“I can’t tell you the number of conversations I overheard in class, at the bar or after the game, from young males that had never seen women’s basketball before,” said LaVoi, associate director of the U’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. “They were analyzing the game and talking about how amazing the players were. They were really into it.
“People who hadn’t been exposed to the game got drawn in because the team was so good. Even someone like Lindsay Whalen, people didn’t say, ‘We should watch her because she’s a Minnesotan.’ They said, ‘We should watch her because she’s good.’ That’s why this team got so much traction — because they were promoted as athletes. That is really a positive thing for the Lynx and for women’s sports in general.”