The news broke late Thursday afternoon. While the rest of the women’s basketball world was shocked by this staggering news, they couldn’t possibly feel the unwavering blow just sent through the heart of women’s basketball fans in this great city. San Antonio was going to lose its WNBA franchise of 15 years.
15 years. It seems that in a blink of an eye, everything changed. It was kind of odd that money hadn’t been taken out for season tickets yet and that the Stars seemed quiet on social media as of late. But that’s not worrisome when you have nothing to worry about, right?
Looking back over the 15 years, fans say they still remember the very first home tip-off. They remember the feeling of having a team they could call their own. They remember every season, every draft, and that feeling that came every time the team won… and every time they lost.
San Antonio Stars fans remember “the shot” by Sophia Young in the 2008 Western Conference Finals. They still remember the look on the Sparks players faces after the incredulous buzzer beater went through the net. Stars fans remember when Becky Hammon came to San Antonio and her illustrious career, all the way up to watching number 25’s jersey climb up into the rafters, and the feeling that came watching her transform from player to the first woman assistant coach in the NBA.
The memories pile on and reminiscing is good for healing. But if there is anything that Stars fans want remembered of their precious team, it is one thing. It isn’t game winning shots, or the 2008 finals run. It isn’t the Western Conference Championship banner raised in the rafters or when San Antonio got the first number one overall pick in the history of the franchise. It is simple: Heart.
“Stars Heart”, or #StarsHeart, was the motto for this last season, and there isn’t much of a better way to end an era than to end it with such a proverb. You see, these ladies weren’t just basketball players. They were people. Good people. The Stars never missed an opportunity to help out in the community. If there was a need, you could always count on the Stars to be there with smiling faces and an outpouring of love and altruistic service. How many professional sports teams do you know of that would spend the night before game day volunteering at a shelter for Hurricane evacuees? To them, to have their name in lights was undoubtedly a great feeling, but their selflessness is what set them apart above the rest.
Whether it be giving back or mentoring young girls, San Antonio Stars’ unselfishness is something that transcended in the community. To say their impact was bright would be grievous understatement. Having to part with a transcending force such as this team is difficult beyond words. Their impact will forever be stamped into the hearts, souls, and minds of this community and their never wavering fans for eternity.