However, some athletes tend to be recognized more for their photo spreads and less for their talent thus no longer getting respect when it comes to their profession. She was already a star while playing for University of Connecticut's women's basketball team, earning her a first overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury in the draft. And, I imagine, cold. Yeah, she's not an athlete, but it happened at a sporting event, so it counts. By , despite her low finish, Maria was already being viewed as a successful professional wrestler in the WWE.