The Realities of WNBA Stars Who Play Abroad

A basketball player dressed in the lime green professional Czech team uniform dribbles a ball around a defender in a dark green jersey.

Why would they go so far from home to play the game? Well, many reasons. Opportunity. Adventure. Compensation commensurate with skill. And don’t forget love of the game. It’s not hard to understand. Still, it’s not for everyone, and there are plenty of challenges and drawbacks. What are we talking about? WNBA stars who play for teams in other countries during the off-season. In this extensive May 2022 report, Andscape (formerly the Undefeated) and Getty Images collaborate to profile four WNBA players who don pro-league uniforms in Turkey, Spain, and the Czech Republic.

Read it here.


1. You’ll be hard pressed to find an author for this essay, other than what it says in paragraph 7: “Andscape and Getty Images collaborated to document the overseas experiences of four Black WNBA players. . . .” Why do you think the people involved would have decided not to list an author or authors for this piece, so that there is no guiding authorial point of view in the essay? How does knowing that the essay was composed collaboratively between Andscape staff and Getty Images staff affect its ethos or credibility? Explain your response. 

2. Do you think that the images and text complement one another well? Why or why not? We are accustomed to seeing captions on photos, but there are none in the interview sections of the Andscape/Getty Images article. Do you think there should be captions on all or some of the images? Why or why not? Explain your responses.   

3. LET’S TALK. Suppose a close friend or sweetheart has an opportunity to play their sport (or their musical instrument) professionally in a country far from home. What might you say? How would you help them make such a tough decision? In what ways has Andscape’s article helped you to know what questions to ask or what advice to give? Discuss these questions with a few classmates and share your reflections and opinions. What ideas have your classmates come up with that you probably wouldn’t have thought of on your own? Has the conversation made the decision any easier? 

4. AND NOW WRITE. The interviews with the four players are extensive and information-packed, and still, there’s a lot more to know, a lot more to be curious about. Choose one player and think about what you might like to ask her that isn’t mentioned in the article. Your curiosity might be basketball oriented—the caliber of play in the other countries as compared to the WNBA, or training facilities, for example, or you may want to know more about life outside of work, like free time activities, local popular music and the club scene, or details about managing language differences. Write an essay describing your interview plan. Include a list of questions that you’d like to ask (Chapter 14 of your text might help you draft good questions), and explain why the question would be interesting to readers.

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