Thursday, March 1, 2012

Katie Smith, 2008 WNBA Championship MVP

I went to Logan, Ohio High School to do a concert in the spring of 1992 and my concert ended up being a celebration for the girl's basketball team's trip to the state finals, where they were a proud runner-up. I left Logan a part of Katie Smith's extended family.

I have followed my sistah, Katie, through a trip with the Ohio State University to the NCAA finals in 1993, we celebrated two ABL championships with the Columbus Quest in 1997-98. I have sent her love with USA Basketball in Sidney, on crutches in Athens and victoriously in Beijing.

My Columbus brotha' Bill Dancey and I had tix for Monday, October 6, 2008, at The Palace in Auburn Hills, but instead, we replayed Sunday's match and wept in joy as our sistahs of the Detroit Shock swept game three of the 2008 WNBA Finals. Katie, your extended family in Central Ohio sends our love to you in this proud moment; we'll have hugs and kisses for you when you get back to North High Street.

The 2008 WNBA Season is over, my tears of joy are shed because now, my sistahs get a while to rest the aching bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and sleep in their own beds for a few weeks, before their journeys to make a living in sports continue with travel overseas. I love the game, every team and every player that participates in this sporting entertainment that gives such joy to our extended, women's basketball family.

I just wish our family was larger; that the tens of millions that worship Kobe, LeBron, Kevin, Tim and the NBA, would embrace the same passion that comes to the court with Candice Parker, Lisa Leslie, Katie, Deanna "Tweetie" Nolan, Beckie Hammond, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi. But because our mighty WNBA Army remains small, it's mocked by small minds and overlooked by sports media.

I am a world traveled professional musician, a pilot, scuba diver and published author, but there is nothing more exciting in my life than women's basketball. The 2008 USA Basketball/WNBA season was the best; no ifs, ands or buts.

My personal MVP Award is shared by Katie, Ann Wauters and Taj McWilliams-Franklin; three mighty warriors.

Arnett Howard
, at the end of the 2008 WNBA season

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