Many individuals within the Da Vinci community are unaware of the advertising and funding disparities between the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. In comparison to the Boys’ basketball team, there has been a $300 spending difference and the Boys’ have received numerous posts on the WDV social media while the Girls’ have received only a couple.
The DV Women’s Varsity Basketball team is coached by Head Coach Tony Scott and Assistant Coach Tomiko Rounds, former basketball player herself. Despite the new coaching staff, the team has quickly created a name for themselves with their competitors. As of February 5th, the Women’s Varsity Basketball team had an overall record of ten wins and 15 losses and a league record of three wins and two losses against Shalhevet.
Every year, the Wiseburn Unified School District subsidizes $15,000 for Da Vinci Athletics. According to a document provided by the Wiseburn School District that outlines the basketball budget, the 14-person Men’s Basketball team had $888.15 of the $15,000 spent on them while the 14-person Women’s Basketball team only had $516.04 spent on them. The Women’s funding went mainly towards new jerseys for the Women’s Junior Varsity team that they were unable to wear due to not meeting the CIF regulations.
However, students and staff around campus have noticed a profound absence of promotional material for DV’s Women’s Basketball program which has, therefore, led to a lack of support from DV students, staff, admin and the
surrounding community. World History Teacher Dani Guerrero said that she has received minimal information about Women’s Basketball from the athletic department.
“It wasn’t even like probably until late in the season, that I heard, maybe through a couple of other staff ‘Oh so she’s actually really good at basketball and she plays on our team,” Guerrero said. “It was more of through word of mouth, rather than actually celebrated through any social media or anything like that.”
Since the Instagram for the Wiseburn Da Vinci Athletics was created in 2016, as of February 5th, the Men’s Basketball Team has received ten posts promoting the team while the Womens’ Basketball team has received one post. That is not including the post that included both the Mens’ and Womens’ Basketball team within the same video.
Despite frequently competing in games across the South Bay area, these aforementioned players have said they often feel that they receive little to no praise from some members of the DV community. Among these players is sophomore Sadie Cooper who believes that the lack of support is based upon basketball inherently being a “male sport more than a female sport.”
“At our games, it’s not really as talked about or as hyped as the boys’ games. I wish we could have way more support than we already do have,” Cooper said. “I feel like if there were more people I would play better and I would feel like people actually want to watch us play and we’re not just doing it to do it.”
While the empty stands may be because of a profound lack of advertising, some students argue that the low number of attendees is on account of the games being dull and uneventful. Among these critics is Christopher Godoy, a junior basketball player who claims the sport isn’t interesting enough to garner an audience of spectators.
“You look at us [the Men’s Basketball Team] and look at the girls play and we’re faster and stronger and more entertaining to watch,” Godoy said.
According to the WNBA, there have only been six women in WNBA history to dunk. In both the NBA and WNBA, the rim of the hoops is 10-feet above the court. Tomiko Rounds, Junior Varsity Coach and former basketball player, believes that the hoop should be lowered for women.
“Honestly, I think that if they lowered the rim a foot for women’s basketball it would add more excitement to the game,” Tomiko said. “It’s proven men can physically do things women can’t on the average they are built to be stronger jump higher and run faster. I think it will allow for more dunks in play rather than just on fast breaks or break always.”
Players and faculty alike have expressed their concerns regarding the disparities between the two basketball teams, and they hope support for the women’s team only continues to grow in the coming years.
“It’s kind of unfair because we put all the same hard work and effort, and then we don’t get like the same amount of respect as they do,” Cooper said.