Margo Dydek. She was not only an outstanding player but a quality person. Our game and the world was better for her being a part of it.
At www.WNBA.com Bridgett Pettis wrote a beautiful piece that I thought I'd share with you today:
Well I can’t really say that I really knew Margo that well during my eight year stint in the WNBA but that right there might be the problem for me. It’s crazy that you play against these players every year and sometimes the grind of what we do becomes so real that we don’t stop and get to know the opponents that you come across during the season. How did I miss a seven-foot-two gentle giant? I don’t know, but a lot of times in the sport that we play we tend to get to know only the teammates that we play with and not so much the ones we battle against.
I recall meeting Margo only through the handshakes after the game as each team expressed sportsmanship but never once did I get to sit down with her and learn anything about her as a person. I do remember many of my high-arching shots that I tried shooting over her with some of them came right back at me as she swatted many. Shot after shot with her gift of height assisting her.
I remember when the WNBA first started and just as many people were amazed at this tall woman who stood above all the rest, and for the first time in Salt Lake City, Utah I too found myself staring in awe because she was the first woman that I saw with my own eyes dunk the ball in warm-ups before the game. Yea! I know it might not be a big deal now with many of the young ballers starting to leap higher in confidence and athletic ability, but for someone who grew up in the inner city of East Chicago my eyes never witnessed such an act.
I remember her smile in the game reminding myself to enjoy what we were all experiencing because it was clear she was doing that. Taking her game outside and developing a three-point shot that sent her peddling backwards with a huge smile on her face. Nowadays many of these women carry the responsibility as if it’s a job more so than it’s still a game that children are playing in the park today.
I wish I had more stories to share with you about Margo, but for me her life, as well as the passing, will remind me to stop and get to know theses talented and gifted women and let this experience be more than a passing rival.
Thank you Margo. You just helped me wake up even more.
Here is the link to Bridget's article: http://on.nba.com/jl74lx