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Archive for May, 2012

And # 26 is…

Chamique Holdsclaw:

From the beginning, the city-girl-goes-south experiment was destined either for greatness or disaster: Chamique Holdsclaw, a hoops prodigy from the hardscrabble streets of Queens, taking her playground creativity to the University of Tennessee and a women’s basketball program famous for old-fashioned discipline.

And continuing with stories on college basketball:

CSU to name Williams its women’s basketball coach today

No pressure, coach Williams: Graham says women’s basketball coach must make CSU a contender

Sweet! Former DSU coach Margaret Wade to be immortalized with statue

Stinks: 2 Hawkeyes End Playing Careers Jade Rogers and Virginia Johnson end careers with injuries

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So much basketball, so many emotions:

LA Sparks fans: Oh, lord, we had such hopes and now lo…Whooopee!

Seattle fans: Got no LJ? Beat LA! Got no LJ bea… WTF?!!?

Liberty fans: Oooo, look at the pretty new seats, isn’t it nice to be back in the Garden and look, our team is… dabnabbit! Double dabnabbit!

Connecticut fans: Nothing puts you in a good mood as a close win followed by a good, old fashioned stompin’.

Phoenix fans: Well, if we lose by 19 with Diana on the bench, shouldn’t we win by 6 when she comes back off it?

Minnesota fans: We are the Champions! We are the Champ…. Watch out for that chair Siemone! Gulp.

Indiana fans: Look, it’s a healthy Catch and a hot Katie and…yikes! Make those freethrows.

Dream fans: It’s just one game, right? It’s just one game.

Chicago fans: Sylvia’s back, and I feel fine!

Mystics fans: Well, ummmmm…. Crystal had a nice game.

Shock fans: I’m feeling a little deja vu, ’cause the fourth quarter is the bane of our existence.

San Antonio fans: Oh, so THAT’S what a healthy Shameka Christon looks like! (I know Lib fans are happy — and I’m sure two Tulsa season subscribers/Arkansas fans had a lose-win night at the game.)

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*as long as it doesn’t involve me* *and except for the fact that real people are hurting*

Sally Jenkins tweets: The forced retirement of #Ladyvols Debby Jennings is a dirty rotten piece of business. Office politics wins over professionalism.

Mechelle writes: Jennings retires after 35 years – Associate athletic director is latest longtime employee to leave Lady Vols

For those of us who cover women’s basketball, she’s an institution and the standard-bearer for a professionally run sports information department. Who can even count how many thousands of interviews she has set up, game notes she has written and edited, industry-leading media guides she has produced, awards she has won and young people she has mentored.

Which is why her “retirement” — announced in three paragraphs by Tennessee on Wednesday — is such a frustrating statement about downsizing, power moves and the lack of loyalty that characterize so much of the corporate-America aspect of college athletics.

Jennings did not comment Wednesday, but a source close to the situation told me that Jennings did not want to retire. At 57, she’s still as in love as ever with her job, and just as passionate about publicizing the accomplishments of Tennessee student-athletes. But the on-going merger of the school’s men’s and women’s athletic departments has resulted in Tennessee purging some of its longest-tenured employees. No matter how good they are at their jobs.

I’m guessing that many ex-university (female) employees are having flashback to when they were wiped out in the 80’s when the NCAA forced the elimination of the AIAW.

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The W launches: Sparks v. Storm.

The team GMs venture their opinion of the season.

If you’re watching via Live Access, good luck. I sure hope this anonymous rep doesn’t end up eating their wordsThe WNBA has angered fans in the past because of glitches on the site. I was told by a few officials that those were fixed, one even stating that problems can be worked on while not going live and will be ironed out.

From Mel: Guru’s WNBA Report: Season Opens With Familiar Faces In Brand New Places

From Lady Swish: Liberty’s Warley makes WNBA roster in Phoenix

Hoopfeed has is Previewing the 2012 WNBA season: The Western Conference and the The Eastern Conference.

There’s also the Dishin & Swishin podcast: http://www.hoopfeed.com/content/2012/05/17/dishin-swishin-51712-podcast-a-roundtable-preview-of-the-2012-wnba-season/

Richard, L’Alien, has been busy:

2012 In-Depth Season Preview: Washington Mystics

You know what’s strange – I actually see the logic here. It’s easy to rag on the Mystics and head coach/general manager Trudi Lacey. This team was a disaster last year. They failed to retain the coach and general manger that produced their best ever season in 2010, and everything went downhill from there. Constant comments about injuries and blatant nonsense about how young the squad was did them no favours with their remaining fans, and when the season finally ended after just six wins all year, it was a blessed relief. But Lacey’s moves in the offseason made sense.

2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: New York Liberty

You’ve gotta love Liberty fans. A bizarre draft pick (in a draft everyone said was horrible), and a couple of poor performances in preseason (for a coach whose system is notoriously hard to adapt to) and the sky is falling.

2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: Indiana Fever

Yes, as you can see from the squad listing above, I’ve bowed to popular opinion and indications from the Fever themselves and moved Tamika Catchings to the 4. I hate it, and we’ll examine why below, but it does at least add an interesting wrinkle to the outlook for this Fever squad.

2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: Connecticut Sun

Should I just refer you to everything I wrote about them last year? Head coach Mike Thibault apparently spent the offseason sitting on his couch knocking back a few cold ones, because as far as he’s concerned, this team is already good enough.

2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: Chicago Sky

Big changes in Chicago, as head coach/GM Pokey Chatman proved that you can get a lot done in the offseason even when you’re in Russia coaching a different team at the time. In her first year in charge last season, the Sky were ultimately just as mediocre as they’ve been for their previous four season, and missed the playoffs yet again. The endless turnovers and poorly chosen shots drove Chatman nuts, so she’s kept her young backcourt and a couple of backups – along with, of course, superstar center Sylvia Fowles – and brought in a swathe of veterans with winning pedigrees to build around them.

2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: Atlanta Dream

Significant losses: de Souza (Brazilian National Team for first half of the season), Lyttle (unconfirmed absence midseason to join Spanish National Team), Iziane Castro Marques (currently with Brazilian National Team, remains WNBA unrestricted free agent), Shalee Lehning (injured and retired from WNBA), Alison Bales (retired from WNBA), assistant coach Carol Ross (left to take head coach position in Los Angeles)

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Well just reading that list above doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it?

On the subject of the W, a couple of WATNs:

EMU Names Kristin Haynie Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach. I wonder if they’re ordering extra food rations, ’cause you know how many calories it takes to hire a Haynie?

UMMC Put Lange, Brondello In Charge. Lucky them: ’cause they’ll have Diana and you won’t.

Speaking of Diane: ‘ware the prankster!

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Speaking of Tennessee

From Debbie’s Blog: My Favorite Pat Summitt off the court experiences:

With the announcement that Pat Summitt is stepping aside at Tennessee, media attention has been focused on her legacy as an icon in the game and in women’s sports.  Coach Summitt had a profound effect on many that have a role in the game. I’ve been broadcasting women’s basketball games on TV for 24 years and had the pleasure of covering Pat Summitt most of those years. I would like to share some stories about Pat that are examples about her lighter side.  It is fun to be an associate of Pat’s.  I have many behind the scenes stories but these are a few of the highlights for me:

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of  ‘claws struggles. Now she and Sally Jenkins are spreading the word the hope that it will help others: Chamique Holdsclaw confronts her ‘little secret’ of depression

The greatest athletes are all about controlling the body with the mind, and for a long time, Chamique Holdsclaw could do that. She could hover around the basketball rim and create any shot, her imagination pulling the strings of her arms and legs. Then one morning, her mind quit on her. She couldn’t make herself put on a pair of shoes, much less elevate. She lost track of three straight days sitting on a couch in the dark, eating Fruity Pebbles. The devastating onset of depression was “my little secret,” she says.

It’s not her little secret anymore. It’s the subject of a big-hearted autobiography called “Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot After Shot,” and in it, Holdsclaw details her mortal struggle with despair, including her nervous breakdown as a star with the Washington Mystics in 2004, and a never-before disclosed suicide attempt when she played for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2006.

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Titans Mourn The Loss Of Former Women’s Basketball Standout Lisa Blackburn

The Detroit Titans were saddened to hear that they have lost one of their pioneers in women’s athletics as former Titan women’s basketball star Lisa Blackburn passed away over the weekend. Blackburn was a local basketball coach in the community for many years and was currently the head girls’ basketball coach at Southeastern High School.

“It is always sad to lose a former Titan student-athlete and our hearts go out to Lisa’s family in this time of sorrow,” said Associate Vice President & Athletic Director Keri Gaither. “It is also an opportunity to reflect on the impact Lisa had during her lifetime.  She was a wonderful role model and representative of the Titan family for her accomplishments both on and off the basketball court.  She was a tenacious player for the University of Detroit women’s basketball program with her name still in the top 10 in the record book in many categories. But more importantly, Lisa was an icon in the Detroit community, spending many years coaching and mentoring young women and having a positive influence on so many lives. Lisa will be missed dearly.”

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“I was extremely saddened to hear about the loss of Lisa and she will be deeply missed,” said former Titan head coach Mary Roickle. “She was an incredibly spunky and tough, yet a soft sensitive human being. She was just a terrific person who really gave back by becoming a social worker and basketball coach. She was a team player and a big reason why we beat Kansas and not only because of her offensive game, but her defense against some of their best players including three-time All-American Lynette Woodard.”

From the Detroit News: Lisa Blackburn, girls basketball coach at Detroit Southeastern, dies

I can’t figure out when this was published, but a little background from MaxPreps: Detroit Pershing Girls Off to Hot Start – Detroit King and Renaissance have company in Class A

Detroit Pershing has suddenly emerged as a clear threat to established Class A girls basketball powers like Detroit Martin Luther King and Detroit Renaissance to take home a Class A title.

Pershing, coached by Lisa Blackburn, is off to a 10-0 start and is ranked among the top Class A schools inMichigan.

“Last year, we had a good start, too,”Blackburnsaid. “We got off 8-0 before losing our first game.”

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