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Archive for July, 2017

no cigar… which is too bad, ’cause Layshia Clarendon is one of the breakout players/people of this WNBA season. That being said, I’d bet a nickle she’d satisfied with the (thrilling) win over the still-Grinerless Merc, 99-91.

No thrilling win (if you’re a Lib fan) in Minnesota, as Whalen sealed the Lynx victory, 76-75.

What a difference a Donne makes… Washington over San Antonio, 85-76.

Squeak! Don’t know if the return of Powers was that significant, but it’s nice that Dallas got the win, 84-82 win with her on the court.

Ah, a little post-ASG hangover? LA handled Seattle in a low scoring game, 68-60.

Sun stay steamy hot, stomping Chicago, 93-72. Playoffs look good for Connecticut *throws salt over shoulder*

Ah, Minnesota: Maya Moore on Kyrie, LeBron and the Cavs: When the Lynx stick together, ‘we win’

“The culture that has been set, from leadership on down, of being good to each other,” Moore said, repeating a phrase she claims coach Cheryl Reeve uses a lot. “Because it’s not going to be everything it can be, and it’s not going to feel as good as it can, if we don’t approach our journey that way.

And more, from the .com: In Her 10th Season, This Could Be The Year of Sylvia Fowles

In cause you were wondering: What does the BPI predict for the second half of the WNBA season?

Also wondering: What the Wings need to happen in second half of season to make WNBA playoffs

Congrats! Evelyn Akhator will be out for the Dallas Wings to play with Nigerian national team

AZ Central:After seven years overseas, WNBA’s oldest rookie Yvonne Turner gets her shot with Mercury

Seth Berkman at the NY Times: Hard Work in South Korea Pays Off for Jonquel Jones and WNBA’s Sun

Connecticut Sun Coach Curt Miller was apprehensive when forward Jonquel Jones, then a rookie, told him last year that she would be playing in South Korea during the W.N.B.A. off-season.

In almost two decades of existence, the six-team Women’s Korean Basketball League has developed a reputation as a player-friendly destination, where paychecks always arrive on time and the accommodations are relatively luxurious.

But the league is known for two-a-day practices in which plays and drills are eschewed for sprints and high-intensity workouts.

Also on JJ: Jonquel Jones Epitomizes Bright Future of WNBA and On The Fly: Jones, Sun Rise Among WNBA Powers

Also – Yea to the Quigley family! Chicago guard Allie Quigley’s All-Star Game debut was worth the wait

ESPN: Humble and hungry, Erica Wheeler becomes Fever standout after circuitous road to WNBA

Movin’ time: WNBA’s Chicago Sky Moving Back To City

WATN? SPASH grad [JMac] takes break from WNBA, picks up ultimate frisbee

WATN? In the NY Times:A Way to Extend Her WNBA Career? Opening an Ice Cream Parlor

The ice cream shop, she said, is her “happy place.” The color scheme is Tiffany blue, and the walls are adorned with life-size cutouts of McCoughtry holding ice cream cones.

Flavors rotate. Recent offerings included Salty Bae, a salted caramel and chocolate variety dedicated to the Turkish chef Nusret Gokce, who recently rose to prominence as an internet meme; and Space Jam, a blueberry cheesecake ode to the 1996 movie starring Michael Jordan.

Considering the news that keeps on spewing out of the White House these days, thank goodness Lisa Borders, WNBA embrace social change as good business

From the NY Times:WNBA’s Seattle Storm Embrace a Role in Social Activism

The WNBA has found its voice: The players are used to battling on and off the court, and they’re not going to stop any time soon.

Bird, who has been in the WNBA since 2002, wasn’t surprised that the players across the league so seamlessly were able to unite around activism. After all, although the league has now been around for more than two decades, they’re used to fighting for respect day in and day out.

“We’re still trying to prove ourselves and get things moving in the right direction. So I do think it’s innate within us to have that fighting mentality, to speak up on things that we see happening,” Bird said. “And then at the same time, the makeup of our league, it’s a melting point. You’re exposed to things, you see your things, and you bring in your own story to it, and it lends to a certain type of activism. It just naturally fits.”

Speaking of Bird, And, I’m sure you read this, it’s worth a re-read as Mechelle crafts a classic piece – and underscores how important it is to have long-tenured journalists dedicated to women’s basketball. Ready to let you in

Now an All-Star for a record-tying 10th time, she’ll start for the West squad before an adoring KeyArena crowd on Saturday in Seattle. She is a revered teammate, the center of every huddle, a fan favorite from coast to coast; the ponytailed point guard always has looked the part of the girl next door as much as the face of a franchise. Yeah, everybody loves Bird.

But few outside her family and friends truly know her. She has thoroughly and thoughtfully answered countless questions from reporters since she was a teenager, but Bird usually demonstrated a default mode: cautious.

Yesterday, Sue Bird told everyone that she’s dating Megan Rapinoe, and I cried at my desk. I shouldn’t be surprised by my tears (I cry at everything), but I am. I didn’t expect to cry when Bird told the public something that was never really a secret. And I certainly didn’t expect to choke up in the middle of a meeting right before being told that I should write about what was making me cry in the first place.

But Bird’s decision to let fans see this side of her stripped me bare. I can’t even think about it without tears pooling at the corners of eyes, and I can’t speak about it without feeling sobs clawing at my chest.

Also: 20 Questions: WNBA All-Star recap and why is Sue Bird ready to let you in?

Welcome! Ann Rodriguez Named Senior Vice President, WNBA League Operations

In her role, Rodriguez will oversee all on-court basketball operations, including playing rules, scouting, scheduling and venue compliance. She also will oversee the management of referee operations and the administration of player-related policies and programs.

Fun: WNBA Releases ‘Watch Me Work’ Video

NCAA

Must watch TV: 15 years ago, Schuye LaRue was on her way to women’s basketball stardom – then, she inexplicably disappeared. Her story, Sunday 9am ET., ESPN

Bye: Marosite twins will not return to ETSU women’s basketball team

After-bye: Facing abundant turnover, FSU women’s basketball gets early start

Duke Chronicle: Point Guard U: McCallie and Duke women’s basketball educating top floor generals year after year

UConn Blog: Auriemma, Dailey key to preparing players for WNBA success

Nice! Texas: Planned legacy gift honors Women’s Basketball tradition of excellence

Stormin’ in Norman: Oklahoma basketball: Sooners lure top women’s player from Jayhawk state

High School

Interesting: Braintree (Mass.) champion girls basketball coach returns after resigning following parental complaints

The story continues: Family’s battle with Archdiocese over girls’ expulsion returns to court

With the school year weeks away, hearings will begin in court Monday in a family’s battle to keep their two daughters in a Catholic school that expelled them after the family filed a lawsuit seeking to let the older daughter play on the boys basketball team.

St. Theresa’s Catholic School in Kenilworth has said 13-year-old Sydney Phillips and her younger sister, Kaitlyn, can not return to the school, in part, because their father, Scott Phillips filed suit against the last November 2016

Not High School

Congrats: San Diego Splash, the 80-and-older women’s basketball team, gets endorsement deal

Meet the Red Foxes: The 50+ senior women’s basketball team taking North Carolina by storm

Hickory Record : Column: ‘A force of nature’

Joan still gets mad when she talks about her senior year at L-R, the year she was going to be the captain of the women’s basketball team after having played on the team for two years.

In 1940, the 20-year-old’s plans for a great season were dashed when the women’s coach, a man who later earned acclaim at L-R as a football coach, cancelled the women’s basketball season.

According to Joan, he was working on his master’s degree and had to execute a “project,” his being to start an intramural program. “He needed those women to participate in intramurals,” said Joan, who, in the midst of her grave disappointment, played on the intramural team.

“What (the coach) did was a tragedy,” said Sunny. “That’s what they did to women back then.” Sunny and Joan explained that L-R named a campus street after the coach. “Every time I go to cross it, I feel like spitting on it,” Joan declared.

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I’m (don’t wanna!) back…

But before we dive back into the sprint that is the rest of the season, let’s take a deep breath and go diving, shall we?

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Wide Meshed Sea Fan with Flamingo Tongue

REALLY big Southern Ray

Arrow Crab

Barracuda

Red Hind

Banded Angelfish

Spotted Drum (juvenile)

Gray Angel Fish

Nurse Shark

Sponge

Blue Striped Lizard Fish (or, maybe, Sandiver?)

Giant Barrel Sponge

Squirrelfish

Sand Dollar

White Spotted File Fish

Trunk Fish

Queen Trigger Fish

Cuttlefish

Four-eye Butterfly Fish

Blue Tang, Stoplight Parrotfish (Initial Phase) 

Scrawled File Fish

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EDD hurt,  but Myst- *computer shuts down*

Dolson dumps New Yo- *computer shuts down*

Griner hurt. Hill hurt. EDD hurt. *Helen shuts down computer*

Guess I should pay attention to St. Thomas and SCUBA for the week.

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Trumpet Fish

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Southern Stingray

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How important is home court?

Ask the Sparks, who have all their losses on the road. The Storm sure are full of potential when they play…to their potential.

Shall we call it a case of “Minny Hangover“? That’s twice after “big” games that the Lynx have gotten beat the game-after.  (Granted, EED didn’t play in the Mystics/Minnesota game, but there was a ton of hype). Needless to say, it was a welcome relief to a Chicago team that’s been struggling. (No surprise, Sky owner battling odds trying to develop successful WNBA model.

However you poke at those two games, though, LA and Minnesota are still the class of the league. The Sun, though… how much fun is THAT story? Number 1 in the East? Who’da thunk it?

As the mid-seasons break looms: Sylvia Fowles Leads the WNBA’s MVP Race Over Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Brittney Griner

From Michelle: Inside The W: Chelsea Gray, Jasmine Thomas Emerge

It is fair to assume that neither Chelsea Gray nor Jasmine Thomas view their “breakout” seasons in the WNBA quite the same way that most of the rest of the WNBA does.

“It doesn’t really feel that way to me,” said Thomas, the Connecticut Sun guard. “I guess if you are looking at the numbers, it looks that way on paper.”

Gray knows it’s all about role.

“I just wanted to be someone my teammates can look to and know they can count on,” Gray said. “And that’s what I’ve been focusing on becoming.”

From The State: Tiffany Mitchell enjoying solid WNBA career

The singers were taking a test run through the national anthem; the security guards were in their final briefing before doors opened.

Tiffany Mitchell already had been on the floor shooting for half an hour.

“I’m a little bit more confident with respect that in my first year, you don’t really know what to expect in how you’re doing out there,” the second-year pro mused Friday before her Indiana Fever tipped off against Atlanta.

 

College:

Olean Times: Bonnies’ Fleming reflects upon the women’s season

Barnes & Co. are doing a great job of generating media coverage: For Adia Barnes, Wildcats, summer trip 20 years ago set stage for the best year ever

With the same state: ASU Women’s Basketball: Where do Sun Devils rank in Pac-12?

Brisotl Press: Dangerfield sharing experience with UConn women’s basketball, Team USA squads

I’m intrigued, as we never really heard what happened in Loyola: Texas Tech hires former Loyola coach, WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes

I’m equally intrigued, as Texas fans have a, shall we say, “checkered” history when it comes to supporting gay athletes and coaches:  Balcomb Named Lady Raiders Associate Head Coach

Ouch: Siena’s Margot Hetzke Ends Basketball Career due to multiple concussions

Which brings us to this piece (and a question as to why MoJeff played after she walked her head – WNBA Injury: Concussion will sideline Stars’ Jefferson) Exploring the increased rate of concussions in female athletes

When it comes to looking deeper into the experience of concussions among female athletes specifically, researchers for the most part have been uninterested, unwilling or unfunded.

Tuscaloosa News: University of Alabama hosts wheelchair basketball camp

Adam Lancia sees the University of Alabama’s wheelchair basketball camp as an opportunity to show kids the depth of UA’s commitment to adapted athletics.

“Nobody in the U.S. college system has a stand-alone adapted athletics recreational training facility,” said Lancia of the $10 million addition to the Student Recreation Center that will provide an NCAA-regulation game venue for wheelchair basketball, locker rooms, rooms for strength conditioning and study halls. Construction on the facility is expected to finish up in the fall.

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That’s one!

As the Stars notched their first win of the season, I flashed back on a Martina Navratilova comment. She was being interviewed, and was asked about how she overcame her losses. (Note: Her overall record is 2189-362.) Within her response, she said something like, “You know who I admire? The players who are ranked 100 and below. Because they lose. A lot. And yet, they keep on coming back. I admire that.”

I admire the San Antonio Stars, even though they aren’t answering the Kelsey Plum questions

Someone else I admire? From Lindsay Gibbs at Think Progress: A gender nonconforming WNBA star is pushing the league forward on LGBTQ inclusion

In 2014, the WNBA became the first professional sports league to openly embrace its LGBTQ fans by launching a league-wide LGBTQ Pride campaign during Pride month in June.

This was seen as a big step forward for a league that kept its public relationship with the LGBTQ community at arms length since its launch in 1996, presumably out of fear of losing sponsors or alienating more mainstream, conservative markets.

But Layshia Clarendon, an outspoken LGBTQ activist and point guard for the Atlanta Dream, saw firsthand that not everyone in the league embraced the WNBA’s new, more inclusive direction.

Also: Seattle’s Breanna Stewart strengthens her game, and voice, as a proNorwich Bulletin and Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart embraces role of activist, ESPN.

It wasn’t the first time — nor would it be the last — that Stewart would lend her voice to a cause about which she is passionate. Since coming to the WNBA, she has publicly commented on issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to gender equality to LGBTQ inclusion.

“Stewie has a really good understanding that she can learn from a lot of people,” teammate Sue Bird said. “With that, the combination of paying attention to what’s going on in the world and listening to other people’s stories gives her an awareness that, for her age, is next-level.”

Speaking of the Storm – they win AND Bird breaks a record. Lot’s of that happening these days… ’cause the WNBA has been around long enough that the youngsters have overtaken the veteran founders. Speaking of which, LISTEN UP! 

The G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time): 6/29/17 LaChina Robinson and Chiney Ogwumike welcome 4x WNBA champion Tina Thompson to discuss her former scoring record and more. Plus, WNBA President Lisa Border stops by.

Sure, Minnesota and LA are slapping away all the challengers like King Kong whacking those pesky little planes, but look who tops the East~ Three-pointers are changing the WNBA too, and Washington Mystics lead the way

Look who’s working their way up the East – Jasmine Thomas, Sun stay hot with big victory

Hello! Four to See: Tayler Hill, aka Superwoman, is making an All-Star case

Admit it, you didn’t think you’d be reading this: Life in WNBA teaches Dallas Wings’ Saniya Chong something she just wasn’t going to learn in college

Michelle at the .com: Inside The W: Adopting the Warriors’ Versatility Factor

When the Washington Mystics talk about their transition to “position-less basketball”, they talk about being inspired by the Golden State Warriors. It’s a big part of the reason Elena Delle Donne wanted to be in Washington.

When Connecticut coach Curt Miller talks about the production he’s getting from Alyssa Thomas at the “stretch-4” spot in his lineup, he talks about using Thomas “like the Warriors use Draymond Green.” 

In case you missed this: Here’s Why WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike Decided to Bare it All for ESPN

Ummm… wut? Middletown man’s alleged scam pretending to be a WNBA Player

Whoa! Former WNBA player Chandi Jones meets her older sister for the first time in 35 YEARS in emotional airport reunion after the star’s sibling was adopted at birth

NCAA

Hartford Courant: UConn Women’s Insider: Now A Senior, Gabby Williams Looks Inward To Elevate Game

“I just want to be a really confident player,” Williams said. “That’s something that I’ve been really struggling with. When you’re a confident player, your opponent sees that you’re confident and sees that look in your eyes and it can be intimidating. I don’t think I really had the edge that I can have. So, I just want to be a little more of an edgy player this year.”

Bristol: Samuelson eager to regroup for coming UConn women’s basketball season

Welcome: Towson introduces Diane Richardson as new women’s basketball coach

Diane Richardson would not have stood where she did Friday, being introduced as Towson’s women’s basketball coach inside SECU Arena, if she did not mind the grind of the profession. She has swept floors, has taken out trash — whatever it took to earn her first head coaching job.

But the onetime Bank of America official does not mind reminiscing about what she left behind decades ago.

“The private jet,” she said wistfully.

So, where’d she go? Houston women’s basketball lands UNC transfer Alyssa Okoene

Send your complaints to… Hatfield Clubb New Chair of NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee

Congrats: Cal women’s basketball associate head coach Charmin Smith to become Women’s Basketball Coaches Association board member

Because her impact is never ending:

International

NPR: Wheelchair Basketball Is Transforming Lives In Afghanistan : Goats and Soda

Jess, you coach the women’s wheelchair basketball team in Afghanistan, one of the hardest places in the world to be a woman. In a society where physical contact between men and women is limited, how did you teach them to shoot hoops?

Markt: I was very lucky in that whatever combination of being a foreigner, a teacher and in a wheelchair allowed me a pass that I could coach them. I had to be careful that I was doing everything within their cultural boundaries. I couldn’t just grab a girl’s hand and show her how to shoot the ball like I could with a male player or any other player here in the States. I had to describe how to do things but without physical contact. Which was fine, but challenging.

Miscellaneous:

This is rediscovered every decade or so: These 80-Year-Old Women, True Ballers, “Play to Win.”  Flashback to Women’s Basketball Magazine – The Game Goes On: Basketball after College

Johnson would find some like-minded thinkers in the Senior Women’s Basketball Association (SWBA) in California. Founded seven years ago at San Diego’s Mission Valley Y, it organizes a three-on-three league designed for women over the age of 50 (its oldest player is 86). Director Audrey Kallas-Pastore oversees 12 teams with a tradition of competitive success. This year, they brought back five medals from the Senior National Olympics: silver in the 65-plus category and gold in the 50, 60 and 70-plus divisions.

They’ve played at halftime during a Los Angeles Sparks game, been on national television and been the subject of a short film, Shooting Stars. Membership has grown at such a rate that the SWBA is sponsoring an Invitational Tournament in June. With close to 100 participants, says Kallas-Pastore, “there are just not enough tournaments.”

Many new members have never played before, so they participate in a clinic designed to introduce them to the rules and assess their skill levels. As in any league, new talent is carefully scrutinized. “Everybody always keeps an eye out, if they’re looking for a new teammate,” says Kallas-Pastore with a grin.

Finally – if you happen to be in New York City before August 6th, do everything and anything to can to see Indecent.  It is one of the most soul-touching, heart-rending, spirit-lifting pieces of theater you’ll ever see.

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