Belle Vernon freshman Viva Kreis gets behind-the-scenes look at WNBA
Sunday, September 29, 2019 | 3:00 PM
Viva Kreis fell for basketball at a young age.
The 14-year-old freshman at Belle Vernon was able to share her affinity for the game with a number of WNBA players over the summer as part of a research project.
She spent time with all 12 pro women’s teams.
Kreis’ project was part of National History Day, and the theme was “Breaking Barriers in History.”
“The WNBA popped into my mind,” Kreis said in a video the WNBA produced about her project.
She wrote to the league, asking for access to teams and the league obliged. The result was fun and informative for Kreis, who plays point guard.
— Viva Kreis (@Las_Vegas_Viva) September 28, 2019
“They read (my letter), and they called me and it’s history from there,” Kreis said in the video. Pros began to recognize the wide-eyed teen.
Even her favorite player, Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury, sought her out for a meet-and-greet.
“She is doing something that is remarkable and inspiring for young women all over the world,” Belle Vernon girls basketball coach Ronnie Drennan said. “She has grown so much as an individual throughout this process. It has really carried over onto the court. She definitely has taken some pointers from the pros because she has really improved her ability to communicate and direct on the floor.”
Kreis’s mother, Mary, is a marathon runner and a cancer survivor. She named her daughter Viva because it means “long live” in Italian.
“Now she has seen women in leadership roles and she sees what she can do later in life,” Mary Kreis said. The league-wide tour took her from Connecticut to Dallas to Los Angeles, among other stops. She met a number of star players.
“I couldn’t have imagined anything like this,’ she said. “It’s been incredible.”
— NetsRepublic.com ???? (@NetsRepublic) September 28, 2019
— Viva Kreis (@Las_Vegas_Viva) July 6, 2019
LA Sparks & Las Vegas Aces!! 8/12 & 9/12 ✅ #WNBA #wnbakicks #herkickz #lasvegas #lasvegasaces #losangeles #lasparks #nba #womensbasketball #basketball #hertimetoplay #mytimetoplay #mytime #12teamtour @ West Coast https://t.co/Lt8gi2Hhag
— Viva Kreis (@Las_Vegas_Viva) August 15, 2019
Interviewed by the NBA, visited Bleacher Report, and saw the New York Liberty play! 11/12 ✅ #wnba #wnbakicks #newyorkliberty #newyork #nba #womensbasketball #hertimetoplay #herkickz #wnbacares #highposthoops… https://t.co/kQRy2Ad64z
— Viva Kreis (@Las_Vegas_Viva) August 24, 2019
The journey may be coming to an end, but the Mystics got a win! 12/12 ✅ #wnba #wnbakicks #herkickz #washingtondc #washingtonmystics #mystics #nike #nba #wnbacares #shoes #basketball #girlsbasketball… https://t.co/1R6VtzMfS4
— Viva Kreis (@Las_Vegas_Viva) September 11, 2019
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon
More High School Basketball• Girls basketball preview: After successful run, high expectations remain for Cheswick Christian
• Boys basketball preview: Large senior class set to guide Cheswick Christian
• Girls basketball preview: Senior trio set to lead Franklin Regional into new section
• Boys basketball preview: Franklin Regional to rely on deep group of returning guards
• Highlands postpones winter sports until January