Playing “like a girl” is a compliment and now a show exists that proves the point. Fuse TV and host Beija Marie Velez take viewers on a journey to delve into the lives of some of the top women athletes in the world.
The six-part series features prominent athletes such as Olympian April Ross, Paralympian Anastasia Pagonis, WNBA player Angel McCoughtry, and more.
ADW recently spoke with Velez and McCoughtry who shed light on the new project.
Velez, you are the host of “Like a Girl.” How did you become the host of this dynamic show?
It’s actually crazy. I used to do hosting for Complex and the head of talent at Fuse said he’d been watching me since then. And he called me and I honestly just got emotional because I’ve been suffering from a spine injury for the past two years. I had been in agonizing, debilitating pain. By the grace of God, I was healed and it feels like opportunities are coming to my life. And it’s been profound to say the least ever since we’ve been filming for the show.
Angel, you being a WNBA player, how do you share your story and what it takes to make it to that level?
Angel: I think the main thing is showing people that play like a girl is not a bad thing, right. I was in the gym the other day playing ball with some some boys. And one of the boys said, ‘Man, you plan like a girl.’ So I said, ‘Okay, I’m gonna show you what it’s like to have like a girl’ and I killed them. Girls are dominant. They are CEOs, they’re businesswoman, they have amazing stories of how they persevered.
What are some of the intriguing eye opening moments in the show?
Velez: It was really good seeing the beauty in the women’s vulnerability. Being able to understand their strength and their stories. I feel like sometimes people can see vulnerability as a weakness, especially in the sports realm. But what it’s doing is showing that outside of us entertaining and performing, there’s the human aspect that we’re diving into with the show. And it’s just really giving that human element. And in this show, we really tackle the meat of those topics such as mental health and depression. We have experts like mental health clinicians and sports psychologists coming onto the show to break down the topics that we’re discussing.
How do you want this show to inspire the next generation?
Angel: We need to keep pushing the narrative that girls can do whatever they can imagine. It’s not always about being a WNBA All Star, or Olympian. Whether you make it or not, it’s about the fact that you can use sports as the tool to get the scholarship to college. You can be an agent, a commentator, you can play overseas, you can be a director of operations, you can work in the finance department. There’s so much more to the game that people don’t realize. Companies are hiring people who play sports.They want to hire people who have the discipline and leadership skills that come with playing sports.
Velez: I was on a basketball scholarship back in 2014. It was my dream to go to the WNBA. It didn’t happen, but I was able to be a part of the league by designing the WNBA 25th anniversary basketball. Being able to tell that story and tell the stories of other women is great. For the young kids coming up, it just really shows the possibility of dreaming and imagining and it’s very powerful and very inspiring. I’m excited for a lot of people to tune in.