CHICAGO (CBS) As the Chicago Sky sailed to victory in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Friday, providing even more inspiration for girls across the city who can see themselves in the team and its players.
Were finishing up basketball practice now, and then were getting in the car and were heading to Wintrust, Jen Chan said before heading to the big game.
Hours before tipoff for Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, and already excitement at Windy City Fieldhouse in Bucktown was Sky high.
Eleven-year-old Liv Rubenstein said the team is the whole reason she got into the game herself.
When I was 8 or 9, my dad took me to a Sky game, and that just really inspired me to start playing basketball, she said.
Now, she cant get enough.
I love how you cant anticipate whats going to happen. Like, you dont know whats going to happen until youre actually playing it, she said.
Chicago Police Sgt. Jermaine Harris couldnt have anticipated what happened when he first started Chicago Westside Sports in 2019. Its a free sports program that brings together kids and the police officers who serve their community. That first year, there werent enough girls for a team.
I think the interest has always been there. Our girl players, our womens sports are some of the best athletes in the world without a doubt. So the challenge really became, what are we doing wrong in not getting enough access to make sure we get enough girl players? he said.
Harris said they became more intentional in the way they reached out to girls, and its working. Last year they had three teams. This year, theyll likely have eight.
He said the Sky are playing a part in getting girls into the game and getting excited to play the game of basketball.
So much of opportunities comes from awareness. Right now, the news stations, the interviews, the stadium is packed, sold out seats, he said.
So what would it mean for girls to see women several from Chicago win a WNBA championship?
I feel like it would show me that girls can do anything,, and theyre just as strong as boys and they can play basketball just as well, Rubenstein said.
Chance the Rapper was at Fridays game, and has vowed to get a Chicago Sky tattoo if they won, so hes got a big promise to keep.
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