefeated in their conference with a 4-0 record. Compared to previous years, the girl’s team has become versatile and capable to compete with the likes of Highlands Ranch, Vista Peak, and Regis Jesuit.

“An audience is always a challenge even to the elite level. That’s part of what makes attracting people important.” Rangeview’s principal Ronald Fay said, “ Where are we seeing people that are really special doing unique things? We have a really great basketball team, but are they doing things besides winning that are drawing the crowd in.”

That’s what makes this discussion so hard, the fact that due to the physical prowess of women, which is clearly out of their control, they are criticized for not performing at the level of men.

I propose that we create a social media page that highlights the girls’ team as much as the boys’ team.

If you search Rangeview on Twitter, the results are not girls team, but rather a high representation of men. Although the girls’ team has a social media page, they have one post from 2015. People mainly follow Rangeview Hoops. Specifically, the boys’ page has a hundred times more followers than the girls’ team.

I’m not saying that they are the only unrepresented team, but the comparison between the gender-related sport is nonexistent.

Women are the definition of sports. I truly believe that female basketball players will break the gap between men and themselves showcase why they are important too.

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