Bankers Life Fieldhouse welcomed a familiar face at Thursday nights Indiana Fever game. Alex Chambers, better known on Twitter as @TheWguy and That 13 Teams dude, made his second appearance to watch the Fever, this time sitting at press row rather than in the crowd. In 2009 Chambers traveled to every WNBA arena, writing a book about his experience --- 13 Teams: One Mans Journey With The WNBA.
Three years after his adventure, Chambers now works for FullCourt.com, a website promoting womens basketball, the sport he admires most.
It's nice connecting with the players and knowing that I have the ability now to help them get exposure, to do feature stories and to help people see the side of the players they don't normally get to see, Chambers said.
Since making his 28-day cross-country journey, Chambers has noticed the WNBA expanding in all areas.
The talent pool has definitely risen, he said. Every single year it gets higher and higher. The rookies used to come in and have two or three seasons before peaking. Now you see rookies who are just coming right into the league and peaking instantly.
Chambers believes the league is finally starting to receive the support it deserves.
I really like the fact that it [the WNBA] has gotten more attention and also an increase in fan levels, Chambers said. It's really nice to see the overall acceptance. The WNBA has nowhere to go but up.
Switching gears from spectator to reporter has not bothered Chambers, though there are times when he bites his tongue to keep from cheering.
I just analyze, he said. I really think about the game and look at stats, and that helps me to not have the urge to cheer. I really wrap my head around the game mentally and once that starts kicking in, the fan in me kind of takes a back seat. It doesn't go away, its always there. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth or do a little under-the-table fist pump!
Making a second round to all 12 WNBA arenas [there are only 12 franchises now] is unlikely due to time and money. Chambers said if the opportunity did present itself, he would do it again in a heartbeat.
Either way, his 2009 experience will never be replaced.
There will never be another 2009, he said with a smile. Because of that I can kind of take a back seat in knowing I will always have that memory and experience. If I'm looking at the game from a media viewpoint, I'm not missing anything because I've already had that experience once.
Though Chambers resides in Phoenix, and refers to the Mercury as his hometown team, he enjoys the scenery in each city and venue, including Indianapolis.
My experience in Indiana gave me a reason to write the book, he said. It was a very positive experience and quite memorable in more ways than one. It's great to come back when I have such great memories here.
According to Chambers, his novel has sold mostly through social media and word of mouth.
Its not about selling millions of copies, Chambers said. It's about people enjoying it. Ninety-five percent of the feedback I've gotten is that people just really love it and that means so much to me.
Fever fans can purchase 13 Teams One Man's Journey With The WNBA for a discounted price at https://www.createspace.com/3598614. Chambers has offered FeverBasketball.com readers with a special code to receive the discount: H3VALJZ4.
Reflecting back on his 2009 journey and his current status, Chambers is nothing but smiles.
I get to do what I initially wanted to do all along, he said. To bring more exposure to the league, to the players and to let people see just how great it is.