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Block party at Thrive City captures excitement for Golden State Valkyries women's team

Golden State Valkyries block party held at San Francisco’s Thrive City
Golden State Valkyries block party held at San Francisco’s Thrive City 02:56

San Francisco — A block party at Thrive City outside Chase Center capped off a big week for the Golden State Valkyries.

On Tuesday, the team announced their logo, name and colorway. The event on Saturday was a way to celebrate with the community, and there was a line formed outside of the Warriors' Shop as people lined up to buy gear to support the women's team.

"We want empowering sports or activities for little ones like this and teams for them to look up to," said Will Owens.

He attended the block party with his young daughter, Zuri.

"We're trying to decide on basketball or soccer camp for the summer," Owens said.

"It's gonna be soccer," Zuri interjected.

Owens responded," We'll see, we'll see."

Owens played basketball himself growing up. He looked up to the greats in the sport, like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He wants Zuri to be able to look up to next year's Valkyries players, and know basketball can be for her too.

"I think that's another thing for her, she says 'I wanna do soccer,' because she sees basketball is what the boys do at her school. It's what she sees," Owens said.

But the hundreds of people that filled Thrive City prove people are excited to see women take the court at Chase Center.

Valkyries President Jess Smith said the excitement surrounding women's basketball and women's sports in general stems from decades of work. Now, people are supporting the product.  

"You're seeing consumers really understand their power," Smith said. "You want something to be successful you buy the merchandise. You watch it on TV, you demand that you get to see it, and broadcasters are responding to that. Media is responding to that. Ownership is responding to that."

Smith believes the excitement is here to stay. She said she's excited to see her daughters grow up in this new world.

"The best part is, they'll know no difference, they'll see themselves," Smith said about her daughters watching women in sports. "The boys and girls, they'll idolize these WNBA athletes."

Owens said he'll be bringing Zuri back to the Chase Center and Thrive City for games.

He hopes she can learn she can be the next Caitlin Clark, Lisa Leslie, or Steph Curry.

"I do think having her see a professional WNBA team, if we start to go to the games, she might be more interested," Owens said. "Because right now, who do we look to? We're watching college on TV but as far as the Bay Area, Oakland, San Francisco, being here at the Chase Center, we haven't had that."

The Valkyries will be the WNBA's 13th team. They'll play in the league starting in the 2025 season.

Smith said the more 10,000 fans have already put down deposits on season tickets.

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