LeBron James attributes the popularity of women’s basketball to recognizable stars

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LeBron James (Credits: ESPN)

LeBron James believes the growing popularity of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament can be attributed to familiar stars.

“I don’t think there’s much difference between the men’s and women’s games when it comes to college basketball. I think the popularity comes from the icons they have in the women’s game,” James said after his Los Angeles Lakers defeated Washington on Wednesday night.

“You look at Angel Reese, JuJu Watkins, Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers, the freshman Audi Crooks at Iowa State, Cameron Brink at Stanford, and the freshman Hannah Hidalgo at Notre Dame, to name a few.”

Women’s NCAA Tournament (Credits: Getty Images)

While James also mentioned well-known men’s players like Purdue’s Zach Edey and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, he noted that the transfer portal and early NBA draft departures make it harder for players to become familiar to fans on the men’s side. It’s different in women’s basketball.

“You’re able to build a real iconic legacy at a program,” James said. “That’s what we all love about it.” When Clark and Iowa defeated Reese and LSU in the regional final Monday night, it was the most-watched women’s college basketball game on record. It averaged 12.3 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen, outdrawing all but one of the five games in last year’s NBA Finals, along with the final game of last year’s World Series.

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By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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