April 23, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: John Fanta on women’s basketball

Fanta on Jordan Brand Classic: 'You're watching the best of the best next superstars'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Gigi Speer is joined by Fox Sports and BIG EAST commentator John Fanta to talk about the upcoming classes of women’s college basketball players.

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First, they spoke about how Fanta started out covering women’s basketball, at Seton Hall following head coach Tony Bozzella and the Pirates. Fanta spoke about how that opportunity has impacted how he covers the sport today:

“[Bozzella] really gave me an open door to his program and I was able to cover Ka-Deidre Simmons and Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Daisha Simmons, who ended up going on an incredible couple year run where they were making the NCAA tournament,” Fanta said. “But I think for me, what I learned from Tony, what I’ve also learned from our women’s basketball community, is how much he was encouraging of coverage and of access. And I think that’s what we’re seeing in the women’s game that has been so much fun.”

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“And so for me, I think that when I look back to my roots covering the sport, it’s only grown from that point in the last decades since I came to Seton Hall as a freshman. Being able to to call this a sport that I get the opportunity to cover is something that’s never lost on me and something I don’t take for granted,” he continued.

Then, they discussed the recent Jordan Brand Classic game, which Fanta called on the women’s side.

“To get the opportunity to call the game was a blast, but to get the opportunity to be in the Barclays Center, whether I’m calling or not, I want to be there every year,” Fanta said. “You walk into the building, you see Michael Jordan‘s brand … and it speaks for itself. Okay, you’re watching the best of the best next superstars.”

Then, they talked about several prospects that played in the game, from Joyce Edwards, who has committed to South Carolina, to Kennedy Smith, who has committed to USC.

“In the girls game, what we saw was Joyce Edwards continue to put on a show. She is going to be so strong at South Carolina and the fact that Dawn Staley got her an environmental engineering major made specifically for her. She has a 5.0 GPA. This kid is a superstar. I love watching her play, I love her motor, I love the way she plays the game,” Fanta said.

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

“How about Kennedy Smith, 6’1, versatile can put the ball on the floor. She’s off to USC, one of a couple in this star studded recruiting class for Lindsay Gottlieb. Kayleigh Heckel was in this game as well. Southern California is a force now with JuJu Watkins back and with this recruiting class coming in, one of the best in the country,” he continued.

Tune in to hear more about the prospects that attended this year’s Jordan Brand Classic, the experience of calling women’s basketball games, and much more. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

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