Growth is a word used often when describing the WNBA. And one way for the league to connect with fans is allowing them to get to know the stars better — on and off the court.
That’s the intent of “Shattered Glass: A WNBPA Story,” which is a Tubi-exclusive, behind-the-scenes view into the lives of WNBA MVPs — the New York Liberty’s Jonquel Jones and Breanna Stewart, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes.
Produced by MALKA in partnership with the WNBPA and Puma, this documentary is a first-of-its-kind piece that features some of the game’s best players in the WNBA.
It’s scheduled to air Jan. 31 exclusively on Tubi.
“It was a lot of fun filming the documentary,” Jones, a four-time All-Star who won WNBA MVP during the 2021 season, told Fox News Digital. “A lot of work as well, making sure everybody was available and everything because we shot it during the season. So, there were a lot of moving pieces.
“It was probably the first time I’ve had a group of people following me so in depth. I’ve had shorter pieces with the WNBA and other opportunities where people would come and spend like a day in the life. To have it be multiple filming sessions, different family members and the dog, you get a different perspective.
Perspective is the key to this documentary.
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Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum spoke to Fox News Digital in November 2023, explaining how she believes there isn’t a “great inside scoop into the super stardom of WNBA stars.” Leagues like the NBA market their stars to make them more relatable for fans.
Jones took it a step further, believing all WNBA players need to get their stories out there.
“I think the WNBA, at times, we try our best to connect with the superstars,” she explained. “But I think it kinda leaves a little bit more to be desired in terms of hearing some of the other stories of players in the league. I think it kinda showed in the past where we’ve had a certain budget, and we only were able to highlight certain players. Because of that, you’d see probably one commercial every year, and it was like, ‘OK, we’ve seen this commercial like 100 times now.’
“When you have companies like MALKA invested and allow us to bring our stories to the table and to be able to do it in a way we did it this year, like I said before, just having so many filming sessions and having different perspectives and just having so much material that you can bring a great product to the table, it’s going to allow us to continue to grow.”
“Shattered Glass” allows Jones to tell her story about how a 6-foot-6 forward from the Bahamas made her name with the Connecticut Sun. But while fans can look at the stat sheets and the draft record to see that, the documentary shows a more personal side of Jones that she usually keeps private.
“I think I’m a pretty funny person,” she said, laughing. “I think the documentary does a good job of kinda showing my humor a good bit. Just kind of allowing me to open the doors to people that have never really seen that side of me. We did some filming at my house, get to meet my dogs a little bit. And I’m a pretty private person when it comes to, like, social media and stuff. So, I think that side of me is good to see and allow fans to have that connection.”
Players at the college level are creating their own stardom, too, thanks to NIL deals and having the ability to market themselves before going pro.
But this documentary also shows the sacrifices WNBA players are making. Many WNBA players play overseas in the offseason to supplement relatively modest pay.
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“It’s trying to reach the audiences and trying to let them see how many sacrifices we, as WNBA players, have to make in order to play at such a high level,” said Jones. “We kinda touch on it in the documentary as well, where we have to, most times, a lot of us go overseas. I’m one of those players. I’m only in the U.S. right now because I have a break. So, in a couple weeks, I’ll be heading back to China.
“So, we have those younger players coming in [with] those NIL deals, and they’re going to be stars in our league. I hope that this documentary sheds light on the sacrifices we’re making now so that, when they come into the league, they don’t have to make those sacrifices. They can play in the summer and be able to rehab their bodies and work on their games during the offseason and not have to commit to playing overseas.
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“I think shedding a light on that is going to hopefully bring more of those conversations to the table and allow the Caitlin Clarks and Angel Reeses to not have to do what we do.”