Is college ball is the best time of a female player’s life?

Connecticut Sun rookie Morgan Tuck, fresh from the UConn program, saysshe’s still adjusting to the lack of exposure that WNBA teams get.

It’s an issue that Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore and other players have discussed before.

But in researching this piece on the decline of women in college coaching, I heard an interesting story about this phenomenon.

An assistant coach at a Southern school told me that one alumni, who plays for a WNBA team, has come back to the university at least once to talk to current players. She told them to treasure their time in college basketball, because it will be the highlight of their careers. The WNBA, she said, doesn’t get the props, the glory or the love that it should. Overseas play can be full of stress and homesickness. For women, their best time playing the sport is for their universities and colleges.

It’s a sad reality, but true. It’s not the fault of WNBA players, who put out their very best night after night, sacrificing the body. It is societal attitudes, which are so slow to change, and other factors.

It is also the complete opposite scenario for men, who go to college only as a formality – if at all – on their way to the NBA. There, even bench players who rarely log minutes make much more than any WNBA player.

I would echo the pro player that the assistant coach told me about. College hoopers, enjoy every minute. There is a freedom, a recognition and a fun factor in college ball that is like no other.