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Archive for July, 2011

The U-19 Final is set

Spain knocked off the Aussies

Brazil had a lot of skill and fight but they couldn’t overcome the US rebounding, fast breaks and some clutch shooting. Said Rizzotti post-game:

Obviously we’re very excited about advancing onto the gold medal game. But, the win was bittersweet because we had to beat Brazil to get there. We have a lot of respect for Brazil. We forged relationships with them last year in Colorado Springs. We played them a few times this year and we have a lot of respect for their country, their basketball players and we brought our best tonight because we feel they are one of the best teams in the tournament.

Don’t forget, you can watch the bronze medal game and the gold medal game streaming online.

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You work your butt off for three quarters, 9 minutes and 30 seconds to keep your team in the game, and then suddenly, TA DA! another player sweeps in and seals the deal.

That’s what happened last night at the Rock when Penny Taylor went off on the Lib for 29pts and then the Star-Ledger’s headline is this: Liberty lose to Diana Taurasi, Mercury, 91-84‎. Oiy.

I mean, sure, Diana’s 30 seconds is what put the in the final nail (along with Carson’s turnovers), but it was Penny who cut down the trees, milled the logs, took the measurements, dove-tailed the corners, inserted the silk cushions in New York’s coffin. Of course, Diana knew it:

“She was great,” Taurasi said of Taylor. “She was the only person really giving us anything offensively. And the way they schemed defensively, it’s hard but she found a way to kind of find her spots and made them pay.”

Speaking of “I’m not dead yet!” the Sparks aren’t, though they sure tried to give the game back to Chicago. Unfortunately for the Sky, their furious fourth quarter rally fell short and LA escaped with at 86-82 win. Chicago’s now two games under .500 and they better keep an eye out for the Dream.

Bird bounced back from a really bad game and the Storm bounced the Shock, 89-72.

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OT: Birds!

of a feather and of aluminum.

There’s a fabulous birding spot in New York (identified as one of the 50 places you should bird before you kick off) called Jamaica Bay. It’s right near JFK, which is amazing and, at times, awkward. I tromp there all year, and am looking forward to August when fabulous shorebirds like this and this and this start migrating through.*

Here’s an article: Jamaica Bay: Wilderness on the Edge

OF all the ways to describe Jamaica Bay — it is the city’s largest open space, it is a perch of choice for more than 300 species of birds, it is that wetland thing you fly above while landing at (or leaving) Kennedy Airport — the most suggestive of its singularity is that it sits within the only national park in the United States you can reach by subway.

*Ruddy Turnstone, Black Bellied Plover, Red Knot

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Yah, we know

WNBA’s Shock reach halfway mark with just 1 win

Interim coach Teresa Edwards has found a way to cope with a season that’s spiraling toward the worst in WNBA history for the Tulsa Shock.

Halfway through their season, the Shock have won only one game in 17 tries and they’re 0-6 since she took over following Nolan Richardson’s resignation.

“I just try not to count that record out loud to myself, first of all,” said Edwards, a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

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NBA gentlemen ponder

a decision that’s ‘way of life’ for WNBA players

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Free FIBA feed Brazil/USA

http://www.lshunter.tv/basketball-live-streaming-video.html

Is that the fine announcer we had during the Worlds??

Ok – don’t you find the fact that this slasher movie promo with young women as the victim (is there any other kind of slasher movie?) is being run during this under 19 game kinda creepy?

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Ouch

Danielle Adams Sidelined with Foot Sprain

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Zut, alors!

Overheard in the French locker room: We had zem, and zen we deed not! ZUT!

USA Basketball’s headline — France Surrenders As USA U19 Women Come From Behind For 70-64 Victory, Advance To Medal Semifinals — doesn’t tell the whole story. A better one might be “US Refuses to Surrender and Comes From Behind, ’cause it was more desperate and closer than the final score indicates.

“We talked about this yesterday, that every team out here is very equal,” said Jennifer Rizzotti , USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “Everybody wants to win really badly and it was going to take some individual plays and team defense to make sure we got a win. France gave us all they had. To see their disappointment after the game shows you how much they wanted to win and how hard they play for their country. I want my players to feel that kind of passion and I felt that in the fourth quarter tonight everything came together for us.”

Catch the semi-final games TONIGHT streaming at FIBA. Spain takes on Australia at 6:45pmEST followed by the US against Brazil at 9pmEST. Finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Continuing in the USABBall theme, a little something on Auriemma’s wish list for the Senior Team.

“(In the Czech Republic) we were missing a few key players from the 2008 Olympics team in Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter,” he recalled.

“Right now Candace Parker is injured and hopefully she will be healthy.

“I wouldn’t mind taking the team we had at the World Championship. That was an excellent team but you know players like Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter would make it so much better.”

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but you’ve got to wonder if (and that’s a qualified “if the tall Aussie doesn’t return) we didn’t see the WNBA finalists in action last night.

True, Indy needed a last second basket (from Bobbitt!) to squeak out a win over Washington — but they did get the win.

Not a lot of drama in Minnesota after the first quarter — the Lynx simply ran over the Storm.Yah, the Lynx are having fun being number one but, writes Tim Leighton at the Pioneer Press,

The Lynx, however, are leaving elevated excitement levels to their fans.

“The bottom line is that we haven’t done anything yet,” head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We have a lot of work left to do, and we haven’t seen San Antonio yet. I don’t know if I am ready to say we are the team to beat, but we have put ourselves in a position to gain a lot of respect.”

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and everything you and your crack team of subscription reps did to ensure the move went smoothly has really paid off:

WNBA Team Attendance Drops 30 Percent After Move From MSG to Newark

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Mon Dieu!

Another slow start for the U-19 team, this time vs. the 5-1 French team. Check out audio or live stats.

Interesting that Spain spanked the Canadians.

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Where can I get the chicken piccata recipe?

Need to know who to follow on Twitter: Ask Lady Swish for their Twitter rankings

Which coaches/teams are getting it done on Twitter? Here’s our tweet-by-tweet rundown on how things grade out:

HEAD TWEETS

Kenny Brooks, JMU – @CoachBrooksJMU
Provides informative, occasionally humorous updates…Stinging commentary from the 2010 CAA Awards Banquet was Twitter gold…Isn’t afraid to give glimpses of himself as a husband and father in addition to coach…Gets extra credit for periodically retweeting our stuff (You da man, Coach!). Grade: A-

Classic Brooks tweet: “It’s Comedy Central up in here!”

Excuse me? Mechelle’s on vacation?!?! The noive!

From Mel:

There are times when team nicknames can get in the way of a story and make things a bit confusing.

Though All-Star starting guard Katie Douglas remained home knocked out of the start of a road trip by a fever, her Indiana Fever knocked out the previous unbeaten home record of the Connecticut Sun with a 69-58 victory Thursday night to break a statistical first-place tie between the two and move to a one-game lead in the WNBA Eastern Conference.

Sue wonders What’s up with the Sparks?

The Title IX blog is rockin’ the info:

Title IX and community colleges

The NYT ran a very interesting article last week about the application of and compliance with Title IX at the country’s community colleges.
Community colleges face unique challenges when trying to comply with the law. It’s non-traditional student body, of which women make up the majority–often a large majority, has lead many community colleges to believe they cannot possibly comply. Additionally, community colleges are facing the same–if not worse–budget issues as four-year institutions.

Soon-to-Be-Coed College Plans to Retain Single Sex Classes

Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina is making some changes. Not only is it changing its name to William Peace University, it has decided to admit male undergrads for the first time in its history. According to this article in Inside Higher Ed, however, some classes will remain single-sex, though the President assures that no one will be denied access to a course, just sometimes a particular single-sex section. This raised some Title IX red flags to the reporter on this article, who contacted me and some other Title IX experts about whether this was legal. As I said to him, it seems to me like a difficult position to defend. By becoming coed, the college loses any claim to an exemption from Title IX on the basis of its single-sex tradition. Accordingly, it must comply with the law’s prohibition against discrimination in all of its programs, and this includes classes, with limited exception for things like physical education, human sexuality, and choruses.

Why Title IX should (and already does) apply to high schools

As we noted yesterday, a lawsuit against the Department of Education has been filed claiming that the application of the three-prong test to high schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Here’s a little more on that. And we are sure there is much more to come.

School District with Sexual Orientation “Neutrality” Policy Targeted by Lawsuit and Investigation

The Anoka-Hennepin School District is the only district in Minnesota with a curriculum policy that requires teachers and staff to remain “neutral” on sexual orientation issues, deferring instead to students’ “family homes, churches, and community organizations” to disseminate attitudes and information about homosexuality.

Two major civil rights organization, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center, have sued the district on behalf of LGBT student plaintiffs who experienced harassment and discrimination at Anoka-Hennepin schools. They argue that the neutrality policy amounts to gag-order that contributes to a hostile environment for LGBT students by rendering teachers ineffective at dealing with LGBT harassment when it occurs and at laying a foundation of inclusion and appreciation for diverse sexual orientations that could prevent harassment of LGBT students in the first place. They argue that the policy singles out LGBT students for exclusion in violation of the federal Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, Title IX, and the Minnesota Human Rights Statute.

Speaking of Title IX, did you catch this New York Times article: Long Fights for Sports Equity, Even With a Law

In 1998, the University of Southern California was accused of denying its female students a fair chance at participating in sports. Thirteen years later, the federal agency charged with investigating sex discrimination in schools has not completed its inquiry of U.S.C.

In 2008, the same federal agency, the Office for Civil Rights, came across evidence that Ball State University in Indiana was losing a disproportionate number of women’s coaches. But the agency opted to let Ball State investigate itself. After a two-week inquiry, during which Ball State failed to interview a single coach, the university concluded that there was no evidence that any of the coaches had been unfairly treated or let go.

The federal law known as Title IX — requiring schools at all levels across the country to offer girls and women equal access to athletics — has produced a wealth of progress since it was enacted almost four decades ago. Almost no one disputes that.

But scores of schools, year in and year out, still fail to abide by the law. For those schools, almost no one disputes this: There is little chance their shortcomings will ever be investigated, and even if they are, few will be meaningfully punished.

I often wonder if those who oppose Title IX were first children. You know, because they believe that because they were “first” they should get all the perks – mom and dad’s attention, nurturing and money. As for the rest of the kids — too bad. Their birth order simply means they are and should always be second class siblings.

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Statements made?

So, Indy waltzed into Connecticut’s “we-win-at-home” zone and said, “Not this time!” With the 1997 flashback score of 69-58, the Fever solidified their hold on first place in the East.

Hey, did you know San Antonio’s Becky Hammon wasn’t drafted? Crazy, considering she powered San Antonio to a 102-91 win over Phoenix. That’s the Merc’s third loss in a row and I’m tempted to hit the Rock on Saturday just to see if Taurasi earns another T.

Had a great moment yesterday as I walked into my office sporting my ancient Sue Wicks t-shirt. Says a woman in the elevator with a big smile: “Liberty, huh?” “Yup!” I respond. “I went to my first game,” she continues. “My brother is down in Atlanta and is a huge fan.” Guess her brother is happy this morning: the surging Dream took down the stumbling Sparks 89-80 as Angel nearly notched a triple-double.

After missing her first six shots, Angel McCoughtry made life miserable for the Los Angeles Sparks.

“We played well for about 23 seconds, but she hit some pretty big shots at the (shot-clock) buzzer,” Sparks center Tina Thompson said. “You can’t let those things happen, but some of the shots she hit were tough. Not many people would make them.”

As for that old t-shirt, I broke it out because it was SUUUUUUUEEEEEEE’s night at the Rock.

Have I mentioned lately that I miss Sue Wicks? Because I really miss Suuuuuuuue. Yes, Sue, you don’t like to speak in public, that’s why you rambled for three minutes and only stopped because all of the Mystics were standing there staring at you and waiting to warm up. That’s why you name-checked all of our greats and Kisha Ford. (Who I loved, and who has made quite a post-basketball life for herself, but who is not exactly VJ or Becky Hammon.)

Oh, and yah, there was a game played, too.

DeMya Walker’s hair looks awful, and we didn’t get to see any of her trademark flops. I think that’s completely unfair. If we’re going to see DeMya Walker miss easy shots once she gets in position, and otherwise play like a shell of an All-Star, we should at least get to see one of her Oscar-winning performances.

I think Kia Vaughn may have gotten into Nicky Anosike’s head after a quick start in the first half, because she was pretty much a non-factor for the rest of the game, and she spent a lot of time on the bench. While part of me is disappointed, because I like Anosike, the rest of me does the dance of joyous self-satisfaction. Crystal Langhorne put in a lot of extra effort and scrapped hard on the boards. I’ll give her that. However, I can also be exceedingly annoyed at the four-step lay-ups and the off-the-ball holding. I know everyone does it, but she needs to learn to be subtle about it if she’s going to do it.

 

I will not, cannot get used to the ‘stics in Red. To Comet-like, and that’s just plain wrong. Bad enough that Tulsa stole my Liberty’s black jerseys….

Didn’t see a lot of rust from the Lib, just a lack of defense (Washington shot 50%). But, when it mattered most, the defense channeled Sue’s intensity and stole a win.

As for the Shock – ouch. Eleven in a row. The killer is that they were up on the Sky at the end of the third. Which doesn’t speak well for what’s happening in Chicago.

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WATN? Shaquala Williams

Glencoe.

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Cambage struggling with losses

She may have one of the biggest personalities in the WNBA, but Tulsa Shock center Elizabeth Cambage has shed a lot of tears in her rookie season.

At the other end of the spectrum is Indy.

Tonight’s game is followed by four straight against teams with losing records, but Dunn said that will not stop the Fever from focusing on each opponent.

“I think our veteran players know that,” Dunn said. “They know what’s going to happen, they know the situation that we’re in. It’s a good situation. You want to be hunted, you want to be No. 1 and you want people after you.”

Trying to find their way onto the spectrum is the Dream

The Dream is no stranger to the highs and lows of a roller-coaster season.

Look no further than last year for evidence, when the Dream opened with six consecutive victories before closing the regular season by losing six of their final seven. But the 2010 postseason was another high for the Dream — with a franchise-first WNBA finals appearance.

“That’s the game of basketball,” guard Angel McCoughtry said.

Even if it’s after the fact, it’s always fun to read Richard’s writing:

So the WNBA was finally back last night, with the first proper games since last Thursday. Weird how five days can feel like so long in the middle of the season when the offseason lasts nearly eight months. Anyway, even I feel like five games in one piece is a bit much to cover, so we’re going to split this up. The entire Western Conference played last night, but the five teams that still matter were encompassed by three games. So this column will cover those three contests, and tomorrow I’ll get to the East. It means Washington and Tulsa are in the wrong half, but at this point I barely consider them to count. It’s a five-team race on either side, and everyone outside of delusional Mystics front-office personnel knows it. On to the games.

Speaking of Washington, the DC BasketCases are in rare form:

Some of Our Readers Were Wondering why the BCs didn’t post about the Mystics’ game Tuesday night against San Antonio.

Well, the truth is we actually started a short post, but we were so inspired after writing about paneling that we decided to paint part of our basement . . . and ran out of time for our blog. So, like the Mystics (against the Silver Stars and against the Dream before them), we just couldn’t finish.

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Richie in the Huffington Post

Global Spotlight Shines on Women’s Sports

When the league’s best players gathered for the WNBA All-Star Game in San Antonio this past Saturday, it marked the second time in a week that a globally broadcast sporting event starred women athletes. And as anyone who tuned in to the event can attest, these are not watered-down versions of men’s sports; these are high-intensity competitions, played by top-flight athletes putting on an exhilarating showcase of skill and teamwork.

On the eve of the 40-year anniversary of Title IX legislation — which, among other things, guarantees women and girls equal access to the many benefits of athletics — we can count these two marquee events as proof that women are now part of the athletic mainstream.

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Good enough for the Toronto Sun to take notice: Canada upsets USA in junior women’s basketball

Edmonton’s Michelle Plouffe scored a game-high 24 points as Canada led the USA wire-to-wire in a 64-52 upset at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women on Wednesday.

It was a landmark victory for the Canada, which remained undefeated (6-0) and is off to the best start of any national basketball team in a major tournament.

Game story from USA Basketball: USA U19 Women Defeated By Canada 64-52

Turnovers and ice-cold shooting plagued the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team (5-1) from the start as Canada (6-0) jumped up by double digits early and handed the U.S. its first loss at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, 64-52, on Wednesday afternoon in Puerto Montt, Chile. Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.) was the only U.S. player to score in double digits and finished with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists and five steals.

Post game quotes here:

Bria Hartley: Canada did a really good job of controlling the tempo of the game. They’re a team that likes to slow it down, run half-court sets. We let them do that and we didn’t really pressure them enough to get them out of that offense. They were in the flow the entire game and we didn’t disrupt that.

From FIBA: Canada Provides Plouffe, Beats USA to Finish Top

Star Canada forward Michelle Plouffe rated her team’s 64-52 victory over the USA pretty highly on her list of basketball achievements. “It’s up there,” she said with a smile.

“We just made a little bit of history here for the Canadian women’s team, going 6-0 and beating the US. It feels great,” she added after her country’s first win over their southern rivals – in a world championship of any kind – since the 1975 FIBA World Championship for Women.

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WATN Adrienne Goodson?

ODU!

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are taking it to the U-19 team. Live streaming for the second half here.

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but not if you’re a member of the Sparks. 25 turnovers? Yikes!

The Lynx turned LA’s miscues into 35 pts and, though they played a little cat-and-mouse with the lead, took a 85-72 win to the bank.

“Everybody was happy to see each other after having these days off, so we just kind of clicked immediately,” Augustus said. “We had fun tonight more than anything and just enjoyed being back on the court with our teammates.”

SASS won in Washington, but the first paragraph of the AP report suggests they shouldn’t have:

The San Antonio Silver Stars had only one starter score in double figures and collectively they finished with more turnovers than assists. Playing against the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, they still managed to open the second half of the season with a win.

Seattle earned a “if we can just hold on until LJ gets back” win over Phoenix IN Phoenix, 83-77, and Corey wasn’t happy.

Connecticut stunned itself with a road win over Chicago as Tina topped Big Syl.

Atlanta enjoyed traveling to Tulsa, as so many teams do this season, but the Shock made it interesting in the fourth. Oh, and watch out, East: Looks like Angel is regaining her form.

Of interest, a doctor’s note from WNBAlien:

On the injury front, Sancho Lyttle still didn’t dress for Atlanta tonight due to her back injury, despite the claims that she’d be returning after the All-Star break. Fellow Dream post Courtney Paris was at least back after missing one game before the break. In unfortunate fresh injury news, San Antonio’s rookie all-star Danielle Adams hurt her right ankle or foot in the fourth-quarter of tonight’s game. She was in a lot of pain and needed the physical support of two teammates to make it back to the locker room. Hopefully it’s just a sprain, but don’t be surprised if she misses at least a couple of games.

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In Santiago, the USA U19 Women’s stingy defense generated a dominating 90-64 win over Italy.

“I was really happy with our intensity and our focus,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “We talked a lot today about not just thinking about who we’re playing, but being more accountable on the defensive end for our own guy and playing screens better, just being more focused and getting better as the game went on. Not only did our starters do a nice job, I thought our energy off the bench was the best it’s been the whole tournament.”

More quotes here and FIBA links here.

STREAMING ALERT: FIBATV (www.FIBATV.com will be streaming live online the semifinal and medal games on July 30 and July 31. Additionally, live radio streaming from the USA’s games can be found here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/fibau19women

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Well, phew!

The football faux soap opera is finally over, so now we can concentrate on the Pt. 2 of the W season.

Here’s Mechelle on Minnesota: It was a long climb to the top for Lynx – Minnesota (10-4) has the best record in the Western Conference at the All-Star break

Sitting along one side of the West’s locker room at the All-Star Game on Saturday was a line of Lynx. The fact that Minnesota took up about a third of the West roster spots is an indication of how the first half of the season went for a franchise that certainly isn’t used to such signs of strength.

“For me, it’s been a long time coming,” said Seimone Augustus, the Lynx’s leading scorer. “I’m just happy our team is as successful as it is. The fans are starting to come out in Minnesota and are buzzing about us.”

Speaking of Seimone, Jonah Ballow at the Lynx site writes: Augustus’ Return to Form

“I heard everybody talk about how good I looked during the All-Star break and my teammates are still in awe of the way I lost all that weight,” Augustus explained. “I think I’m finally starting to hit that stride where I feel like I’m my old self again and being comfortable back on the floor.”

Washington adds Walkerand Shemar Woods at the Post says the Mystics need a strong second-half push

After losing to the Dream at home last Wednesday, the Mystics (3-11) — 1-6 in July — have tumbled to last place in the Eastern Conference standings. Their slog through the first part of the 2011 season was marred by untimely injuries and missteps by inexperienced youth. Despite Washington’s myriad problems, those inside the Mystics’ locker room say there’s still time to turn things around this season, starting Tuesday night against San Antonio at Verizon Center.

As for Tulsa, Jayda has a Q&A with coach Edwards and the World’s Kelly Hines writes Olajuwon, Shock goal is to win

Abi Olajuwon likes a good challenge.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the idea of joining a one-win team midway through the WNBA season, she wants to help the Tulsa Shock find success.

“You can go to a team that’s already found their rhythm and has their system in place and is already successful and might not need you to contribute,” she said after practice Monday. “When you come into a team that’s 1-14, everyone’s willing to get better. There’s no egos; everybody is just focused on one common goal.

Terrence Thomas at the Express-News has the Silver Stars’ midseason report. the Merc are preparing for the “second season, ”  and the Sun are upbeat following week off.

And just so no one gets too comfortable, Richard has Where Trade Winds Might Blow, Western Edition

No news yet out of New York on their 11th roster spot, but there was more movement in Washington today. DeMya Walker was officially acquired, but slipped into the release was the news that Karima Christmas wasn’t the only player who’d been waived – Ta’Shia Phillips is gone too. Taken by Atlanta with the 8th pick in this year’s draft, presumably on instructions from Washington who acquired her as part of the Lindsey Harding trade later the same day, it’s shocking to see the Mystics quit on Phillips so quickly. She hasn’t looked great in the brief glimpses we’ve seen of her on WNBA floors by any means, but this is a 6-6 center. And the team is terrible. These are the kids you should be building with, not discarding at the first opportunity in favour of journeymen like Walker whose careers are nearly over. It’s a bizarre move from Washington.

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More congrats!

Team New Mexico Girls Wins Gold in Basketball at 2011 US Indigenous Games

A few short months ago members of a Native girls’ basketball squad from New Mexico did not even know their teammates’ names. But players from the under-14 club certainly like what they’re being called now – national champions.

The New Mexico side captured the gold medal in its division at the U.S. Indigenous Games, which were held in Milwaukee from July 11-14. The New Mexico team had to travel about 26 hours by bus simply to arrive in Milwaukee. The drive was certainly worth it in the end as the club won all four of its games in its division, which featured seven entrants.

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Team USA wins first-ever Women’s U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships

In the final game at the inaugural 2011 Women’s U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Team USA took home the gold medal with a score of 66 – 39 against Australia.

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Squeak!

The U-19 was severely tested by China, who roared back from a 13-pt deficit only to fall short of pulling off a major upset. Said coach Rizzotti of the 80-77 squeaker:

“I think our team needs to really remember what we’re here for, take it seriously and get themselves ready to go and understand that we’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”

“I want to give China a lot of credit for the way they played,” she added.

“They did such a great job of using screens, reading screens. Once they’re hot they make sure to go back to the same player.

“This result will bolster their confidence and make them feel better about how they’re playing.

More quotes here.

Q: In the last few minutes, Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis were hitting shots. Does that show their poise and calm?

Rizzotti: I still continue to be amazed at Bria Hartley’s guts and her willingness to take the big shot, make the big play. Then on the other side of the ball, turn around and guard the other team’s best player. Obviously it was nice to have Kaleena show up today and knock down some shots for us. It’s just probably a little more disappointing that our post players were so bad around the basket. I feel like it never would have been a close game if we hit those 10 or 12 layups we missed in the first half. They have to understand the urgency of every possession and playing every possession like it’s the most important and that missing a layup is just not going to be good enough. We can’t continue to do that if we want to advance in this tournament.

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Making time until the Tuesday games….

From le Alien, Richard ponders Where Trade Winds Might Blow, Eastern Edition

Over at the Huffington Post it’s all about Cappie.

Ben wonders about “The Significance of the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game: Most important in WNBA history?”

espnW has a  midseason look at the league’s top rookies.

A little news on soon-to-be WHBOFamers Robin Roberts,Inge Nissen and Dawn Staley.

If you’re a collector, be warned: 2011 WNBA set will be an expensive one

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Good stuff

from Jayda: Summer reading: WNBA All-Star Edition

By the way, if you haven’t had time to watch the WNBA 15th Anniversary roundtable, I encourage you to do so. Great memories, interesting reflections….

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The All Star game coverage

From Swish Appeal: 2011 WNBA All-Star: Does Anything Scream Fun More Than Shadow Dancing Intros? and Nate has video:

Swin Cash ‘Trying To MJ’ During 2011 WNBA All-Star Game Shadow Dancing Intros

2011 WNBA All-Star Game MVP Swin Cash might have deserved a second MVP award for her attempt to impersonate Michael Jackson during the shadow dancing routine during the player intros.

And her biggest competition might have been Seattle Storm teammate Sue Bird who was apparently trying to beat some anonymous stuntman up or something.

From senor Alien: WNBA Today, 07/23/2011: The Stars come out to Shine

The second was more of the same at both ends, with threes from Taurasi, Katie Douglas and Courtney Vandersloot kicking it off. The highlight of the period was when Angel McCoughtry had the ball on the break, and found herself faced with 6-8 Cambage as the only defender. Instead of trying to slide round her or draw a whistle as she might’ve done in a Dream jersey, McCoughtry threw the ball off the glass around Cambage, caught the rebound in mid-air and put the ball back in the hoop, all while Lizzie was still spinning around trying to figure out what was going on.

Aaron Lommers at the Herald writes: Storm players dominate all-star festivities
Four from the San Antonio Express:
For two days, Indiana’s Katie Douglas was seemingly caught in a tug-of-war battle.

At age 32, she could virtually straddle the generation gap — old enough to remember when the league was just getting off the ground, but young enough that she’s not ready to hand over the mantle to the next era of stars.

With plenty of the buzz surrounding the 11th WNBA All-Star Game cast on the 10 players, including four rookies, making their first appearance in the contest, Douglas provided her own age-over-youth moment.

Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon had witnessed firsthand two of the most memorable moments in the WNBA‘s 15 seasons.
As a rookie with the New York Liberty in 1999, the 5-foot-6 guard was on the court when Teresa Weatherspoon made a half-court buzzer-beater to win Game 2 of the league finals against Houston.

In 2008, she was on the court when Sophia Young hit an off-balance jumper to win Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against Los Angeles, propelling the Silver Starsto their first appearance in the WNBA Finals.But what transpired Saturday at the AT&T Center was different, special, spellbinding.

WNBA All-Star Game brings diehard fans to AT&T Center – Many pull out all the stops to cheer on their favorite players.

“When we found out we’d have a WNBA team, we were so excited, but it has kind of crossed into stalkerdom,” laughed Suzanne Kenoyer, also known as Blues Sister No. 2. “It started out with us all wearing matching T-shirts to the games, and over the years turned into this.”

Besides being diehard basketball fans, the women are all current or former teachers in the Judson Independent School District. They see the WNBA players as not only talented athletes, but positive female role models for their students.

Peter Holt showed up Saturday to watch the basketball players he’s allowed to talk to.

He likes his Silver Stars for another reason. Holt says they are making money now, and that hasn’t always been true of his Spurs.

There was something else going on during the WNBA All-Star Game for Holt, and he knows this feeling too well. Just as he faces a challenge when Tim Duncan retires, he does with another who means as much to her team.

Becky Hammon can’t last forever, either.

Why is winning two in a row so difficult? The answers to that were here in the AT&T Center.

For one thing, the show the players put on as the East defeated the West 118-113 was a good example of how much talent is spread across the league. For another, the sight of Seattle’s Lauren Jackson — in attendance as one of the league’s top 15 players of its first 15 seasons, but currently out with a hip injury — was a reminder of how big a role injuries can play in determining a champion.

“More than anything, it was kind of surreal for me,” said Seattle guard Sue Bird, who was one of the 15 players picked, as was Storm teammate Lauren Jackson. “I think about being in high school when the WNBA started. Then being in college and watching some of these players.

“Actually, you could go further back to the 1996 Olympics, and seeing the people who helped start the league win the gold there. Then I got to the league [in 2002] and didn’t know what to expect. Fast-forward 10 [seasons], and I’m on the top-15 list with Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes. It’s almost unbelievable for me personally. Not until you’re actually in that moment do you realize the magnitude of it.”

… as does Nate: Top 15 WNBA Players Of All Time List Announced: A First Look At A Guard-Heavy List

In a way, the list confirms the value of the point guard in the WNBA – although there are other players who have definitely put up better stats,  it’s a league that’s far more predicated on ball movement and that begins with the point guard spot.

“I don’t know where to begin. To be voted as one of the Top 15 Players of All Time leaves me speechless. I have an overwhelming feeling of joy and appreciation,” said Weatherspoon in a WNBA release. “It tells me my hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and to be voted in by the fans makes it even more special to me. The fans are the people I played before each and every night. All I can say is thank you!”

So with ball handlers dominating the list moreso than anything else, a brief look at those three that didn’t make our original statistical list.

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The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame announced their inductees for 2012: Nancy Fahey (coach), Nikki McCray (player), Pam McGee (player), Inge Nissen (player), Robin Roberts (contributor) and Dawn Staley (player).

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Adios, Argentina!

USA U19 Women Put Away Argentina 83-49, Advance To Second Round

Utilizing a well-balanced scoring effort, the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team (3-0) ran away with a 83-49 victory over South American rival Argentina (0-3) on Saturday afternoon at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship in Puerto Montt, Chile. The U.S. advances as the top seed out of Group B, along with Japan (1-1) and Russia (1-1) and will face the top three finishing teams out of Group A to form Group E in the July 25-27 second round.

Eleven of the USA’s players scored and notched at least five points against Argentina, led by 12 from Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.) and 11 from Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S. / Norcross, Ga.), while Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S. / Matthews, N.C.) pulled down 10 rebounds to go with eight points, three assists and a pair of steals.

Post game quotes are here.

Q: What did you get out of the first three games?

Alexis Jones  (MacArthur High School/Irving, Texas): We learned that we’re not going to get anything really easy, we’re going to have to fight for it. We’ve learned how to play defense and when we play good defense, we can score. We have to try to play the best defense we can to get the ball in the hoop.

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