Watch women hoop. Respect their game. Hear their stories. Repeat.
Two-time WNBA champion Devereaux Peters wants to introduce you to the lives of WNBA players off the court with her production company, More Than 94. From talking about Seimone Augustus’ offseason activities to showcasing Rebekkah Brunson and her wife’s waffle truck business, Peters hopes to shine a light on players’ personalities and narratives.
“I wanted to kind of try to fill that gap with different stories about the players because I feel like we have all these dynamic women who do all these things, have all these businesses, are involved in their community in many different ways,” Peters says. “And you don’t get to see any of it.”
Female athletes account for 40 percent of all sports participants, yet women’s sports receive only 4 percent of media coverage, according to the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. In recent years, WNBA players and coaches in particular have been outspoken about the need for more consistent coverage in the national media. Some, like Diana Taurasi, have gone even further, placing blame squarely upon the league for not promoting its players and failing to effectively market its teams.
Peters herself played in the league for six seasons after being drafted third overall by the Minnesota Lynx in 2012. But the two-time WNBA champion dealt with her fair share of injuries over the years—she tore her ACL twice in college, broke her hand during her rookie season with the Lynx and underwent a total of 10 surgeries throughout her playing career. After retiring from professional basketball before the start of the 2019 season, the then-29-year-old decided to shift gears and do her part to increase coverage of the WNBA.
For many professional athletes, retirement can be a struggle—the sudden shift can lead players to feel lost and unsure of their next steps. Peters, however, knew exactly what she wanted to do. She had always known, in fact.
She had been a film and television major at the University of Notre Dame and for the past four years, she filmed her own YouTube series called “Down and Dirty,” where she dished on life in the league, playing overseas and the persisting problems with coverage of women’s sports. When her time in the WNBA came to an end, she realized that she wanted to highlight others’ stories. Through More Than 94, she interviews current players like Nneka Ogwumike and Imani McGee-Stafford about their lives on and off the court.
“The players were really receptive to it, and I think the people that watch really enjoy that because they get to see a side that they don’t usually get to see and some honesty that they don’t normally get,” Peters says.
Peters also brings her perspective as a former player, allowing her to ask questions and have conversations that most reporters are not privy to.
Peters’ younger brother, Delacy, has watched her consistently advocate for women’s sports. Now the two work together on More Than 94, as Delacy serves as a production assistant for the “Check Up” interview series and even came up with the name of the company.
“Personally, just being around Devereaux and getting to know her teammates and friends, a lot of women in the league are doing a lot more than just [being] an athlete,” Delacy says. “So I think it’s imperative that we get to know these women on and off the court just as much.”
“He’s really the creative mind that I need when I go blank and I can’t think straight,” Devereaux says of her brother. “I probably wouldn’t have made it this far without him to be completely honest.”
Since its inception in August, More Than 94 has put out 12 videos and currently has 530 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to growing the brand, Peters hopes that more people will resonate with the stories and, as a result, become fans of the sport.
“I want people to be able to see themselves in these athletes and to identify with them to the point where they want to watch or follow the stories or support the things that they’re putting out there,” Peters says.
Bela Kirpalani is an intern at SLAM. Follow her on Twitter @belakirpalani.