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Our Team Matters, Too

Kiara Meeks on her way to score against Florida Gulf Coast University.

Kiara Meeks on her way to score against Florida Gulf Coast University.

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Kiara Meeks on her way to score against Florida Gulf Coast University.

CAMPUSCONNECTION838

CAMPUSCONNECTION838

Kiara Meeks on her way to score against Florida Gulf Coast University.

Bevlenn Struve, Contributing Writer

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rrent record of 12-12, the Jacksonville University Women’s Basketball Team is in third place in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Fanticous McNair, a first-year assistant with the team, said that JU women’s basketball team has growing potential. She feels like the men’s basketball team receives more advertisements and a larger fan base then the women’s basketball team.

“Although we won our game against the University of North Florida Osprey 80-73, it seemed like the men’s team had a larger fan base,” she said.

According to ESPN, in the last five years, the women’s team has a 62 percent win rate, even going 24-9 in the 2017-2018 season. Meanwhile men’s basketball has a 42 percent win rate and was just 12-17 last season.

“The girls have made it to the NCAA and WNIT tournaments,” said first-year women’s coach Darnell Haney. “Accomplishing more than the men’s basketball team is just part of our accomplishments, which has nothing to do with gender.”

Haney says that the 2015-2016 season was the most successful for JU’s women’s basketball. The team won the ASUN championship, went to the NCAA tournament, and played the No. 1 seed in South Carolina.

“Not bashing men’s basketball or JU’s men’s team,” says Haney. “The women’s basketball has the fundamentals and purity of the game. While men’s basketball has more of an
entertainment factor.”

Haney said that people pay thousands of dollars for a floor seat in an NBA game to see people like Dwyane Wade or Lebron James fly across the court doing dunks and exciting high jumps.

“Superstar actors and entertainers are not at the women’s games as they are at the men’s games,” says Haney. “Men’s basketball is big business.”

Haney said that JU students are in tune with women’s basketball, especially since they have been wining lately. He feels like with the growing potential the team has, the wining will continue and more and more will come out to support because everyone likes a winner.

“Superstar actors and entertainers are not at the women’s games as they are at the men’s games,” says Haney. “Men’s basketball is big business.”

Haney said that JU students are in tune with women’s basketball, especially since they have been wining lately.

He feels like with the growing potential the team has, the wining will continue and more and more will come out to support because everyone likes a winner.

Still, junior guard Alexis Burns would like to see more from fans.

“I do feel like the fan base should be larger for the women’s basketball team,” she says. “It seems like the men’s basketball team receives more recognition than the women’s team despite a better performance in the women’s team.”

Burns said that the women’s team can receive more recognition by getting both sets of fans viewing and supporting each team the same because it should not make a difference between gender.

Haney agrees.

“I think the program has made a positive impact on the university and in Jacksonville,” he said. “We are going to continue to market the program and continue to put the program out there. And just do a great job on the court.”

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