Straight ballin’! WNBA pros join Prospect Heights students for recess

Pass it: Evan Eliassaint, left, and Ashley Battle played field hockey at PS 9 when she and other players stopped by the school for a surprise recess.
Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about hoop dreams!

Pint-sized athletes at a Prospect Heights elementary school got a taste of the big leagues when pros with the Women’s National Basketball Association recently joined the kids for recess.

The Feb. 6 get together gave the fourth- and fifth-graders a chance to get out and play with positive role models — who took it easy on their competition, and provided plenty of positive feedback, according to the woman who helped organize the meetup.

“There were no aggressive slam dunks against fourth graders,” said Deborah Brodheim, the director of development for Playworks, a do-good group that promotes athletics in schools. “It’s about being out there, and lots and lots of high fives.”

Former players with hometown squad the New York Liberty, including Ashley Battle, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, and Teresa Weatherspoon, along with Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and the head of WNBA League Operations Bethany Donaphin, joined 300 aspiring athletes on the blacktop behind Underhill Avenue’s PS 9 to celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day.

The special guests forwent any inspirational lectures and got right down to business during the 25-minute play time, shooting hoops with some kids, while joining others in classic recess favorites including four square and tag, according to Playworks bigwig Kim McCall.

The athletes’ visit is one of many physical-education programs the do-good group stages at the local learning house, where Playworks staff regularly arrange recess programing and other athletics-based after-school initiatives, McCall said.

“PS 9 is a long-time partner of Playworks,” she said. “We focus a lot on recess and after-school sports leagues.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 6:45 pm, February 11, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For those who don't know, the Liberty were recently purchased by Joeseph Tsai, who currently owns the other half of the Nets. Although the Liberty will still play most of their home games at the Westchester County Center over in White Plains this season, it's unknown if they will be there for next season. There are rumors that it could either be the Barclays Center or Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but we won't know until next year if that will even by the case. More importantly, it's not known yet if MSG Network will still be airing their games or if the moment they were purchased by Tsai they will no longer be there, so that won't be known until almost the start of the season where their games will be. One other thing, the Liberty have been around since the start of the WNBA back in 1997 and they're not going away as with the rest of the league to all you naysayers, who continue to be wrong about the WNBA folding.
Feb. 15, 2019, 12:58 pm

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