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their successors were making a statement about the future of USA Basketball: “We got this.”

The second quarter of the U19 team against Australia was impressive. (You can watch it on ESPN3 replay) That didn’t hold a candle to the second half of their gold medal match against France. Yes, a key player of Les Bleus went down with an injury, but still: Hold a team to 8pts? In the entire half!?!

“Obviously we had to grind it out on the offensive end,” said Meier. “At halftime we talked about our defense. They had only scored 20 points and that was huge for us. So, we just said that when push comes to shove, you win championships with your defense, so go out there and lock down and stay together as a team. That was just an amazing performance.”

In other news:

Don’t forget to check out tonight’s installment of 9 for IX: Sheryl Swoopes’s Hoop Dreams and Whole Truths

LZ chips in: Sheryl Swoopes being herself

On the one hand, you had a high-profile athlete, one who had just won her third WNBA MVP trophy, tell the world she was gay. And she did so a mere few months after another high-profile Texan, President George W. Bush, endorsed an amendment banning same-sex marriage to the U.S. Constitution.

While having someone of Swoopes’ stature be openly gay provided activists with an important figurehead in the fight against the proposed law, having that figurehead insinuate she chose to be gay, was not — as politicos would say — on message.

But that’s Sheryl Swoopes — not a spokeswoman, not a contrarian, just herself.

Speaking of stars, Carl Ademac says Moore has Lynx lurking

At the ripe old age of 24, Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx is one of eight women’s basketball players in the world to win a NCAA title, a WNBA crown, and gold medals in the FIBA world championships and the Olympics.

“That just really humbles me and makes me realized how blessed I am,” Moore said Saturday after helping the West beat the East 102-98 in the WNBA All-Star Game at sold out Mohegan Sun Arena. “There are so many talented players, ones that are taller than me, jump higher than me, are quicker than me … I’ve just been fortunate and my timing perfect to play with great players at the world championships when I was still in college at UConn and come to a team as talented as the Lynx and have even more success.”

Jayda Evans talks with Storm guard Tanisha Wright

ST: Which was tougher, 2012 with the injuries, or 2013 without Bird and Jackson and with all the new faces?

Wright: Last year was much harder. This season has at least been enjoyable. It isn’t all for nothing. The way we’re playing this year — the grit, the attitude, the not laying down — that’s a lot better than what we had last year. We’re doing a good job defensively. There are games where we’ve held teams to 60, 65 points. It’s fun when you have people to play with who have that type of (defense-minded) attitude.

This ought to make the off-season fun: WNBA Facing Labor Issues As CBA Expires After Season

The NY Times is revisiting Tennessee: Anniston Star – HOT BLAST In Tennessee a unique school for teenagers

If you read nothing else on this Monday morning, then grab a cup of coffee and spend some time with New York Times journalist John Branch’s latest work.

Between Nashville and Memphis is Carroll County, Tenn., which, according to Branch, “is a rural place, quietly troubled by the hollowing plagues of small-town America — unemployment, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy among them. The problems lurk in the shadows between landscaped brick homes and the bucolic countryside.”

The Carroll County Juvenile Court operates Carroll Academy, a public school for troubled and at-risk teens. Students are sent there for all sorts of reasons, including behavioral issues and drug use. Branch is a sports writer for The Times, and his stories focus on the school’s girls basketball team, which has lost more than 200 games in a row.

However, the stories are not about the basketball team. They’re about life in a version of small-town America beset with economic problems that are seemingly overwhelming. Branch’s stories are long, but they are worth your time. I can’t help but wonder how many Alabama counties would benefit if their respective juvenile courts had the resources to open this type of school.

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Chicago news: Zoll-Norman broke her thumb against the Mystics while Swords has a knee ligament injury that will require surgery on Saturday.

A little something to counter the bad news: In Its 17th Season, The WNBA Continues To Defy Odds

The WNBA is well-managed but is fighting for its life,” said a world-renowned sports journalist.

My jaw dropped when I read that statement earlier this year. Since 1997, the WNBA’s inaugural season, the same recycled storyline has been printed year after year.

Despite continued criticism and predictions of failure, the longest-running women’s professional basketball league in the U.S. is holding its own and not folding anytime soon.

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How can you miss an opportunity to hear Lin Dunn?

The rest of the crew ain’t so shabby, neither: former WNBA players Yolanda Griffith and Michelle Edwards, former University of Maryland and Yugoslavian star Jasmina (Jazz) Perazik, and women’s basketball contributors Mimi Griffin and Charlotte West.

The 1976 Olympic National Team will get some love, too:

Cindy Brogdon
Susan Rojcewicz
Ann Meyers
Lusia Harris
Nancy Dunkle
Charlotte Lewis
Nancy Lieberman
Gail Marquis
Patricia Roberts
Mary Anne O’Connor
Patricia Head
Juliene Simpson

Speaking of USA Basketball: The U19 team advanced to their fifth-straight World Championship Gold Medal Game with their 77-54 defeat of Australia.

“Obviously that second quarter, that was one of the most thrilling moments in coaching ever,” said Meier. “That run, that 21-0 run was just so hard earned. It didn’t come easy. They didn’t cough up the ball. Kids were covering and fighting and pursing balls. It was really, really tough. We played very, very hard in that stretch.”

The gold will be no cakewalk, as they will face a French squad that, earlier in the tournament, gave them everything they could handle. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 tomorrow at 1:15 EST.

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Thank you, Tina

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all sorts of bad stuff happens: EDD gets a concussion, Penny goes under the knife,  BG sits for the ASG (and Arizona Central calls her “Griney.”)

Yes, the Three To See might be MIA, but don’t despair: the WNBA All-Star Game will Feature Mic’d Players, Ref Cam

I just want to give a shout out to the Amazon Warrior Princess: Tina Thompson scores 23 to lift Storm past Sparks.

You know what would be classy? If the W organized a “Thank you-Retirement Salute” for Tina at the ASG….. like maybe bringing her to the all-star game… HEY! Tina Thompson to replace Brittney Griner in WNBA All-Star game

From ESPN: It’s Time for WNBA midseason awards. Personally, my mid-year COY vote goes to Dunn. Adversity could have crushed the team and set up the Fever for a “why bother” second half. Now, it’s more like a “Damn, we have to play them?” Oh, and congrats to Catch: Tamika Catchings climbs into 4th on scoring list as Fever win

This is interesting: Weatherspoon becomes first WNBA player to join NBRPA

The non-profit association aides in the transition of professional players after their playing careers. Programs are designed to help with financial literacy and career assistance among other areas as well as serve as a social network for retired players.

Founded in 1992 by NBA greats Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson, the organization also hosts camps and different community events. The group has more than 500 members that played in the NBA, ABA, the Harlem Globetrotters and now the WNBA.

Ooo, la la! France was unwilling to roll over for the U19 team — but the young’uns found a way to overcome les bleus and escape with a 6-pt victory.

“We have a ton of respect for France,” said USA U19 and University of Miami head coach Katie Meier. “They match us athletically. They are better than us in pace of play and they controlled the tempo tonight. We couldn’t impose our will on them, because they’re a very veteran team. We had to play their game and break through our box of tricks. We had to dig through our half court offenses and our half court defenses and really execute. We figured it out, but it took a long time to figure it out. They’re a very sophisticated, high-level basketball club.”

Japan is up next (1:15pm, today. Live Stats). Should the U.S. advance to the July 27 medal semifinals, it will face the winner of the Australia-China contest for the right to play in the July 28 gold medal game. The medal semifinals and the gold and bronze medal games will be streamed live online by ESPN3.

Off te be grown up and conference-y. You all keep an eye on the women’s bball world and make sure no one gets hurt, ‘kay?

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to this… ’cause if there ain’t, the Aztec Administration is peopled with cowardly idiots and women’s basketball has lost an important leader because of their idiocy.

From Kevin Acee at UT San Diego: Is what we see really what got Burns fired? – Women’s Basketball Coach struck assistant in video

If that’s all there is, what am I missing?

That’s the only plausible reaction after viewing the video at the center of the surprising and possibly scandalous departure of a record-setting college basketball coach.

There is much wisdom in acknowledging you might not know everything, and that may well be the case in the retirefirement of San Diego State Women’s Basketball Coach Beth Burns.

She’s not saying, and SDSU is not saying.

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ever come up with the stoopid idea?”

WNBA rookies lift viewership, sales

“Oh.”

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