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Archive for May, 2014

Had SUCH a good time speaking with Mimi – what a great friend of the game. Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Mimi Senkowski Griffin — A love affair with the game

When Mimi Senkowski Griffin is inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame next month, it will be for her contributions to the game as a basketball commentator. But one could also see it as the culmination of a three-generation love affair with Pennsylvania women’s basketball.

“I grew up on Big 5 basketball in Philadelphia. It was religion in our family,” explained Griffin. “My grandmother played back in the day when they had cages around the court. They played in bloomers and guys weren’t allowed in the gym.” At six-feet, Griffin’s mother Anne, played for Little Flower High School in the Philadelphia Catholic League, considered the elite of girls’ basketball. “She told us that their coach would call her ‘the point,’ but not in terms that we would recognize it. She said it was because he would tell the rest of the team that ‘the point’ was to ‘Get the ball to Anne!’”

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time for some straight up fundraising for my company’s Youth Theatre and I’m battling a bunch of other folks. I WANT TO WIN!!!! (nothing but the admiration and jealousy of my competition)

So, why are you inviting us to send in our money, Helen?

CAT Youth Theatre is a free, award-winning after school program for young people to create original theatre. Members meet weekly, from September through May. Most important, there is no audition or tuition and members are invited on a first come, first served basis. The criterion: a commitment to be an active participant.

The collaborative theatre process gives young people the opportunity to make new meanings from the material of their lives. It inspires creativity, builds self-esteem and resiliency, broadens horizons, develops social awareness AND it’s free!

It’s that “FREE” thing that’s key. Folks don’t audition for the youth theatre, but they do have to show up, contribute their ideas and time, learn to be responsible to themselves and their co-creators…. they work their butts off. And the results, both on and off the stage, are amazing.

Looking to raise $1000 in two weeks. Ya got an extra $10 floating around?

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like a bunch of clueless, self-delusional, profoundly tone-deaf  dingbats.

The university changed its stance, granting Romero a release as a result of a newly modified policy that allows athletic director John Currie the freedom to release student-athletes if new information or circumstances warrant the release.

When we see one person standing in opposition to a large entity, passions can be easily inflamed as people empathize. It’s the mini versus the monolith.

But that’s even more the case when, no matter how hard you look, you can’t figure out what the monolith stands to gain by exercising its power. Ultimately, that’s why so many people were baffled and angered by Kansas State’s treatment of women’s basketball player Leticia Romero.

“I’m thrilled for Leticia — this is what she deserved all along,” Romero’s attorney Donald Jackson said Tuesday morning. “I think Kansas State made the right decision and we’re thrilled about it. Sometimes things like this take a little time, but I congratulate the athletic director and the board at K-State on the decision they made.
Dang, but don’t I love a little sarcastic, subtle gloating….
Moving to a happier place: Rookie Alert!!!
BOOM! McBride drops 30 and the winner.
Story of the Game: Both teams were insanely hot from outside in the first half, combining to hit the first 11 three-point shots attempted. There were under four minutes left in the half when Shameka Christon tossed up the first missed three of the evening. The star of the show amongst the floor-wide bombing was a former Notre Dame guard – but not the one who tends to get all the press. Kayla McBride was smoking hot from the perimeter, not afraid to put the ball on the floor to create easier looks, and even made a couple of nice passes along the way as well. This is why Dan Hughes took her #3 in the recent draft, ahead of players like Alyssa Thomas and Natasha Howard who might’ve filled a more obvious hole on his roster.

Moments after becoming the first WNBA player to score 30 or more points in four consecutive games, holding a bag of ice on the five stitches over her right eye, Lynx forward Maya Moore was making the point that it’s not all her.

“Of course they are going to see I scored 30, looking at the points,” said Moore, who had 30 points in just under 31 minutes in Saturday’s victory over the New York Liberty. “But my teammates do so much for me. It’s all a team aggression; I just try to set the tone in the beginning.’’

(how cranky am I? I’ll be in Minny for a conference and the Lynx are on the road. Who’s in charge of scheduling!)
In the “it’s about time” category: Braxton waived. So much talent, so determined to squander it….
If you wanna catch up on WNBA games, check out Richard at WNBAlien.
Connecticut’s Carl Ademac catches up with old OLD Big East foe Barnes Arico: Ex-Red Storm coach is all ‘Go Blue’ at Michigan
“The Midwest is terrific,” Barnes Arico said. “It’s a great place to raise a family and the people in Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan have been so welcoming. The people in Michigan are all about the Block M and all about Michigan. I put on a Michigan t-shirt and go anywhere from California to Paris, France, somebody sees me and goes, ‘Go Blue.’ So it’s just the tradition and the pride, and to be able to work at a University that has all that is incredible. I’m loving it and enjoying it.
From the Sports Business Education Network: Muffet McGraw’s Keynote Address, “Women in Leadership
Speaking of leadership: Congrats to St. Francis’ third year head coach John Thurston as St. Francis Brooklyn women’s basketball team has been invited to the pre-season WNIT for the first time in program history.
In USA Basketball news, the U-18 team was announced. Check out Clay Kallam’s notes from the 17s and 18s tryouts.
Speaking of USA Basketball, from Anna Wilson: Red White and Dream Come True
Last year I was invited to participate in the USA U16 national team trials. Unfortunately, I was not selected to be a part of the team and missed out on the FIBA Americas U16 championship in Cancun, Mexico. This year I was invited back to Colorado Springs, Colo., to try out for the USA U17 world championship team, and this time I had more experience and more confidence. And I made the team.
Q: Team USA, coached by Geno Auriemma, will look to retain the gold medal at the FIBA world championship for women Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. What is the process of reducing the current pool of players down to 12?
Interesting flashback from Emily Nkosi: Basketball, Jesus and young lesbian identity in Waco, Texas

“I will always worry about Emily.”

That is what coach Kim Mulkey said about me in her book, Won’t Back Down. Though this is not a flattering line to have your basketball coach write about you, I actually appreciate it. I have been worried about me too, and with good reason.

Things have not been easy for me over the past decade. I don’t think my struggle is particularly unique. We all have struggles. The clearer I get on my own pain, the more compassion and authenticity I have in relating to the world around me. I hope I can share parts of my story and my pain in a way that others can relate to and learn from. That’s why I’m writing this. It’s not about setting the record straight or telling my side of the story in my own words, but rather trying to excavate the hard earned nuggets of wisdom that, if shared, could help someone else avoid the same mistakes or feel less alone.

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between Elena and Maya on ESPN2 (3:30 EST).

So far, Moore is living up to the headline of Kent Youngblood’s May 18th piece: Lynx’s Maya Moore ready for an even better 2014 season

If you think Moore, entering her fourth season, has bumped up against the ceiling of her considerable talent, think again. Or just watch her work long after most practices have ended.

“I have to do more,” Moore said. “I have to do it at a higher level. I’m going to continue with the same work habits, but just increase them. It’s the little things at this point.”

More, really?

And you, she IS stronger (who could argue with the CSN Chicago piece: Elena Delle Donne wants to step up as role model

Elena Delle Donne is just one year into her WNBA career, but she’s might already be the most popular player in Chicago Sky’s history.

The 6-foot-5 star took the league by storm in her rookie season, averaging 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as she led the Sky to their first regular season Conference title in their eight-year existence.

But Delle Donne isn’t content with just being popular. She wants to be a positive role model for the female athletes growing up around the world today.

No, I haven’t started packing my bags for Istanbul yet, but come on! How much fun will it be to spend a week watching these two play on the same team!

It’s been two weeks — how is Michelle doing on her 10 storylines to track this season?

Oh, and speaking of storylines: the lil bits have been picked for the U-17 team.

“Given the large numbers and the incredible talent at these trials, it was a challenge for the committee to make the decision,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball women’s national team director and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, which is responsible for selecting the players. “However, given that quality of talent, in many ways there was no way we could fail at picking a good team, and we certainly think that we’ve done that. It’s a very versatile team with good size, good speed and quickness and good basketball smarts. So, we are really excited to see how they perform at the world championship.”

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That Elena and Maya are on fiyah.

That teams are winning, even missing stars (Minny, Chicago).

That teams are losing ’cause they’re missing stars (Seattle, Indy, Atlanta).

That being new is hard: Tulsa World’s Mike Brown writes about transitioning: WNBA’s rookie learning curve tough on many players

That being “old” is hard: Some NOT rookies ponder the future: Becky Hammon eyes the next step

“She wants to coach after she’s done,” Popovich told the Associated Press. “Because she’s not just a good player but a smart player, we gave her a chance to sit with us during the year. She came to our coaches’ meetings, argued with us. She did everything. She’s been wonderful.”

Sue Bird On Anne Donovan, Aging And The Big Picture

That the W launched a flawed iPad/iphone app and Live Access continues to be oxymoronic.

That ESPN runs a better scoreboard banner than the .com (the last score they have up is from May 23rd).

That the Minnesota Post is willing to cover the Lynx: Brazilian Damiris Dantas is Minnesota Lynx’s next big thing

That waffles are good for breakfast but tough for coaches and fans: Will she or won’t she in 2015: From Jayda – WNBA Talk: Liz Cambage – Tulsa star Liz Cambage will miss her second full season since being drafted in 2011 to concentrate on her commitment to the Australian National Team.

Mechelle chatted:

glenn (fresh meadows) How important is it for the WNBA’s survival for them to FINALLY be aknowledging and specifically marketing to the LGBT community?

Mechelle Voepel It’s interesting … we’ve had this internal discussion at ESPNW about the league’s announcement of its LGBT-focused marketing campaign. And some people’s thoughts were, “Oh, are they FINALLY doing this? It’s about time. It’s ridiculous. They should have done it long ago.” Really more chastising the league because it took so long, rather than even sounding glad that it was happening. But I have to say … I’m just like, “Look, yes, the league could have done better with this. We know that. But so could all of society.”

We’ve made so much progress in the last 10 years in regard to LGBT awareness and rights and acceptance and inclusion. So my attitude is, “OK, this is terrific. I am really happy they are doing this.” I criticize the league for things they do or don’t do that bug me, but I also understand that marketing and sponsorships and all those things haven’t been easy for women’s sports. I know there have been fans who felt very hurt and left out and not acknowledged by the WNBA. Of course I understand that. But at some point … maybe it’s that I’m almost 50, and I have some perspective that makes me more pleased with the progress than I am mad at what *didn’t* happen for years.

In random college news:

Lots of changes on Co’s Penn State staff. 

Fresno State added staff and lost a center to Oregon. Wait? They’re letting a foreign player transfer? Who do they think they aren’t?!?!

Stringer stays put.

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From Joshua Kinder, who’s all over this story: Romero exploring other options to gain her release

When Leticia Romero first asked for her release more than two months ago, she had no idea she’d still be waiting for it today and in the fight of her life with the university she’s called home for the past year. The All-Big 12 point guard has seemed to run out of conventional options when it comes to getting a release from Kansas State after the university’s statement Wednesday night that the appeals committee’s decision is “final and binding.”

Though K-State’s official stance is firm — case closed — Romero’s attorney, Donald Jackson, might just be getting started. 

Wait, there are NO take backs, K-State: Leticia Romero plans MTSU visit, could transfer

MTSU women’s basketball appears to have exclusive rights to one of the nation’s more coveted possible Division I transfers — at least for now.

Joshua: Back and forth: MTSU allowed to contact Romero, again

Kellis Robinette at The Kansas City Star: Leticia Romero still not released from K-State scholarship but can contact two schools

Enough is enough.

Someone at Kansas State needs to step in and realize that the school is getting mountains of negative PR for an athlete in a non-revenue sport by upholding a rule that is likely to be changed when the Power Five conferences are given autonomy.

This is going beyond negative PR, dontcha think?

Another blog kicks in: Let her go

Kansas State is one of my favorite schools…. It is in that spirit I tell you: I have absolutely no idea what Kansas State is doing in this bizarre Leticia Romero case.

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Swish Appeal Interviews Romero: Leticia Romero discusses the frustrating denial of her transfer release by Kansas State

Make it go away! University attorney requests Currie letter be removed, claims it was stolen

She’s free! Joshua Kinder @Joshua_Kinder · 41m  :Just learned Middle Tennessee State has was granted permission today to contact Romero — one of 94 schools on her list. #KState And story: Middle Tennessee State given permission to contact Romero 

Ooops. No she’s not: Joshua Kinder Tweet: Just Learned #KState has retracted its contact release to Middle Tennessee State and Romero due to a clerical error. This is real.

Honestly, just how many bullets and how many feet to shoot them in DOES K-State have?

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