A League of Their Own
The WUBA is writing a new chapter for women’s basketball.
by Drey Wingate / @ProStatus85
Over the years, women’s basketball has continued to make its presence felt in the professional sports world, dating back to the days when players like Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper, Rebecca Lobo Tina Thompson, and a slew of other great female ballers were dominating the courts year after year with championship rings and gold medals.
The expansion of the WNBA has brought even more attention to women’s hoops, and it’s great to see how far the professional league has come since it started after 15 seasons. And it keeps getting better when you see talent like Maya Moore, Courtney Vandersloot and Tina Charles. But just like every other sport, women’s basketball has great, under-the-radar players.
As hoop fans, we know that minor league sports (with the exception of the NBA D-League) don’t receive a lot of attention. But, it has been proven time and time again that there are very talented players in these establishments. But who would have thought there would be a new minor league for women that contained so much talent in its first official season? The WUBA (Universal Women’s Basketball Association) is on its way to writing a new chapter for women’s basketball.
The WUBA was created to give women who don’t play in the WNBA or overseas an opportunity to showcase their skills. In order to launch a new market, especially in professional sports, you need stars and Patechia Hartman and Shantel Ragin are answering the call. Both players have professional experience overseas and are now looked upon as the best backcourt duo in the WUBA.
Patechia Hartman has one hell of a resume. While at Georgia State, Hartman was named All-CAA Player of the Year twice. She was also named Associated Press NCAA All-American her senior year and was nominated for the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. At the end of her tenure at GSU, her jersey was retired and she was labeled as the best women’s player ever at Georgia State. After playing four years at Georgia State University, Hartman signed a two-year contract with Szolnok-NKK (Hungary) where she led the team in scoring and was third in the league in assists.
After a respectable two-year start to her professional career, Hartman attended two WNBA camps and had short stints in other leagues before joining the WUBA. The 27-year-old Atlanta product is currently averaging over 20 points a game and leading the league in assists with 12 per.
Assisting Hartman in the backcourt is Clayton State University product Shantel Ragin. While in college, Ragin was ranked in the top 10 in scoring, rebounds and assists. More than anything though, Ragin is a winner. During her two seasons at Clayton State, she helped lead the Lady Lakers to an incredible 56-9 record. She finished her college career with an average of 16 ppg 8 rpg and 5 apg and was named to the All-Peach Belt First-Team both years. Ragin started her professional career in the Ukraine and wasted no time letting the world know who she was. She averaged a double-double right of the bat with stats of 22 ppg and 11 rpg. And you can add Eurobasket Import Player of the Year and league MVP to that list of achievements too.
Both Ragin and Hartman were making it happen before their debut in the WUBA. But, a simple change of scenery was very positive for both players. Looks like this new league has great plans for their players; it’s always good to see a stage being set for under-the-radar ballers.