Sammy Prahalis: Born This Way

Sammy Prahalis: Born This WayPhotography by Sophie Elgort

Don’t ask her about the WNBA.

Not yet at least.

Prahalis is still too focused on finishing her career at Ohio State on a high note, and so far, all is going according to plan. Averaging 19.0 points and nearly seven assists, Prahalis has led the No. 11 ranked Buckeyes to a stellar 20-2 start to her senior season.

“All my heart and soul is focused on our season right now,” Prahalis says. “I don’t want to leave Ohio State wondering if I could have been more focused. That’s why I stayed this past summer to be with my team. I wanted to put everything I have into this season.”

Perhaps never before has a women’s basketball player effectively utilized a controlled, streetball type of approach to the women’s game to the degree Prahalis has. But it’s so much more than just electrifying the crowd; basketball is sacred to Styles P. There’s a subtle but apparent undertone of love and appreciation for the sport in everything she says and does.

Still, ever since she was a little girl perfecting her AND1 moves, playing professionally has been her goal.

 

I’ve always wanted to be a pro. At the same time, I’ve wanted to also make a statement. Change the game. The way I look at the game of basketball is probably different than most. I want to bring excitement to the game—excite and inspire people.

 

“I’d be lying if I said I never think about the draft,” Prahalis admits. “It’s a dream of mine. But I’m very much in the moment right now, living in the present. I mean, I’ve always wanted to be a pro. At the same time, I’ve wanted to also make a statement. Change the game. The way I look at the game of basketball is probably different than most. I want to bring excitement to the game—excite and inspire people.”

Could Sammy Prahalis change the women’s game? It’s a fair question. She has all the qualities that would be required to do so and there’s no denying she possesses the desire and motivation. As Ohio State’s season rages on, Prahalis is quickly solidifying herself as a first-round lock in the 2012 WNBA Draft.

Women’s basketball needs someone like Sammy. Someone who isn’t afraid of juking the status quo. Someone who can help women's basketball reach an entirely new demographic of fans. 

“This ain’t the ‘50s anymore,” she says while shaking her head with a trademark, facetious smile.

Changing women's basketball is a lofty goal to say the least. But you tell Styles P she can't do it. Tell her she's too flashy. Tell her she doesn't have what it takes. See what happens.

But you might want to get the hell out of her way first.

Tags: womens-basketball, sammy-prahalis
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