A WNBA star went viral for schooling men who ‘don’t respect women’s basketball’ in off-season pickup games

  • WNBA star Aerial Powers spent part of her off-season thrashing men in pickup games at 24 Hour Fitness gyms.
  • Several videos she posted of her torching the competition at local gyms went viral on social media.

Aerial Powers took an unconventional approach to ramping up for the 2022 WNBA season.

And the minnesota lynx star went viral for it.

The 5-foot-11 forward, entering her fifth season in the WNBA, spent part of the last seven months playing pickup games against men in local gyms. She refused to back down to anyone who doubted her hooping her abilities on the basis of her gender and, on several occasions, filmed herself schooling men who “talk junk about us that do n’t respect women’s basketball.”

A WNBA star went viral for schooling men who 'don't respect women's basketball' in off-season pickup games
Powers.AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

“I fucking love it,” Powers told Insider with a grin. “There’s so many men that look at us and don’t look at us as athletes. They look at us as just women that try to play basketball.”

During a spring USA Basketball camp in Minneapolis, Powers reflected on one of the first clips she shared to social media of such an interaction. She had gone to the 24 Hour Fitness just looking “to get some cardio,” she recalled, but her “competitive edge” took over as soon as she jumped in the game.

“That’s how I was raised,” Powers said. “I mean, that’s how I became the player I am, playing with the boys every day at 6:00 PM in Detroit, Michigan. Make sure you put that in there.”

A WNBA star went viral for schooling men who 'don't respect women's basketball' in off-season pickup games
Powers drives past a practice player at USA Basketball camp.AP Photo/Eric Gay

The video, which has more than half a million views on TikTok, shows the 2019 WNBA champion scoring bucket after bucket as men on the opposing team helplessly attempt to guard her. By Powers’ own account of her, one man on the other team grew so frustrated with her dominance of her that he tried to guard her himself. When that didn’t work, I tried to fight her.

“The guy started — I’m just gonna be straight-up — he started talking shit,” Powers said. “And then when he started talking shit, I was like, ‘Oh, I gotta show him what I could do.’ And then nobody on the team could guard me, you know? So that video went viral.”

@aerialpowers NO ONE IS SAFE #BridgertonScandal #WomenOwnedBusiness #HaloSilverTeam #fypシ #wnba #trending #sports #womeninsports #LizzosBigGrrrls #basketball #foryoupage #viral #wnbaisback #studsoftiktok #basketballtiktok #athlete #whenwomenwin #aerialpowers #minnesotalynx ♬ original sound – Aerial powers

She kept at it and “had a couple other videos on TikTok that went crazy” as well. The next day, she posted a video of herself going one-on-one with another man who said she got “lucky” on some of her de ella makes.

She beats him time after time, sinking her shots and taunting him for being “too small.” That clip has 880,000 views on TikTok.

@aerialpowers WHO’S NEXT #InstaxChallenge #WomenOwnedBusiness #wnba #fypシ #BridgertonScandal #BridgertonScandal #basketballtiktok #basketball #wnbaplayers #basketballplayer #aerialpowers #basketballtraining #comdey #lbgt #adventurevibes #menvswomen #trending #womeninsports #sports #marchmadness #foryou #viral # WomenOwnedBusiness #wnbaisback #basketball4life #HaloSilverTeam #shaderoom #wnbaallstar #basktball #womenhoopers #hoopersoftiktok #athlete ♬ original sound – Aerial Powers

Powers insisted that she doesn’t hit the court looking for trouble. But when men disrespect her simply because she’s a woman, she wo n’t hesitate to make them eat their words from her.

“Most hoopers that play basketball, they know we got it and they don’t talk shit,” Powers said. “They don’t come on social media and follow us just to talk junk.”

But when it comes to “those guys” who do talk smack in their Instagram comments and Twitter mentions, Powers says she’s “got something for ’em.” And she has a TikTok audience ready to eat it up.

A WNBA star went viral for schooling men who 'don't respect women's basketball' in off-season pickup games
Powers motions to the crowd.AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King

Powers will face legitimate competition soon enough, as the WNBA season tips off Friday. She and the Lynx will kick off the season against the Seattle Storm at 10 pm ET opening day.

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