Steve Garagiola: The other Final Four


DETROIT – With all the drama of Michigan State making it to the men’s basketball Final Four, the other Final Four has been overshadowed.

Okay, that’s an understatement. The women’s basketball Final Four is ignored by many, virtually nonexistent to most -- and that’s a shame. 

I have to admit my own ignorance many years ago. Before my younger daughter took up basketball, and then played in high school, I would have joined the chorus of skeptics: No way could the girls’ game be as exciting as the boys. That sort of bias is pretty common in America. I was wrong. Though her team never came close to a state championship, we had more than our share of drama over four years. Those girls could hoop.

I have continued to follow women’s college basketball, though my daughter ended her career with high school graduation. She took up rugby in college. That’s a whole different story. 

True enough, maybe I wouldn’t follow the women’s college game if Notre Dame’s women weren’t so good. The N.D. men haven’t made a Final Four since Jimmy Carter was president. But the women are an elite bunch. They won the National Championship last year and (as of this writing) will play in the championship game again with a good chance to repeat. 

I also want to mention a young woman who, this week, stole the show at the NCAA women’s 3-point competition. Presley Hudson (a four-year star at Central Michigan University) won the event with a shooting clinic the likes of which no one has ever seen. She made 77 of 100 three-point shots. That’s nuts! No one (male or female) at any level has put on a show like that. Presley now hopes to take her game to the WNBA.

True enough, in women’s basketball you don’t see the monster slam dunks and power game that you see from the men. But if you say it’s not exciting to watch, I’d bet that you’ve never seen a women’s game at the highest level. You should give it a try.

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