Oregon basketball star sheds light on renewed support for women’s athletics

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(NEW YORK) — The NCAA has again come under fire for inequities in women’s athletics following a viral TikTok video from Oregon basketball star Sedona Prince that highlighted the stark differences in training facilities for the men’s and women’s teams.

Prince joined Good Morning America Monday in her first interview since the NCAA tournament to shed light on why she chose to post the video and how she hopes it will spark change.

“When we start talking about these things and when student athletes speak up about it, that’s how change happens. And you can see when we all spoke up about it and used our voices, there was change,” she said. “If my sport and people help out volleyball and we all become a unified system and unit of student athletes — that’s the most important thing we can do.”

The video has now garnered over 30 million views on TikTok and Twitter.

“I talked with some of my teammates when we got [to the training facility] and I was, like, ‘Wow, this is kind of not cool and not fair for us. We definitely need something bigger and something adequate. We’re D1 athletes,'” she said. “I made a video before practice. And I was more upset about it. I was very opinionated — and I made a video [after] that was more of, like, here’s what’s going on. Instead of my opinion, it would be better and help portray the message more, and I posted it and it did cool stuff.”

Prince’s post quickly received attention and a lot of support from professional athletes like NBA star Stephen Curry, WNBA star and former Duck, Sabrina Ionescu, Aja Wilson, Anfernee Simons, Stacey Dales and more.

“It means so much, especially in the NBA. Players I looked up to forever, watching them support women’s basketball means a lot to us because we put in a lot of work and we deserve to be represented,” Prince said. “The fact that they’re supporting us and hearing us and talking about our stories was pretty special and we started, like, a movement for sure.”

Prince said the NCAA addressed the issue and improved the facilities but “the only thing we wanted was not really an apology, like, we didn’t need that. We just wanted it to change and for it to never happen again.”

“That’s how we improve and how the NCAA improves and how we become better as student athletes and people as well,” she continued. “So, you know, they did the right thing by us. They built a weight room, but, you know, it was just a little too late.”

An NCAA official apologized last month after Prince’s images and video surfaced on social media showing the stark differences between the women’s and men’s weight room facilities.

“We fell short this year,” said Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, who vowed to make improvements soon after the visuals went viral.

“I’ve experienced when you don’t have something that’s the same,” said Holzman, a former college basketball player. “This is also why it hit such a nerve with me. … There’s an accountability aspect as the conversation moves forward that is front of mind.”

Although the Ducks were defeated by Louisville in their Sweet 16 matchup, the rising senior said her future goals include winning the Pac 12 and NCAA championships and eventually going professional.

Prince reiterated that she hopes everyone keeps “talking about it, opening discussions and hearing opinions, and just educating people on sports and equality — that’s what we need.”

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