Daily Sports Smile: WNBA celebrates historic rise with special documentary
The WNBA kicked off its 26th season in grand fashion.
The league has increased viewership and drawn national attention across several platforms. The star power is apparent with WNBA superstars Diana Taurasi, Jonquel Jones and Breanna Stewart leading the way.
This season, the league will celebrate its history in a big way. On Saturday, the WNBA highlighted its journey with a special documentary on NBA TV.
The hour-long showcase is titled "As We Rise: 25 Years of the WNBA" and features over 30 interviews from current players, coaches and WNBA legends. Those interviewed include Cheryl Miller, Candace Parker, Nancy Lieberman, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson, Dawn Staley and A'ja Wilson among others.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert were also interviewed as well.
The documentary focuses on the WNBA foundation and transitions to some of the greatest moments in league history. The 1996 U.S. Women’s Basketball Team is featured with commentary from those on the squad. The rise of expansion teams and the first game in WNBA history are also core parts of the film.
"Twenty-five years of the WNBA looks like nothing we have seen in sports," Taurasi said in a video trailer for the documentary.
The WNBA is the longest-running women’s professional league in the United States. Each year, the league continues to flourish and develop. It is a testament to those that paved the way for the WNBA to be successful.
The documentary sheds light on those that came before and spins it forward to the future with a younger generation of stars.
"We had the potential to elevate the game," former WNBA superstar Lisa Leslie said.