For the great celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2022ESPN Deportes presents this special series, Latinas in the WNBA – past, present and future:
FAMILY IS FIRST
Daughter of RuthAnn and Dennis Lobo. She is the wife of sportswriter Steve Rushin. She is the mother of four children – three are girls – whom she adores. She advocate and representative of basketball. Woman of Latin blood.
The great rebecca wolf he turns 49 today.
We know her from basketball — from her days as a player for UConn, the US National Team and the WNBA … and now as a broadcaster for college and professional basketball. But there is no doubt that for Rebecca Lobo, family comes first.
Lobo was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in Southwick, Massachusetts with his parents. Dennis and RuthAnn Lobo and with his brothers Jason and Rachel. It was a home of unconditional love.
Her mother was always supportive, including that time when not enough girls signed up for the local basketball program and her mother demanded that she be included with the boys so she could participate. That story was shared by Lobo in his speech at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2017.
Her father, who took her to all of her AAU camps, practices and tournaments, never missed one of her basketball games.
One of the most important figures in his life would be his Cuban grandfather, Joseph Mario Lobo.
Lobo recounts wistfully, “My grandfather was Cuban. And the interesting thing is that he married a woman who was Polish. And they didn’t speak Spanish to each other, so my dad never learned Spanish.”
Lobo would learn Spanish in high school, and recalls with a laugh, “My grandfather would speak to me in Spanish and I would just look at him and say, ‘This is nothing like what we’re learning in school.'”
According to WNBA legend, her Cuban heritage helps define her, “Our family’s journey (began) in Spain, then Cuba, and then through Tampa, then migrating north and ending in Connecticut. But obviously it’s a big part of who I am.”
THE LOVES OF HER LIFE
If there is something in Lobo’s life that perfectly combines the themes of family and sports, it is that, after marrying in the Church with the sports journalist Steve Rushin in 2003, they held their wedding reception at the new Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, 15 minutes from where Lobo grew up.
It was the most ideal — and romantic — match possible for them. Thus began a fun journey that has brought four beloved children into the world: Siobhan, Maeve, Thomas and Rose.
While basketball is Lobo’s passion, her husband and four children are the loves of her life. And just like when she grew up, she and her husband offer her children a home of unconditional love.
Aside from her busy schedule as an ESPN commentator, the 6-foot-4 former center has found time over the years to coach her daughters in the sport she loves so much, basketball.
Also, like his father, Lobo attends his children’s different sports matches. The latter was not only told to me by Lobo, but I recently ran into her at a volleyball game when our respective daughters’ schools clashed.
Clearly, Rebecca and Steve get along very well and like to laugh. Every week, they record a very jovial podcast called “Ball and Chain Podcast” whose content is mainly the ridiculous of the everyday things in the life of a couple and parents of teenagers.
THE RUTHANN AND REBECCA LOBO SCHOLARSHIP OF HEALTH AND NURSING AT UCONN
Sadly, it hasn’t all been laughs on Lobo’s journey. During his days at UConn, he learned that his mother had breast cancer. The road would be difficult until her mother passed away in 2011, but she was always by her side.
Within that sadness, Lobo and his mother decided to establish a scholarship in favor of the Latino community. She explains how the idea was born, “My mom and I, in the early 2000s, started the ‘RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Fellowship in Health and Nursing at the University of Connecticut.’ … My mother battled breast cancer and other cancers at the time.
”We realized the lack of opportunity for Hispanics and people of color when it comes to health care. … Every year we provide financial assistance to a person at UConn who is in health care who has a Hispanic background or is a person of color,” concludes Lobo.
Lobo has met scholarship recipients, usually a young woman who is in her first or second year at UConn and for whom the money really makes a difference in continuing her education without racking up too much debt.
The scholarship is a great source of pride for Lobo for his contribution to Latinos, and it is also a way to honor his mother, ”It was a way to give back to the university in a different way than sports and a way to thank a community Hispanic woman who has really taken me in over the course of 25 years.”
HIS POPULARITY KNOWS NO LIMITS
Nine years ago, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month 2013, Lobo was voted the fourth most influential Hispanic athlete of all time by an elite panel assembled by espnW and ESPN Deportes. Her influence has not waned.
Rebecca Lobo’s contribution each season in fueling the growth of the league, in whose inaugural season she played in 1997, is undeniable. She has endeared herself to amateurs and professionals alike with her years of great dedication.
Lobo is an inspiration to those who follow in his footsteps in the WNBA. He inspires them with their love and dedication to the sport. He boasts 76 thousand followers on Twitter and more than 23,500 followers on Instagram.
The Latinas of the WNBA celebrate the legendary Rebecca Lobo in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
the rookie Evina Westbrookwho became the first Mexican-American in WNBA history this year, had the honor of playing at UConn along with Lobo and Diana Taurasi, and praises them as a role model. “They set precedents, not only with what they say, but with their actions. Dee has five gold medals, Rebecca was just a monster when she was playing, she continues to do amazing things and continues to represent her roots, just like Diana.”
Westbrook has deep respect for both of them, “For them to have done what they did, continue to do what they are doing now, paving the way for the future to come, I couldn’t have thought of two better people to do that for us. I’m gratefull”.
katie benzan She made history this season as the first Dominican to play in the WNBA, but she only played three games and was without a team again when the Washington Mystics released her eight days after her debut in May. Benzan, who accepted a job with the Utah Jazz in the NBA in July, says the message Lobo conveys with her example is something that has given her courage and bravery to take her next step.
According to Benzan, “(Rebecca Lobo) is incredible. Just her transition to another side of the game is really admirable. … She has been so inspiring to me just to see that basketball is a good part of our life, but it doesn’t have to be our whole life. She has really transitioned into the next chapter of her life and it’s really inspiring.”
The Mexican American Terri Acosta She is the physical trainer for the New York Liberty, a pioneer in her field as she is the only Latina physical trainer in the league since she was hired in 2019… just like Lobo, she was the only Latina player in the league since its inception and until her retirement. , which coincided with the arrival of Italian-Argentine Diana Taurasi, top scorer in WNBA history and also selected by league fans as the GOAT in 2021.
Acosta feels pure admiration for Lobo, “Rebecca Lobo was with the New York Liberty in the early years of the conception of the entire league; she’s been pretty amazing. She is also in our Ring of Honor.” It brings back fond memories for Acosta, as well as creating new ones, “It’s great that every time we have our ESPN games, and she’s there, there’s always a moment when I remember as a kid watching her on TV and saying, ” Wow, that’s Rebecca Lobo.” I still do it. When she is there, I greet her from afar. She’s great “.
And it’s amazing how his career has evolved. She is such a strong voice for the world of sports and women’s sports. It’s nice to see that. The completion of her entire career up to this point. I look forward to seeing exactly what she does in the future.”
In conceiving this series in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, “Latinas in the WNBA — past, present and future,” I quickly realized that Rebecca Lobo is the axis, the center of the series, as she represents each category, as Acosta has just summed up perfectly.
Rebecca Lobo exemplifies the past of Latinas in the WNBA — as one of the three original players in the league, assigned to the New York Liberty, the Cuban-American was the first Latina in the WNBA.
Rebecca Lobo exemplifies the present of Latinas in the WNBA — true, the GOAT is Diana Taurasi and her presence on the court makes the ends of the earth proud, but also having Lobo as an ESPN analyst is something that enhances the presence of the game and it’s a reminder that Latinas are in the WNBA to stay…and, yes, more Latina faces are missing.
And Rebecca Lobo exemplifies the future of Latinas in the WNBA — because she has the platform and the vision to see who are the promising Latinas that are emerging in college basketball, heading to the league. Plus, Terri Acosta says it best: “I look forward to seeing exactly what she (Lobo) does in the future.”
LOBO ENCOURAGES YOUNG PEOPLE TO DREAM OF THE WNBA
Lobo believes that there are no obstacles for young women who dream of reaching the league, ”I think the message for all young women is that they can do it. You can be a WNBA player. It takes hard work and some luck along the way. But you don’t have to be 6-foot-4, or 6-foot-3, or 2-inches.”
The need for more Latinas in the league is a theme we’ve been highlighting throughout this series during Hispanic Heritage Month. Latin figures are needed at each level, beyond Latin players, who are very few.
“You don’t even have to dream of playing in the WNBA,” says Lobo, as there are so many other options off the court, “such as fitness coach, marketing or the media or whatever. There are so many opportunities for women to explore their passion for sports and I would encourage any young woman who has that passion.”
We would love to thank the writer of this short article for this awesome material
LATINAS IN THE WNBA: Rebecca Lobo continues to be an example for Latinas in the league