Christy Winters-Scott: What WNBA stands for is bigger than basketball

Former University of Maryland star and Washington Mystics analyst Christy Winters-Scott spoke with Scripps News about the start of the WNBA season.

Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner celebrates her score with Sophie Cunningham, right, and Michaela Onyenwere, left.
Ross D. Franklin / AP

Former University of Maryland star and Washington Mystics analyst Christy Winters-Scott joined Scripps News to discuss the start of the WNBA season.

"The WNBA is all-encompassing in terms of the empowerment of women and young people, in general," she said. "I just think that the WNBA stands for inclusivity. You've seen it across the board, especially a couple of seasons ago. In the bubble, you really saw them stand on their words and stand in their authenticity. It's really fun to watch these young women perform in their craft and be passionate about it. So for me, the WNBA will always stand for team, will always stand for for everyone and the empowerment, especially, of our our young women."

WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner just recently made her return to the basketball court after being released from a Russian prison in December. Winters-Scott says she didn't think she would ever see Griner play again, but her return is significant for a number of reasons.

Brittney Griner on the basketball court

Brittney Griner starts a new season with a new spotlight on the WNBA

Griner's return to the court for the season comes amid more media attention and focus on women's basketball.


"I didn't think we would ever see her play again because, obviously, she's in the prime of her career. But to see her come back — and not just come back to the states, but to be embraced the way that she's been embraced, the sisterhood of the WNBA, as I said, is so empowering. But I think it gives all the other players in the league trust to know that if anything like that or something like that where you need support, you need that backbone, the WNBA is right there for you. And that's why I said it's so empowering to know and to have that confidence to know that the league will support you in good times and bad times," she said.

"And you just have to marvel at Brittney Griner and her seamless transition back to the court. I didn't think that she would be that smooth with her game but she has been phenomenal. She had a  27-point performance just a couple of games ago. It's just been amazing — that's the only word that comes to mind — to see her embrace other players across the league, to see Kamala Harris in the locker room speaking with both teams in LA and Magic Johnson and Billie Jean King,  everyone just coming around just to embrace her back into her home. And it's bigger than basketball," Winters-Scott continued. "And that's another thing that the WNBA stands for — it's bigger than basketball; it's all about the sisterhood. It's all about the family concept of what it truly means to be on a team. And it's not just the basketball team, but it's the team of life. "

Scripps News will be televising WNBA games every Friday night beginning May 26, when Scripps News will debut  the "WNBA Friday Night Showcase."

Scripps Sports will bring you the Chicago Sky hosting the Washington Mystics at 8 p.m. EST, followed by the Dallas Wings and the Seattle Storm at 10 p.m. EST.

ION and Scripps News are both owned by the E.W. Scripps Company.