WNBA podcasts, live chats, and more, provide fans with the opportunity to get to know their favorite players, hear directly how players are thinking, and develop a better understanding of the game. They can be a great way to digest breaking news, and to pick up new team insights.
Earlier this month, we highlighted some great WNBA blogs to read to keep up with the world’s best basketball league. Today, for the auditory learners, we’ve gathered some recommended podcasts. From Floor Game to Dish with Pepper and Tea with A and Phee, you’re sure to find your next favorite show (and even some words of wisdom from your favorite tipsy USWNT player). So let’s jump in!
Check out some of the greatest WNBA podcasts available right now (in alphabetical order). For each podcast, we share the producers, how often you can expect new episodes to drop, and one of our favorite episodes to listen to as you get started. So check them out and tune in.
Most of you probably remember the four-hour marathon Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe, Diana Taurasi Instagram live, which featured a very drunk Megan Rapinoe and some heavy rookie taunting. It reinvigorated us all at our darkest point of quarantine, back before sports returned in earnest. That energy would translate to podcast form throughout the remainder of the offseason, balancing candid conversation with A-list anecdotes.
ESPN’s largest women’s basketball podcast features LaChina Robinson and producer Terrika Foster-Brasby. Their easy chemistry and friendship is on display in each episode. Here, you can find coverage of both the WNBA and college ball. But what really sets this podcast apart is the access to any and every big name in hoops.
Arielle Chambers – a constant champion for women’s sports and a beacon of light for, well, everybody – created highlightHER, which is powered by House of Highlights. If you’ve interacted with Ari on social media at any point, you’ve come away feeling both the support and the love that radiates from her.
“I have a highlightHER series called #chattHER,” she told QBC about these interviews, which take place on IG Live. “It gets to know players and talent in their most natural state. Yes, we talk about sports but we also discuss them, as humans, and it’s super fun to showcase and amplify the off-the-court moments of players!”
Christy Winters Scott, Maryland Athletics Hall of Famer and decorated TV analyst, covers women’s college basketball in this national podcast. Since starting up in November of 2020, Christy has had on a parade of high-profile guests, such as Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer and sports commentator Debbie Antonelli.
This might be the most out-of-the-box item on this list, but sports media looks to be flocking to the new audio platform (currently in a beta mode that’s invite-only and restricted to iPhone users). Clubhouse allows people to ping into a live chat, tiered into speakers and audience members, who then have the opportunity to “raise their hands” and ask a question for that week’s panel.
Recently, Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV organized a weekly chat with friends across the WNBA media community, and you never know who will show up. Coach James Wade of the Chicago Sky, the Atlanta Dream’s Jaylyn Agnew, and the Indiana Fever’s Jantel Lavender have been among the WNBA talent to pop in and chat.
This podcast, formerly known as It’s Not Just A Game, explores the business behind sports. Chrissi Sanders – an unparalleled hype-woman and friend – hosts these conversations. Which primarily look to highlight the journeys of women of color that work in the industry. She and that month’s guest talk through their experiences, while Chrissi steers the conversation with her natural kindness and charisma.
“I started the podcast because I felt like there were so many amazing women behind the scenes of sports but their stories weren’t told or celebrated,” Chrissi told us. “I wanted to have candid peer-to-peer conversations and give them a platform to share their knowledge and experience with the world, while celebrating their brilliance.”
While A’ja Wilson narrowly edged out Breanna Stewart for league MVP this past season, media MVP was a runaway. Pepper Persley, the intrepid nine-year-old reporter, seemed somehow present in every Zoom call. Getting face time with every big name (including, recently, an incredible interview with Maya Wiley, who aspires to become NYC’s next mayor). And landing gigs with multiple outlets, including a writing job with Nets Republic. She has two programs on this list, her IG Live/recorded podcast called Dish With Pepper, and her podcast, She Got Next, hosted by The Next. We reached out to her for this piece. And she graciously answered. So here’s Pepper’s mission statement, in her own words:
“I love basketball and want to play in the WNBA, and I really believe that the W deserves more viewers and support. I created Dish With Pepper during quarantine to try to bring a smile to people’s faces, but eventually I began addressing equality and activism. On She Got Next, I try to highlight the voices and stories of people in women’s basketball. I encourage my listeners to watch the WNBA as they are incredible basketball players with platforms that are making change. I hope that both of my podcasts can shine a light on the importance of using your voice to make a difference, and paying attention to women’s sports.”
The Double Down is a consistent pod that keeps the women’s hoops conversation going all year. Eric Nemchock and Stephen Trinkwald offer deep analytical breakdowns across all dozen teams. Tackling everything from the micro – like single game recaps – to the macro – like full free agency previews. “I will usually spend probably about 8 hours a week preparing for a given show,” Stephen said, “watching film, diving into statistics, etc.” As of this writing, the show has eclipsed 5,000 downloads.
“We don’t really talk about goals for the show too often, but obviously we want the show to grow and for people to like the content we are producing,” Stephen said. “The most important thing is that we are continuing to have fun working on this project and enjoying doing the show.”
Ben Dull is one of the sharpest, most respected minds covering the W. So it’s no surprise that his podcast is a fount of information. If you’re looking for bold opinions from a keen observer that knows all the ins and outs of the WNBA, this is the pod for you. A recent series of episodes were devoted to each team’s season in review, with a beat reporter bringing their knowledge to share.
This podcast – or series of podcasts – covers a wide range of topics related to both professional and college women’s hoops. John Liddle, a long-time women’s basketball broadcaster, talks to guests weekly throughout the sports world. Concurrently, other series produce beneath the HHS umbrella, like Courtside or Unplugged. What does this mean? You’re seeing new episodes populate with more frequency than most other pods on this list.
Together, Liz, Karen, and Kyndall comprise The Hoops Talk podcast team. They talk about the way sports intersect with women’s issues, culture, and society. Both on their own, or with a guest from any and every corner of the sports world. While they don’t speak exclusively on the W, it’s often on the menu for that episode’s conversation. The trio’s friendship is inviting, and each episode is filled with laughs and good-natured digs (often directed at team loyalties).
If you’re keyed into the women’s basketball community, chances are you’ve already come across Blake DuDonis on Twitter. He’s the head coach of the D3 University of Wisconsin-River Falls basketball program. And he’s a shining star as an advocate for both women in sports and social justice. In each of his podcast episodes, he interviews a different head coach at a large college basketball program. His mission statement: “Backgrounds get dove into, laughs are had, and hopefully, you’ll learn something you didn’t know before listening.”
Khristina Williams, who we mentioned above with the weekly Clubhouse series, has built both Girls Talk Sports TV and this podcast from the ground up to unimaginable heights. In her own words, “Kickin’ It with Khristina is a podcast that brings you candid conversations with some of the biggest names in and around the WNBA.” Khristina was recently recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for her incredible efforts to grow the game.
“My goal when I set out to create the podcast,” she told us, “was to create something that humanized athletes, while also amplifying their story and voice. Through these conversations listeners are able to relate and embrace the women of the WNBA in a whole new way, beyond the typical state and scores.”
Do you need your women’s basketball more than once a week? How about nearly every day? This pod has you covered. Howard Megdal – the editor-in-chief of The Next and founder of The IX newsletter – has staffed a superteam of podcasters to keep you up to date on everything happening in the sport (both college and pro). The normal lineup has Gabe Ibrahim and Amy Audibert on Mondays, Erica Ayala on Tuesdays, Lindsay Gibbs on Wednesdays, and Howard Megdal on Fridays.
“Our goal is to bring daily coverage to women’s basketball,” Gabe Ibrahim said to QBC, “because these women deserve our attention every day. Each day’s show brings a different perspective from people who care deeply about this game.”
On this list, you’ll see several current or former WNBA players sharing their own stories. Last season, Natalie Achonwa (recently signed to the Minnesota Lynx, but then a member of the Indiana Fever) put together #NatChat, a video blog with short interviews of players and personalities around the WNBA.
Here’s another current player taking her talents off the court, as well as on. Remotely Renee doesn’t just stick to the W, though. But highlights Renee Montgomery’s bright future as a journalist talking about everything major that has happened that week.
There are two types of episodes: the general weekly show, which releases once a week on Fridays. And the half-episodes, which are 1-on-1s with famous guests, like Pete Buttigieg or Shea Serrano. What makes this pod stand apart is the personal aspect. You’re invited into Renee’s inner circle, as she shares the mic with her manager, Paul Guarino; her sister, Nicole Young; and her mother, Bertlela “Snook” Montgomery.
“One of the major goals of the Remotely Renee Podcast,” Bertlela told QBC, “is to be a platform that brings family and sports together in an entertaining and engaging medium. It also allows me to share some of the interesting things about our colorful family and the state of West Virginia.”
Just last week, Snook received her first vaccine dose. And using this platform to share her experience is just one example of the strong values and organic conversation this whole team has put together. Also, we’ve got to mention the stunning artwork – go check it out!
James Kay and Chris Pennant are The Skyhook Podcast, a pod under the Winsidr umbrella. And the pair offer in-depth coverage of all things Chicago Sky. They often bring on guests that are media voices surrounding the team. So there’s really no better consistent Sky coverage elsewhere in the audio medium.
“We believe Chicago has some of the greatest sports teams and fans in the world,” James said. “Each time we release a podcast, our goal is to provide them with the same passion they bring to every game, discussion and heated social media interaction. Above all else, we are here to help grow the profile of one of the best products in sports today: the WNBA.”
Like Ben Dull’s Floor Game and The Skyhook Podcast, this show is a member of the Winsidr network of podcasts. John W. Davis and Pavy get into everything going down around the Los Angeles Sparks. During the season, they keep up with the team’s performance, while occasionally talking to people around the team.
Another mention here of Erica Ayala, this time shouting out her tremendous YouTube series, Sports Talk with Erica L. Ayala. Erica is one of the smartest people covering women’s sports. And each of her conversations seem to be effortlessly filled with nuggets that will deepen how you observe the game.
She’s so assertive and confident with her takes that, even if you start that listen disagreeing with her, you’ll have rethought your position within minutes. Erica champions all women’s sports, but is an especially passionate voice hyping up the NWHL – she’s just recently returned from a commentating gig at the N-Dubble, the NWHL’s ill-fated attempt at a single-site tournament. (If you want to hear more about women’s hockey, give a listen to Erica’s Founding 4 Podcast.)
The second best thing A’ja Wilson did in the Bradenton Bubble – after winning MVP for the runner-up Las Vegas Aces, of course – was pair up with the Minnesota Lynx’s Napheesa Collier for this hilarious podcast. The average Q-rating of each guest likely laps every other show on this list. And the Wilson/Collier double teams each famous person that rolls through, grilling them with fun on-court questions. This series has gone quiet since the season’s close in September, but we’re hoping more tea gets spilled in 2021.
Aryeh Schwartz (the founder of Winsidr) and Rachel Galligan (the Woj of the W) team up to interview people all around women’s basketball: players, coaches, and media. This is Winsidr’s flagship podcast. But – as you can see from this list – the company puts out quality work for fans of the WNBA.
“I started the Winsidr Show,” Aryeh Schwartz told QBC, “because at the time there were not many WNBA podcasts, and even less that strictly focused on the basketball. Other leagues have so many voices debating takes on players and teams, the W deserves that. Our goal is to have in-depth discussions with the people that know the league best.”
The WNBA Nation pod, as stated in its title, covers all corners of the W. There are four hosts, but rarely will all four hit the mic at once: two or three is the norm. In the offseason, they go into activities around the league like coaching hires or draft news. But in-season, they analyze storylines as they are written.
This pod, unfortunately, has been dormant for a while, but was a regular throughout much of the Wubble season. Shay brought some personalities from WNBA Twitter on to break down their favorite teams, often bringing insight through the lens of their own fandom. Hopefully, we see this one return in the future, but it’s worth revisiting the archive in the meantime.
Now you know some of the best WNBA podcasts to get your fill of elite competition coverage and updates on the W’s social justice initiatives. For even more media to enjoy, check out an extensive list of pods over at Across the Timeline, which was integral to gathering some of this information.
Written by Myles Ehrlich, a WNBA writer from Brooklyn, NY, who also covers the New York Liberty as a beat writer during the season. You can absorb his hot takes on Twitter and find more of his work on Nets Republic, Winsidr, and TBW Basketball.
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