New York Accent: Harlem Globetrotter Bree Green on how NBA stars are helping fans open up to the WNBA


There's no question women's basketball is enjoying a massive surge of popularity. The women's Final Four was one of the most watched sporting events of the year, and the WNBA's surge in interest is evidenced everywhere.

Bree Green has watched the sport grow around her. After a college career at UTEP, she became only the 15th female Harlem Globetrotter ever. She is now a hugely popular basketball influencer on social media with over 1.2M followers across her platforms. She told the "New York Accent" pod she's savoring her sport's rise.

"I love it," she says. "I'm all for it. I was tuning into the (Final Four) with Caitlin Collins, and they're amazing. But I was just in Vegas for the WNBA All-Star Weekend and it was a packed  house! Yes, it's about time we get that respect."

"I feel like there's definitely a movement going on in the right direction. I think we still have a lot of ways to go, but we're going up. And it's just super exciting to see this from when I was a little girl and just how people are supporting it and getting behind it. The NBA players too. Everybody's getting behind it."

Kobe Bryant led the way of superstars on the men's side cheering on the WNBA. Other male athletes have followed his lead.

"Yeah, it's really cool," Green says. "It's a really cool dynamic now where you have these NBA players that are huge stars, and they're reppin WNBA players. They're supporting them, they're waving a towel, they're wearing the jerseys. And then, you know, that brings both sides together and it just kind of builds off one another. That's really a thrill to see both genders kind of supporting one another."

It's not always easy to convert a male audience to women's sports. Green says she still runs into some archaic thinking out there.

"You'll get the people trolling," she says. "Like if you post (about women's sports), 'Oh, who is that? Go back in the kitchen.' I've heard I've heard it all. But I feel like when, for example, NBA players like Kobe was all in... NBA players who obviously respect the game or respect women doing it, that plays a part with the people who have no idea what they're talking about."

Green has noticed that many social media critics never even give it a chance, but once Kobe or LeBron support the WNBA, then it opens up the door for these critics to give it a chance. Once they do, they often realize it's a great product. Green was participating in a jam-packed And1 open run in New York City to find new talent when she spoke with New York Accent, and she's seeing the sport's popularity boom in general. It's been a long time coming, but the women's game is helping fuel a tremendously successful era in the sport.

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