Former Women's Players Making It Big

September 3, 2001

Miriam Baron, <i>Hullabaloo</i> Staff Writer

This season, the WNBA featured three Tulane graduates: Barbara Farris played for the Detroit Shock, Janell Burse for the Minnesota Lynx, and Grace Daley for the New York Liberty. Tulane Hoops Heroine Grace Daley explained the difference between playing college ball and playing in the WNBA. For Daley, playing professionally means she earns a paycheck.

"I love getting paid to play a game that I would play for free anyway!" What she misses about being away from Tulane is playing in Reily. "I love playing ball with no referees, no coaches and no offenses," Daley said.

Farris and Burse experienced their first season with the league, and found it to be a quick season. Burse noted that in her first season as a professional basketball player, there was "more one-on-one" action, which made the competition more fierce compared to playing for the Lady Wave.

Daley also experienced a short season, since her Liberty team was, according to Daley, "a championship caliber team," but "came up short." When Daley played for the Lynx in her rookie season, she played in 30 games (four of which she started), and averaged slightly less than 20 minutes of playing time in those games. At the completion of her first season, Daley was highly sought after by other teams, and was eventually traded to the Liberty.

However, this season she averaged a mere 4.4 minutes per game out of the 15 in which she participated. Daley said, "The WNBA is just like any other business -- it's a game of opportunity. Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait your turn."

She knows and wants other people to realize, "God blessed me with a gift and I know it's only a matter of time until I get to open it up on this level."

Hopefully, the WNBA will unwrap her gift soon, considering she's potentially the best player in the league. During the off-season, Burse plans to go to Italy and play professional basketball to keep her skills cranking. Daley will also play for a European league during the off-season break.

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