Coco Gauff, A’ja Wilson, and Sha’Carri Richardson are some of the Black women in sports you should be keeping your eye on.
By: Noah A. McGee
The ladies are putting the sports world on notice. They’re here to stay.
With women’s sports continuing to grow it’s only right that we take note of some of the best Black female athletes who are dominating their sports. Coco Guaff just won the US Open, A’Ja Wilson just led the Las Vegas Aces to the best regular season ever and Sha’Carri Richardson just won the 100m at the world track and field championships.
The Black ladies in athletics are here to stay. Here are the ones you should be paying attention to:
The youngest lady on this list, Coco Gauff is only 19 years old and is already making waves in professional tennis. She recently won the US Open and has cemented herself as one of the faces of Women’s professional Tennis.
A’Ja Wilson has succeeded on every level of her basketball career. She was the number one ranked player coming out of high school. While at South Carolina, she was a national champion, NCAA tournament MOP, national player of the year, and a three-time first-team All-American. In 2018, she was drafted first overall in the WNBA draft and has since been named a WNBA champion, two-time MVP, a five-time all-star, a defensive player of the year, and rookie of the year.
This post-season, she’s hoping to lead the Las Vegas Aces to another WNBA championship.
Despite her controversial past, Sha’Carri Richardson has persevered to become one of the best track athletes in the world. A month ago, she the 100m at the world track and field championships in 10.65 seconds—a championship record time.
Breanna Stewart may get all the attention as the best player on the New York Liberty, but Jonquel Jones is no slouch. She’s a four-time WNAB All-Star who won league MVP in 2021. She’s hoping to be apart of the reason the Liberty win a championship in 2023
Angel Reese is among the most dominant players in the country and this past season was named a first-team All-America, the NCAA tournament most outstanding player (MOP), and an NCAA Champion. LSU legend Shaquille O’Neal named her the greatest athlete the university has ever produced. The only question left is, can Reese lead the Tigers to back-to-back titles?
Angel’s teammate, Flau’jae Johnson is not just a talented hooper, she’s also a successful rapper. She went viral last year for a dope freestyle she had on Bars On I-95.
Naomi Osaka has been a prodigy ever since she stepped on a professional tennis court. Despite being only 25 years old, she’s already won four majors, (two Australian Opens and two US Opens). Although she’s been on maternity leave for the past year, she’s ready to show that she’s still the best in the world.
Azzi Fudd is a young college basketball player who just keeps getting better. Coming out of high school, she was the number one ranked player in the country and opted to go to the most storied women’s basketball program in the country, UCONN. During her freshman year, she helped lead her team to the 2022 Final Four. While the team didn’t make it that far in 2023, she’s hoping to lead a comeback this upcoming season.
What can Simone Biles not do? She’s the most accomplished professional gymnast in the world. During the 2022 Olympics, she took a stand for athletes with mental health issues after she took a break during the games to focus on herself.
Following in A’Ja Wilson’s footsteps, Aaliyah Boston was also a star college athlete at the University of South Carolina. Currently, she’s the best player on a young Indiana Fever team and was recently named the 2023 WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Usain Bolt ain’t the only successful Jamaican sprinter. The fastest woman in the history of the Olympics, Elaine Thompson-Herah set the Olympic record in the Women’s 100 Meters during the Summer Olympics in 2021. She edged out Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing record of 10.62 with a time of 10.61.
Before Thompson-Herah set the Olympic record in the women’s 100 meters, fellow Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the fastest time in nearly 33 years: 10.63 during an event in June 2021.
Sydney Mclaughlin-Levrone is also a track and field star who is among the fastest in the world. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she won two gold medals, one in the 400-meter hurdles and another in the 4×400-meter relay. She also set the world record in the 400-meter hurdles in 2022, clocking a time of 50.68.
Candace Parker is a basketball legend who’s been the best at every level of her career. As a rookie in the WNBA, she won the WNBA MVP and the Rookie of the Year award. In 2021, she cemented her status as a Hall of Famer after leading her hometown team, the Chicago Sky, to their first-ever WNBA championship.
Thankfully, Britney Griner is back home after spending more than 100 days in a Russian prison during most of 2022. People may have forgotten, but Griner is still an imposing physical presence in the WNBA and had an awesome 2023 season despite the Phoenix Mercury struggling as a team. She’s a nine-time all-star and a WNBA champion.
Elana Meyers Taylor
I know some of us don’t pay attention to the Winter Olympics, but you might want to start, in order to watch bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor do her thing. During the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Taylor became the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history after taking home her fifth medal.
Along with being a brilliant athlete, Erin Jackson also has a degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Florida. At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the talented speed skater won gold in the 500 meter.
The ladies have hands too. Claressa Shields is one of the best Boxers out there. She won a gold medal at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics and is undefeated as a professional boxer.