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Condoleeza Rice Loves the WNBA

Condoleeza Rice Loves the WNBA


As the women's professional basketball season gets underway, sports fan and former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice writes a Daily Beast column called "Why I Love the WNBA."

Rice, now back to her academic roots as a professor at Stanford University, recalls being "a tomboy as a child and a jock as a teenager." She laments that when she was a young, "lanky" girl in the years before Title IX, no organized programs existed to support her own basketball aspirations, so she chose figure skating instead.

"That is why I'll be cheering on May 15 when the WNBA season tips off," writes Rice. "Several years ago, when I was secretary of state, I spoke to the League's Women's Achievement Luncheon. I told the athletes how much I envied them, playing a sport in which you can actually sweat and grimace when something goes wrong. In skating, even after the most humiliating and painful falls you were expected to get up and smile. This despite the fact that your dress was plastered to your body--courtesy of the water puddle on the ice that skaters always seemed to find when they hit the ice.

"In women's basketball, you can look like what you do is hard and takes great athleticism. And I love the fact that these women work as a team--learning that you are only as good as the person next to you in the trenches. Great friendships come from pursuing a common and very measurable goal. These athletes learn too how to recover from bad performances and get up the next day, work hard and do it all over again. Sort of like life."

Read more about Rice's admiration for the WNBA, and the LPGA, here.

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