Coolidge point guard Essence Brown (left) and shooting guard Cydney Green (right) will be participating in DC's NTHICC this week.
Story & Reporting by Diane Roberts, 9 Sports
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Seeing and being seen, it's important for making good business connections, but it goes for the world of sports too. Wednesday, D.C.'s Title IX Conference and Classic begins -- the goal: get local girls in front of some national eyes.
You may know of a woman playing college or professional sports right now who probably has Title IX to thank. It is the federal civil rights law that breaks down barriers in sports for women and girls.
The National Title IX Holiday Invitational Conference and Classic (NTHICC) is a mouthful to say, but it provides even more. Empowering young girls around the D.C. area through seminars, mentoring and a little celebrity fun are just one part of what they do, sports is the other.
The basketball part of the conference tips off on Thursday. Sixteen schools will be in D.C., ten from the District, Maryland and Virginia, but most importantly there will be a lot of college scouts watching the games.
"Having one here gives those girls the avenue to be seen on a national stage ... there's big media covering this," said Saladin Reese, head coach of the Coolidge Lady Colts. "It makes them feel like they don't always have to travel somewhere else to get top notch treatment."
Reese has been coaching girls' basketball for 17 years and says an event like the Title IX Classic puts girls on an even playing field ... or court ... with the boys.
"Most people say, 'Okay, most scholarships go to girls who are six-feet and up,' but if you watch college basketball you're gonna see some five-footers out there so they have to be seen somewhere ... Why not here? Why not the District? Why not in our back yard?" said Reese.
Lady Colts shooting guard Cydney Green says she'll be a little nervous at the classic.
"Playing in front of these college scouts will mean I'll get a chance to get recognized ... hopefully somebody will offer me so I can go to school," said Green.
Essence Brown is a junior at Coolidge. The point guard has a 4.0 grade point average and is on the honor roll. She's had some interest from a few colleges, but this will be a bigger stage where coaches or scouts from Division I teams will be in attendance.
"They're just gonna see Essence, they're gonna see me go to work, like I always do and hopefully [it] transfers into another letter in my mailbox ... another opportunity for me to go to college," said Brown.
The idea of the classic is for girls like Essence and Cydney to get seen by college coaches, learn to believe in themselves and play with purpose.
The basketball portion of the event will be held December 27-29 at Trinity University Center for Women and Girls in Sports and the conference portion will begin Wednesday, December 26 at the Hyatt Regencey Capitol Hill.