Prior to the London Olympic Games I was told by a few British reporters and a few imports that their country wasn’t going to give much attention to the women’s basketball competition. “They’d rather watch beach volleyball with their tiny bikinis,” a random caller said in one conversation.
But it’s not proving to be true at the Games’ Basketball Arena. On television the facility appears full with loud, engaged fans, albeit the cheering is a little like a WNBA’s Kids Day game were the crowd cheers for a made bucket well after an obvious violation or foul before the shot was called.
Reports from London state the venue is actually averaging more than 8,500 fans in a 12,000-seat facility. And even though the Americans are drawing more than 9,000 fans, the arena is at about 89 percent capacity for all of the games.
“It’s been awesome to see every single game, the energy, not just that the place is filled, but there is a great appreciation for women’s basketball,” U.S. assistant coach Doug Bruno, who has seen the crowds while scouting the Americans’ future opponents, told The Associated Press reporter Doug Feinberg. “The crowd is really into it. Growing this game is a process we’re working on back home, it’s not a quick process but it’s something everyone needs to work on.”