Warriors Make Female Esports Gamer’s Hoop Dreams Come True

Photo: mihailomilovanovic (Getty Images)

Chiquita Evans is a trailblazer. Well, she’s officially a Warrior, after becoming the first woman ever drafted into the NBA 2K League on Tuesday night by the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. 

Evans ground-breaking accomplishment is a fitting tribute to mark Women’s History Month as she joins the storied ranks of women who broke the gender line, including Althea Gibson (aka the female Jackie Robinson), Manon Rheaume (the first woman to sign an NHL contract), and most recently Mo’ne Davis (the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series).

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Although esports is a modern sports phenomenon, female gamers like Evans still face old-fashioned hate and harassment from the male majority. A study was conducted after NBA commissioner Adam Silver commented that the lack of gender diversity in the league’s inaugural season, which had no women, was “disappointing for all of us.” The data showed that male players weren’t passing the ball to their female teammates. The league also monitored communication between players more carefully at this year’s combine, removing several players for sexist remarks. 

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Despite all the discrimination, Evans was one of two women who qualified for the 2K League draft this year through the league’s online combine. The other, Brianna Novin, was not selected but could still sign as a free agent.

”Esports has become a huge thing now,” said Evans’ favorite player, Kevin Durant, to NBA.com. ”More people who enjoy the game might get an opportunity to be professionals and make some money for themselves and make some money. I think it’s cool.’’