Sapphic Skills

5 Lesbian Basketball Players Who Could School Pepperdine

Ryan Heisenberg, coach of the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team, believes that lesbians on his team “would cause the team to lose games,” according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The university is being sued for alleged antigay discrimination against women who were forced off the team, losing their scholarships, so we think they may need a pointer on who runs the courts when it comes to women’s basketball. Lesbians, of course. The courts last week ruled that the Title IX covers sexual orientation, so the law is on our side.

To educate Coach H and the conservative school, we’ve created a dream team of five out and proud lesbian ballers who could wipe the floor with the University of Pepperdine anytime.

Sue Wicks


Sue Wicks was pretty much the OG of coming out as gay in women’s basketball. Over 15 years ago, she spoke to the Village Voice about being openly gay and fighting for equal pay among male and female ballers. She’s retired now, but back in her day she was fierce.

She played overseas after being all-American at Rutgers, and was the #1 draft pick for the inaugural season of the WNBA. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2013. We bet she could still teach the (alleged) folks over at Pepperdine a thing or two about being openly gay on the court and still shutting it down.

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson


The messiness of their short-lived marriage gives new meaning to the words “Lesbian Drama,” but Glory Johnson and Brittney Griner are both WNBA superstars in their own right. The 6’8 Griner currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and she was the #1 WNBA draft pick back in 2013. Before she was killing it with the Mercury, she was no slouch in her college days: Her 736 blocked shots during her NCAA career is a record for both genders. As for Johnson, she currently plays for the Dallas Wings, and was a WNBA All-Star in 2013 and 2014. She was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Oh yeah, she’s also the mother of twins. Even though Johnson declared that she wasn’t a lesbian, we’re just gonna go ahead and include her in this list since she, you know, married a woman.

Layshia Clarendon


Layshia Clarendon plays for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and also helped the USA Women’s U19 team win the gold during the U19 World’s Championship in 2009. She describes herself as as “black, gay, female, non-cisgender and Christian,” and is outspoken about LGBT issues and her Christian faith.

Aside from all that, she’s also a kickass basketball player. Prior to landing in the WNBA she scored nearly 1,500 career points at UC Berkeley, so we’re pretty sure that being a lesbian hasn’t hindered her ability.

Janel McCarville


Janel McCarville was named WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice during the 2008 season, and won the WNBA championship in 2013 as a member of the Minnesota Lynx. The 6’2 center more or less has been out her entire career, and during an interview with GO Magazine she made it clear she wouldn’t have it any other way. “As long as you come to work on a daily basis and do your job, people have to respect you and your work ethic,” she said.

Of course, for every lesbian listed here there are probably 25-50 more out there completely killing it on the courts except for the hateful people at Pepperdine, but you get the idea. Lesbian ballers are here to stay, and they’re running game on the court. If you don’t like it, find another sport to coach. We’re talking to you, Weisenberg.

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