The fifth-year Las Vegas Aces forward
provides the kind of hard-hat grit that every team needs to be a contender
The Las Vegas Aces played the Minnesota Lynx on June 16. And I don’t want to tell you about all of the game, but I definitely want to tell you about four minutes and 20 seconds of it. More specifically, I want to tell you about the stretch in the fourth quarter from the 4:38 mark to the 0:18 mark.
What happened was: The game was tied at the start of the fourth quarter. And it mostly stayed that way until Dearica Hamby sat down with 6:56 to go. She wa—
Hamby, by the way, was drafted out of Wake Forest in 2015. She’s a bench player for the Aces, but she’s the most important kind of bench player, which is to say one who can do everything and is often asked to do everything. She’s a troublemaker, is what she is. She comes in, f—s things up for the other team for several minutes, and then goes and sits back down and waits to do it again. She bangs on opponents and she pushes opponents and she sets hard screens on opponents and she rebounds over opponents. It’s always great to watch.
I like those “Hard Hat” players. The ones who are built from iron and anger. The ones who seem to enjoy hard labor. The ones who come in the game and set off a bunch of dynamite all over the court. The ones who play basketball with the same kind of dogged intensity that a coal miner chips away at the earth with. Hamby is one of those players. (Whenever I write a thing about the WNBA, I message a few different people to get insights. In this case, I buzzed @Hoopism, @HerHoopStats, LaChina Robinson from ESPN, and Arielle Chambers from Bleacher Report to ask about other Hard Hat players in the league. Some of the names that came back: Amanda Zahui B., Ariel Atkins, Briann January, and Sami Whitcomb.) At any rate …