Early April typically brings rising temperatures and thoughts of the arrival of long, lazy summer days, but this year in Dallas, Texas, spring also put a spotlight on the world of women’s basketball.

Not only was the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four considered one of the best ever, but that weekend saw a cross section of what makes women’s hoops so great. We saw record television ratings, and a coming-out party for future superstars Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, all while some of the greatest names to ever grace the hardwood in Nancy Lieberman, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi were in attendance.

In addition to great basketball, one of the most important events of the weekend took place off the court — the debut of the NBRPA’s women-focused health screenings. While fans were still drooling over an Iowa-LSU Finals matchup, the NBRPA staff were getting ready to host over 20 women to participate in the inaugural Health Screening Program. The initiative was launched in conjunction with the NBPA in 2016 to deliver valuable, preventive, long-term health care checkups to former professional players across the United States.

The Health Screening Program has impacted hundreds of former players by providing testing, including blood work, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and cardiology consultations, but never has there been an event to cater solely to the women that make up our membership, until now. One by one, Legends and members attending the annual Women’s Basketball Coaches Association conference made their way over to the NBRPA’s setup and participated in the screening program under the watchful eye of the Chief Medical Director, Joe Rogowski and his attentive staff. 

In addition to the customary, wide-ranging screening procedures, Legends also underwent innovative breast cancer examinations utilizing the latest technology from Bexa. Breast exams using Bexa technology are aimed at providing a highly convenient, early detection option for all women. By providing expanded choices, the NBRPA is committed to ensuring that all members have an opportunity to choose an early detection option that’s right for them.

WNBA Legend Rushia Brown told us about the importance of women getting the care that they need, as so many women don’t have access. NBRPA Director and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman called the initiative a “game changer” and recalled how so many of her past teammates and colleagues from the 1976 USA Basketball team are no longer with us and explained how important it is to speak about the screening experience. WNBA Legends Murriel Page and Bri Kiesel touted the exam’s ease and implored fellow members to take advantage of the program.

For the NBRPA, bringing this program to the NCAA Women’s Final Four was a no-brainer. NBRPA President & CEO Scott Rochelle was fired up about the initiative.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to grow our Health Screening Program and to be able to increase our focus on health issues affecting women,” Rochelle said. “With the world of women’s basketball front and center in Dallas, this presents an incredible occasion to bring this impactful program to where so many of our members will be.”

The weekend wasn’t just about on-the-court action and health initiatives, as there was quite a bit of fun to be had. The WNBA’s Dallas Wings hosted an incredible reception at the top of the W Hotel in Downtown Dallas for current and former WNBA players, media and celebrities. And  like everything else in Texas, the party was just bigger and better. Everyone from Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoops to the Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale rubbed elbows, showed off their fashionable outfits and mingled with guests as they celebrated the eventful weekend. It was truly an epic party in the heart of Texas.

The weekend spotlighted the women that make up this game and displayed that the past, present and future of women’s basketball are alive and well poised for even greater things around the corner.