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#MoreThanMean – Women in Sports ‘Face’ Harassment

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“I am pleased to announce Graham Hays as this year’s recipient of the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Graham has been an exceptional advocate for women’s basketball and has worked diligently to preserve, promote, and protect the priceless stories that make up our game’s historical record. The WBCA salutes Graham for his contribution of time and talent to advance women’s basketball.”

Well deserved! I’m sure that ESPN will now give you a raise, enthusiastically underwrite all your travel, housing and food expenses and earnestly invite you to cover women’s basketball year-round.

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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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They made the NY Times pay attention: Griner and Other Rookies Rejuvenate W.N.B.A.

With the W.N.B.A. playoffs beginning Thursday, the league’s shift in branding and promotion, with a focus on Griner and other top rookies, has been a success. Ticket sales during the regular season improved by 8.9 percent. Games on ESPN2 averaged 231,000 viewers, a 28 percent jump from a year ago. Traffic on the league’s Web site has increased, too.

“We couldn’t have been more thrilled with how this season is going,” Laurel Richie, the W.N.B.A. president, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve focused a lot of our efforts on storytelling, both about the game and our players.”

Nice shot, Michelle! 

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but it ain’t me: SDSU INTERIM WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH LEAVES FOR USC

Jualeah Woods, the interim women’s basketball head coach at San Diego State following the unexplained retirement of Beth Burns, was hired as an assistant on Cynthia Cooper-Dyke’s staff at USC. Technically it is a downgrade for Woods, who spent eight years at SDSU and held the title of associate head coach under Burns.

Speaking of Cooper: Texas Southern names new head women’s basketball coach

Ella Vincent writes:  Brittney Griner Is Revolutionizing Women’s Basketball – Will Brittney Griner’s coming out break down the “feminine” wall of women’s sports?

Basketball star Brittney Griner is one to watch for many reasons. She came out and revealed she was gay before she had her first professional game aft for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She is one of the rare athletes to come out as an active player. It was a moment that showed how far America has progressed-but also how far it still has to go. Google her and “Brittney Griner man” shows up as often as her dunks when she played for Baylor University. More disturbing than the comments about her being a man are the attempts to make Griner feel ashamed for preferring pants over dresses. However, with Griner set to debut on the national stage this summer, can butch female athletes be free to express themselves?

Angela Hattery offers: Homosexuality and Professional Sports: A lesson from Brittney Griner to the NFL

On April 15 th , 2013 Brittney Griner, arguably the best player in women’s college basketball, was selected as the number one pick in the WNBA draft; she was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury and will play alongside the legendary point guard Diana Taurasi.   Three days later SportsWorld buzzed with the news that Brittney Griner had “come out” as gay.   

Critics pondered how Baylor, as a conservative Baptist institution, would deal with Griner’s announcement given that the Baylor student handbook reads in part:

The University affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God. Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm.

  Her coach, Kim Mulkey, while acknowledging that Griner was taunted and harassed during her career “professed ignorance” of her players’ relationships.

The official Baylor comment is that they will not “call out” Griner given that she has brought so much positive attention to the university.

Anyone else callin’ “bull” on Mulkey and  Baylor’s “ignorance”?

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Big West basketball teams wear orange ribbons in honor of Cal State Fullerton assistant coach and former Long Beach State women’s basketball player Monica Quan.

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thank you for asking.

So, while I was away, what did we learn? Be careful what you schedule.

From Connie Yori: “I kept asking all week, ‘now, remind me why we scheduled this game?’”  ’cause dem Wabbits whipped dem Huskers.

From Geaux land: Tigers fall, 67-58, to Hampton Pirates.

Hawks sometimes eat Maryland Terrapins. And the DC BasketCases are NOT excited about the Big 10 talk.

From Sun Devil land: Miners can shoot free throws.

From the land of the Flyers: Isn’t it time to rank the Commodore-beating Dayton team?

From the Lloyd Noble Center: It can be fun playing Billikens: Sooners win 68-33.

From Blue Devil land: Routs are fun, seeing Elizabeth back on the court is more fun.

From Honolulu: Nothing like a little dunking to clear the Bears’ palate.

Look, Ma, no jinx! Youngstown State’s Penguins are 3-0, as is Penn State, Fordham, St. Francis (PA- Sorry, Zips, maybe a little jinx) and the Cavaliers. Interesting, the ’49ers moved to 3-0 with their win over FGCU. How much does VCU miss coach Beth? They’re 0-3, falling to the 3-0 Monarchs. The Teddy Bears are also 3-0, but they get Notre Dame next.

Hartford’s 4-0, ditto with the Mountaineers, Gonzaga and the Gophers. Hey, George Washington has won two games! (Was that mean, or encouraging?) Yah, it’s early, but New Hampshire’s off to a 2-0 start. UConn romps, Tennessee halts and Ohio St. continues.

BTW: Did anyone notice that the ESPN/Southwest-sponsored trivia questions during their ESPN3 broadcasts feature nothing related to women athletes?

Graham says: Baylor, Maryland shouldn’t panic

Stanford is the stock of the moment, and for good reason. The team that plays its home games so close to Silicon Valley went to Hawaii and ended Baylor’s winning streak at 42 games in a 71-69 decision for the Cardinal.

No Nneka Ogwumike? No problem. Behind another command performance from Chiney Ogwumike and the type of supporting efforts from players such as Taylor Greenfield and Mikaela Ruef that largely erase the question marks about Stanford before anyone has even brined their Thanksgiving turkey, the Cardinal made a case for New Orleans from Honolulu. By all means, buy Stanford for No. 2 or even No. 1.

But now is not the time to sell Baylor. Nor is it time to sell Maryland, not even a little.

What’s in a Watch List?

There are concerns about players across the ocean. From Michelle Smith: Americans caught in Israeli conflict

It’s 3 a.m. in a small city just outside of Tel Aviv and Alexis Gray-Lawson answers the phone.

“I’m up,” Gray-Lawson. “All the Americans are up.”

Just the night before, an air-raid siren — warning of a possible incoming bomb — woke up Gray-Lawson.

Concern for players locally, too: Minnesota girls basketball coach suspended for tweeting ‘Mean Girls’ quote to a student

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