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Albany, Notre Dame’s freshman star Hannah Hidalgo, recalls her first memories of women’s basketball being filled with negativity and criticism, which made her reluctant to watch the game. However, as she began to watch more, she realized the immense talent and skill of women players, such as Caitlin Clark and Aari McDonald. This shift in perspective has been common among women’s basketball players who grew up without easy access to games on TV or coverage in popular media.

The spotlight on women’s basketball has never been brighter as more stars and excitement emerge on the women’s side compared to the men’s side. The talent level in women’s basketball has significantly improved in recent years, leading to a surge in fan interest and viewership. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley notes that players are better prepared than ever before due to increased exposure to elite women players. As more people join the bandwagon of women’s basketball, attendance and viewership continue to rise to new heights.

Women’s sports, including basketball, have been gaining more recognition and respect, leading to increased publicity and interest. Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck emphasizes the importance of giving women’s basketball a chance and attending a game to experience the excitement first-hand. Many male fans have expressed surprise at how much they enjoy women’s basketball and have become dedicated viewers. With more media coverage and promotion of women’s sports, the popularity of women’s basketball is on the rise.

For South Carolina freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley, her introduction to women’s basketball came through social media content featuring high school prospects. In the social media era, it has become easier to discover and follow women’s basketball, leading to increased interest among fans. Young players like Caitlin Clark, JuJu Watkins, and Paige Bueckers have become viral sensations, drawing in a new generation of fans and creating a lasting legacy for women’s sports.

Oregon State forward Raegan Beers reminisces about watching multiple March Madness games with her mom, Kari, which sparked her early interest in women’s basketball. ESPN’s commitment to airing women’s basketball games on linear TV has significantly boosted the sport’s visibility and accessibility to fans. The broadcasting of games, such as Caitlin Clark’s last home game with Iowa, has attracted millions of viewers and continues to showcase the talent and excitement of women’s basketball. South Carolina junior Sania Feagin believes that if women’s basketball had been more prevalent on TV when she was younger, more people would have been drawn to the game.

Overall, the landscape of women’s basketball has seen a significant transformation in recent years, with increased visibility, talent, and fan interest propelling the sport to new heights. As more players and fans experience the excitement and skill of women’s basketball, the sport’s popularity continues to grow, creating a vibrant and dynamic community of supporters and champions. The future of women’s basketball looks bright, with a new generation of players and fans eagerly embracing the game and its rich history.

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