Besides the amazing talent, the fans are the coolest thing about the WNBA. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with different fans via social. I believe the stories of how those fans came to enjoy the WNBA are important.
This next WNBALove Story comes from one of my favorite follows Jess a.k.a Bun. I had the pleasure of meeting Bun at last year’s WNBA All-Star game. She is super cool and I have admired how she has been a champion for the women in the WNBA. Her WNBA fandom stems from the greatness that is UCONN. Please enjoy this next WNBALove Story from Jess/Bun and give her a follow @DT3sBun on the Twitter.
“As a teen I was casually flipping through channels, and happened to land on ESPN. UConn women’s basketball was on. I couldn’t stop watching. I had never seen anyone take over a game like Diana Taurasi did. I loved her passion and desire for the game. And for lack of a better word-her swagger. Pretty soon I was sporting the iconic bun and knee-high socks too. I wanted to be like Dee. After a legendary career at UConn (three-peat), she was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury as the #1 pick in 2004. I followed her to the WNBA. The first time I saw her play in person was on June 12, 2009 in ARCO Arena vs the Sacramento Monarchs. A couple of months later we were in the Finals, and I visited US Airways Center-now known as Talking Stick Resort Arena-for the first time. It was an experience unlike any other. If you have a chance to watch Diana Taurasi play live, take it. The Phoenix Mercury fanbase, the XFactor, are dedicated, loyal, and loud. Everything you’d want for home court advantage. The Phoenix Mercury staff make you feel like you’re home. We won our second championship that year. In 2011, I saw Sue Bird had a fan account on Twitter dedicated to her ponytail. I thought it’d be fun to make one for Diana Taurasi’s bun, and @DT3sBun was born. Initially my tweets were entirely from the point of view of her bun, as you can imagine you can only tweet about shampoo and conditioner for so long. With time I finally let people know who was “behind the bun” and switched over to promoting the WNBA and doing live commentary during games. The WNBA community on Twitter is one of a kind. It was small enough when we first started that we formed a close knit of friends. Everyone pretty much knew everyone. The community has exploded since then with fans from every team in the league. It is remarkable watching the growth from when I first started to now. In 2017 I was able to meet Diana Taurasi thanks to the Phoenix Mercury who arranged it. People freak out over actors, singers, celebrities etc, I freak out over basketball players. I don’t recall much of what I said to be honest, I was in awe. Dee has a very welcoming and charismatic personality-like you’re her homegirl, and you’ve known each other for years. Me? I was a mess. Hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to redeem myself. What really separates the WNBA from other professional sports leagues are the people. From members of the media to fans, we have some of the most dedicated people working to grow the game. Some of them have been at it since the very beginning with little or no pay, and they deserve the recognition. Coaches and players will gladly take a picture or sign an autograph for you. It really is a special league. I’ve gotten to meet friends for life. We may cheer for different teams, but at the end of the day we’re all here for the love of the game. In February of this year I finally got to visit where it all started for me, Storrs. Looking up at the championship banners, I spotted the first one I got to witness many years ago. People in Connecticut still talk about her like she never left. The GOAT from Chino with the big mouth, bun, number three, and long socks. Connecticut’s daughter, and a legend of the game.”
I want to thank Jess a.k.a Bun for sharing her story with me. You can catch her in Vegas for the All-Star game decked out in her Mercury gear. This tweet is a reason why she is one of my favorite follows.
Here’s what I send them pic.twitter.com/99iu0uCEK7
— Diana Taurasi’s Bun (@DT3sBun) July 21, 2019