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Guest Commentary: Take a stand—and then take a seat! 

click to enlarge Judith Blair and the University of Arizona womens basketball team.

Courtesy Photo

Judith Blair and the University of Arizona womens basketball team.

I am boldly taking a stand for— and with—the University of Arizona Women's Basketball Team. Would you kindly consider doing likewise?

As the mother of former basketball Wildcat Joseph Blair, I witnessed tremendous support and attendance at the men's games. Seemingly, a seat at such games in McKale is prime real estate in the Tucson area. I've heard that legal bestowal of game seats has been a primary source of contention upon the death of a season ticketholder or a couple's divorce.

I am forever grateful for the advocacy the Tucson community has extended to both my son and to myself. The family atmosphere among the 14,000-plus at McKale during a game has to be one of the tops in the nation.

Unfortunately, the same is not true regarding the women's games. Thus, I take my stand: Could this be gender bias? Perhaps it is inadvertent, yet the disproportionate numbers are alarming. There are thousands of empty, inexpensive seats available to cheer on our Lady Cats. What an astounding venue this is for family night out, grandparents with grandkids and girls basketball teams dreaming of their futures. The scope of this social gathering is unlimited.

The word "underdogs" is quite prevalent. I more accurately describe our team as "undercats." The stars are aligning for a bright future of this program and, surely, you won't want to miss out.

I deem women's basketball coach Adia Barnes to be "the package," given her vast experience as a former Wildcat, a professional player both here and abroad, a coach, and a game commentator. Her staff is tremendously experienced and the remarkable team is progressing rapidly.

Ready to take a stand with me? Then, be sure to get some tickets for "The Birthday Celebration of Basketball" at McKale at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, when the UA faces Northern Arizona University. Margaret Naismith Jonker, great-granddaughter of Dr. James Naismith (basketball's inventor), will be a special guest. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will be delivering a proclamation at halftime. This is a wonderful event worthy of your support.

Some years ago I was bestowed a luminary award for my community service. That was intriguing, inasmuch as I more often have been considered a lightning rod. My other modus operandi has been that of a conduit, connecting people of similar concerns. In this venture, I'll claim both callings.

Come make an impact. Take a stand...then take a seat!

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