By Mirabelle Megdal
MINNEAPOLIS—On Friday afternoon, a few minutes before the 2018 WNBA All Star practice was going to start, I was standing in the media room just beyond the entrance to the Target Center court.
As Breanna Stewart was walking, she peeked into the media room and said: “Hey guys!”
After she left my dad said: “That was a very Breanna Stewart thing to do!”
I am an eight-year-old girl and I love the WNBA. This past weekend, I not only got to fly to the WNBA All Star Game with my dad, who covers the league—I got to cover it, too!
When we arrived at the hotel Thursday afternoon, we saw A’ja Wilson coming out of the elevator! I was starstruck, but my dad said that a fun thing about all star games is that all the famous all stars are right around us!
The next day when we were at day one of interviews, I had to get used to being around all the all stars fast because i was around all of them in one room—the league let us talk to everyone during the practice. It was so cool to interview a bunch of players with grownups all around me, including my dad! I was doing the interviews to gather information for my story about them.
I started with some basic stuff: I asked what is your shoe size, and who is your best friend on the team? (I also talked to Elena Delle Donne about her book, which I am reading.)
Breanna Stewart said: size 12, and said Sue Bird was her best friend on the team because she is my teammate with the Seattle Storm.
Sue Bird said she is a women’s 9 and her best friend on the team is Diana Taurasi.
Diana Taurasi said she is a size 11 1/2 in basketball shoes and 11 in regular shoes.
And who is her best friend?
“Sometimes it’s BG [Brittney Griner], sometimes it’s DB [DeWanna Bonner],” Taurasi said. “It depends on who scored more points that day.”
All the players were nice, but I especially liked when Sue Bird said to me: “Hard-pressing questions! I like it!” It felt like she was supporting me.
After all star practice, I got to be a photographer and see the players dress up in their favorite styles. This was exciting because I love fashion too!
These are the pictures I took of my favorite outfits and accessories:
Diana Taurasi’s whole outfit
DeWanna Bonner’s purse
Seimone Augustus’ shoes
A’ja Wilson’s off-the-shoulder look
And her shoes
Kayla Mcbride’s dress
Elena Delle Donne’s choker
Allie Quigley’s top
And I thought Chiney Ogwumike’s whole outfit was best of all!
My takeaway from this was that there’s no right way to dress. Everyone is so unique, and I think that is awesome!
By the day of the game, the players felt familiar to me. I was standing next to my dad in a Target Center hallway, and all the players were going to the locker room to get ready for the game. Diana Taurasi walked up to me and asked, “When are you coming to see us?”
“Very soon!”, I answered, knowing before the game, players talk to media.
“Great!” she said, and gave me a high five as she walked away.
After I talked to some more players, it was time to go to hear the president of the WNBA, Lisa Borders, at her press conference. I caught up with her just outside the press conference room, and asked her this: have you talked to ESPN about putting more basketball on TV now that there are more people watching it?
I asked her that because I love the WNBA and I watch it all the time—my dad has WNBA League Pass. But I want more people to have a chance to see the WNBA more often.
“Yes,” she replied, “And they said yes let’s talk about it some more because the WNBA actually got high viewership and it helps ESPN, too. So they said, let’s talk about it, we’re interested in more games as well.”
When we were finished talking, Carol Stiff, who my dad told me works hard at ESPN to get attention for the WNBA, showed me the introduction everyone would see on TV, with Billie Jean King talking. I loved it!
Then we took our seats in the press area. Here are some notes from what I saw at the game:
- Liz Cambage is really good at shooting three-pointers.
- Kayla McBride plays great defense, even in an all star game.
- Brittney Griner is so tall, she can dunk! So can Liz, she dunked at the end of the game!
- Skylar Diggins-Smith is good at rebounding and passing.
At halftime, there was something called a three-point contest. I watched it and it was intense, fun, and awesome—filled with terrific players! Allie Quigley won, and the prize was 10,000 dollars to her favorite charity.
After the game, I listened to a Maya Moore press conference. She talked about winning the all star game MVP. My dad says that happens a lot.
As we left the press conference, [Las Vegas Aces head of P.R.] John Maxwell was holding the 2019 Las Vegas All Star gameball. He asked me, would you like to hold the ball? Of course, I said yes.
As I was holding the ball, I was already thinking about how much fun it will be to cover the 2019 All Star Game. But I knew when I looked back at this photo, I’d remember all the people I met and fun I had at the old 2018 WNBA All Star Game.
My dad and I went back to our hotel. In the lobby, we saw A’ja Wilson again. While I was working, I didn’t ask to take any pictures with players, but my dad said it was okay now that our workday was over. When I asked to take a picture with her, she recognized me because we were good friends now!
This all star weekend was awesome! I got to meet players, watch press conferences, be a photographer, watching basketball and I loved it all. You should come to an all star game soon, too!