/Van Chancellor touts Vivians’ value in WNBA

Van Chancellor touts Vivians’ value in WNBA

Mississippi is set to see the WNBA gain many more fans. Victoria Vivians, the state’s most successful high school scorer and who led Mississippi State to two NCAA Final Fours is set to join the league. Thursday night is the WNBA Draft. Vivians is expected to be a slam dunk second-rounder. Morgan William, State’s point-guard and the shooter of one the most iconic shots in women’s basketball history, will likely be drafted. This column has been asked many questions by readers via email and Twitter. I couldn’t answer all of them. With this in mind, Van Chancellor, a former coach at Ole Miss and a Mississippi State graduate, was the best source of information I have ever had about women’s basketball. All Chancellor did was win four WNBA championships while he was the Houston Comets’ coach. The league awarded him the Coach of the Year award the third time. He is an expert. Here’s a Q andA with Chancellor (now 74, retired in Houston), about the league, Vivians, and William. Q. Q. A. The WNBA has salaries just like other professional sports. The rookie contract will pay $52,000 per year for the first rounders. This is only for the first three years. Keep in mind that they will be making most of their money abroad. European teams are more generous. I’m estimating that she will earn about 100 grand as a player in Europe, her first year. There are some superstars who can earn three to four hundred thousand dollars per year. Q. Q. Do the seasons overlap in the WNBA or overseas? A. If your teams reach the playoffs, they can. In May, the WNBA teams will report. They have a 32-game season that runs through September. After a short break, you travel to Europe to play for your team. The season ends with a short break for Christmas, and then you return to finish it overseas. It’s time for you to return to the WNBA after that season is over. Sometimes, if your team is deep in the playoffs abroad, you may be late reporting to your WNBA teams. This can cause problems for your WNBA teammates. Q. Q. What about endorsements A. National endorsement money isn’t as plentiful as it used to be for women. Although the best players may be able to get a contract for shoes, it is not life-changing money. There are some opportunities to make local endorsement money if you’re partnered with the right team. If your team wins, you can make more money. My best guess is Victoria Vivians can make around $200,000 as a rookie, as talented as she is. This includes endorsements, WNBA, and overseas. It’s not as good as the NBA, but it’s still good money to play basketball. Q. Q. What do you think of Vivians’ performance as a WNBA coach? A. She’s special. She’s going be a great pro. She is capable of doing things that you cannot teach. She is able to score, and can score in many different ways. She can hit the deep three, and she can also put the ball on her floor to go to the basket. She is a potential impact player in this league. She will have to continue to improve her game and become a better player. This is because everyone else will do it. Your game must be improved. She can do even more internationally. She is a scorer, and that’s what they’re hunting. Here’s the truth: She won’t be protected over there as well as she was here in the SEC. They don’t defend like we do in Europe. She will get more open shots there. She will get better shots there than she did here. Q. Will her appearance be an issue in terms of endorsement? She is a homecoming queen. That will impact endorsements in the WNBA as well as overseas. A. Yes, it is a factor. But the biggest factor will be her ability put the ball in her basket and her ability to help her teams win championships. Q. Q. A. In the first round, no doubt. If I were you, I would pick her second behind Aja Wilson (South Carolina). But that’s just me. Q. Q. A. A. Morgan Williams reminds of Tameka Johnson who was a point guard at LSU, and later for many years in WNBA. Morgan Williams brings many of the same qualities to the table as Tameka. She is about the same height as Tameka, and she played in that league for quite some time.