SLAM Partners with Fullcourt.com
SLAMonline catches up with the co-founder of a growing women’s hoop site.
SLAM: So, you guys are looking to be the go-to place for all news, highlights, scores, everything, right?
KK: Yeah, exactly. We’re only one month in, but I think we’ve already started to provide news on a pretty good basis along with some good analysis and feature interviews. That’s the goal—for us to be the spot for women’s basketball and just be the thing that people can rely on when they need to know something about the game.
SLAM: As far as writers and contributors to the site, how did you go about recruiting them? Are these people who are heavily invested and involved in the women’s scene?
KK: The writers that came over from Full Court Press have been writing women’s basketball content for a long time. We have a really old school writer who is well known in the basketball community, his name is Mel Greenberg. He’s called the “women’s hoops guru.” He literally started covering basketball in the ‘70s before the NCAA Women’s Tournament even existed. He has a huge following. We have some other people that are more faces and personalities within the game by LaChina Robinson who is a television analyst and she will be contributing to the site. Ben York—SLAM guy—we know he loves women’s basketball and he’s going to be a regular contributor. Then, when you start looking at conferences, we have writers who are associated with conferences closely. Mark Lewis, a guy who was working for ESPN will be contributing for us as a prep writer. A lot of our writers are either former players or coached at some point and they’re broken down by region and conference.
We’re trying to cover all WNBA and college games and stories, as well as all top prep recruits and major high school tournaments. You can go to any site on the Internet and get the AP story, but what you’re not going to get is the more personal element of the day-to-day game and we want to bring the feature elements to the web and go deeper. There’s so many great stories in women’s basketball that aren’t being told, and we just want to get out and have those stories told. We’ll also have the bread and butter: scores, highlights, top-25 polls and wire transactions. Our core is going to be in-depth stories though, we want to go deeper than any other site out there.
SLAM: What are you trying to gain from your partnership with SLAMonline?
KK: SLAM is obviously one of the best basketball magazines in the world, in my opinion. It has the personality, it has the news and the lifestyle, they represent what the game is about. It gives us a lot of credibility by being able to partner with SLAM; but also I hope that this partnership helps women’s basketball get that little bit more street cred. Over here on this side of the fence, we have all the elements that the men’s game has.
Just because we don’t play above the rim doesn’t mean we’re not sneakerheads, that we don’t like tattoos, that we don’t like to wear high heels. We like to dress up, be pretty but also be ballers and athletic, there’s a whole life that goes along with women’s basketball that’s really represented well at SLAM that crosses over to the women’s game as well. It’s a very natural partnership.
SLAM: Now that the Tournament has started, what teams, players and storylines should fans keep an eye out for?
KK: I think the great story going this year is Baylor and whether or nor they can win out the season and go 40-0 and be that team that has an amazing perfect record and wins the NCAA Championship and goes down in history as the perfect time. Who doesn’t want to watch Brittney Griner? She’s setting records left and right with blocks and rebounds and she has the ability to dunk.
On the flip side, you have a really compelling team in Notre Dame who has a lot of upperclassmen. Skylar Diggins has become a really recognizable face in the game outside of the basketball world, with Lil’ Wayne shouting her out on Twitter and full-page stories in USA Today. Those are two very compelling teams and I think they will both be in the National Championship game.
You have the emotion of Pat Summitt this year, while she hasn’t officially retired, there’s a pretty fair chance that this may be the last time we see her in a very active role with Tennessee. Our game is going through a transition right now—the women who really helped put women’s basketball on the map are now starting to step away from the game, so how is that going to affect the landscape of the game? What’s going to happen when the biggest champion the game has seen hangs ‘em up? Will there be other coaches that step into the spotlight and become just as recognizable and infamous and competitive?
Obviously Geno Auriemma is always in the mix on the emotion, but now who’s going to be the yin to his yang? If you haven’t seen the women’s game in a while, you need to revisit it. It’s so exciting, the level of play has grown tremendously, even in the last five years.
I just think people who have traditionally—I don’t want to say haters of the game, but there are definitely people who have hated—should clean the slate on women’s basketball and take a second look. Just because we don’t play above the rim doesn’t mean that this game isn’t exciting and compelling and has great storylines just like the men’s game.