Former Buckeye Katie Smith encourages female athletes ahead of NCAA Final Four in Columbus

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The 2018 women’s Final Four will be here before we know it, and leaders want to make women feel empowered as the clock ticks to that game time when Columbus hosts the best in women’s basketball in March.

On Sunday, an event was held at Nationwide Arena where women came together for Beyond the Baseline, a panel of former athletes speaking to women about how sports made them who they are today. NBC4’s Elyse Chengery was there and spoke with one of those successful athletes – Columbus’ own Katie Smith.

Two hundred women gathered at Nationwide Arena for Beyond The Baseline. Katie Smith says she owes her success to sports and hopes to inspire other women with big dreams.

“Empowering women, it’s exposing them to the opportunities, to the networking and also for us as athletes it’s what sports does for you. Why participate in sports? It gives you the confidence and the teamwork and that open mind and the discipline to get things done,” Smith.

Katie Smith was active at a young age. She graduated from The Ohio State University, has three gold Olympic medals, and is currently the head coach of the WNBA New York Liberty. She’s now teaching others about the power of sports.

“For girls especially, I think staying in sports, finding something that you like, it just builds a lot within yourself and gives you confidence,” Smith says. “And on top of that, just stand up for yourself. believe in yourself, have that confidence, network, you know, put yourself out there, be intentional, like, let people know what you want.”

“I love hearing how athletics or kind of experiences in athletics can kick off peoples’ careers and how those lessons can help them be successful in life,” says Stephanie Swiger, who came to the discussion.

“Let’s help each other out – women support women,” Smith says. “Obviously our male counterparts support us but we need to take care of each other and make sure we’re pushing each other and pulling each other up. Have that confidence to go after what you want.”

This is a series of panels that will be held leading up to the Women’s Final Four. For a list of dates to sign up visit –

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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