WNBA continues to make a difference in communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It's not so easy getting a cab out to the Richard England Boys and Girls Club. At least it wasn't Saturday afternoon. Three cabbies said they never heard of it and weren't sure how to get there. A fourth finally took the fare, grumbling, "They know where it is; they just don't want to go there."It's one of those trips that doesn't pay off well for cabbies because they won't get a fare back. It's really not that far from the Verizon Center, site of Sunday's WNBA All-Star Game (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET). But in big cities, even just a few miles can seem like a very long way. That's especially the case for kids. Which is why having the East and West teams practice at the boys and girls club was such a nice idea. The center has a brand new basketball floor, thanks to Nike. Places such as this can be a salvation to young people. One of the East starters, Detroit's Deanna Nolan, is from Flint, Mich. Even if you didn't see "Roger & Me," you likely know how hard times were there when Nolan was a child. (And still are.) "Growing up, I didn't have anything like this," she said of the practice session where kids got to watch and then interact with players. "We had youth centers -- none as nice as this one, with a new floor -- but we made use of them.
Mechelle Voepel of The Kansas City Star is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.