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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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I did get to tromp around in the mud and see this beauty (ruddy turnstone), this beauty (black bellied plover) and this handsome guy (avocet) who shouldn’t even be in the neighborhood.

US 88, Czech Republic 61: Speaking of hot, the Czechs sure were hot from outside in the first quarter, huh? Didja get nervous? Me, not so much — I just feel a little like a little old grandpa backseat driving and yelling “Guard the damn three! I said GUARD THE DAMN THREE!” (Did you see this headline at the Detroit Free Press: U.S. women’s basketball routes Czech Republic, 88-61.” And here I’d heard the traffic wasn’t so bad…)

Fortunately, they listened to me (or maybe some Italian born coach), made the adjustments and started playing some beautiful ball to win the US’s 37th Olympic game in a row.

Oh, and congrats BUT the reason you got a new rebounding record is because YOU MISSED SO MANY DAMN BUNNIES I THOUGHT ELMER FUDD WAS SHOOTING! (note: wordpress has this cool stat thing that shows a map of where visitors to the site come from. I apologize to all those folks out there who are wondering who the heck Ethel, Fred, George and Elmer are…) From Auriemma: 

I think that when you get to the Olympic Games shooting percentages can go down – because players have a tendency to rush things. That one possession I think we had six offensive rebounds in one possession and couldn’t make a layup. The offense is going to go up and down depending on the day maybe but I know we are going to go on a couple of runs in the course of the game. We certainly need Diana to play the way she played today because when she does she is able to stretch the team’s defense like nobody else. The Czech team is very difficult to play against. Defensively the only chance we had was just to wear them down. I think that is exactly what happened they got worn down.

Nate is chillin’ over the US’s 3-shooting: USA Women’s Basketball Vs. Czech Republic: Why Poor Three Point Shooting Is Not A Major Concern In The 2012 Olympics

ESPN lets Loudy Foudy spend a whole 3:35 minutes on the USA basketball team: Maya Moore.

It’s ridiculous to thing how far the Brits have come in such a short time – remember, the team didn’t exist until 2006.

Initially, basketball was the only discipline in which the host country was not to be automatically awarded entry. This was because the Great Britain basketball teams did not exist until 2006, and FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, was concerned about the future of the unified British teams after 2012, as well as the claimed total lack of competitiveness of British basketball. However, in a meeting held in Lyon, France, on 13 March 2011, the FIBA executive board agreed to allow the British teams to qualify automatically

Tom Maher has been magnificent, and the team has really bought in to whatever he was selling. Crushingly enough, the French Assassin made sure Great Britain continued winless in the Olympics, as Les Bleus defeated England in “injury time.”

BTW, I recall speaking with Jo Leedham a couple years back, and Andrea Congreaves’ name came up. Here’s some WATN? news out of Ireland: Glanmire name former WNBA star as new coach

Canada, 79  Brazil, 73: Speaking of winless: Holy carp, how much of a hot mess is Brazil in and can they get it together before 2016? They go bye-bye, and Oh, Canada! Courtnay & Co. will play on.

Ooooo! Didja hear! We found new lyrics to the classic “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!”

You say CambAYge
And I say CamBAHge
You say garbAYge
And I say garbAHge

Australia 70, Russia 66: In the battle of the randomly prepared basketball announcers what’s-his-name on the sideline gets mispronunciation demerits, the whole group gets multiple demerits from turning Liz’s Olympic dunk into a story about Lauren v. Leslie. And Annie – -Love ya. You’re the most humble superb athlete I’ve ever met. But I believe Candace is going to ask you for the bonus money she earned with that mythical Championship.

Turkey 82, China 55: If you can figure out the Chinese team, please call. As for the Turkish team – cool! And, this settles it. I am covering the Worlds in Turkey in 2014 ’cause Turkey is the new hotbed and the place ought to be rockin’.

Croatia 75, Angola 56.

Up next: China at 11:45 EST. Check out Doug’s preview and email me thoughts about this quote:”The U.S. is a very tough team and we will do what we can against them,” China coach Sun Fengwu said through a translator. “We will try some special things against them.”

Oh, and the Washington Times has this: The real Dream Team: USA women’s basketball and the Bleacher Report has USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team 2012: How Team Ranks Against Best All Time

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available.

I mean, sheesh, if there were, someone might actually BUY an Angel jersey and, you know, wear it around, promoting the game and then, you know, people might actually get to know about US women’s basketball. Wouldn’t want that to happen.

I mean, LOOK at what’s happening in the UK with their women’s soccer team: Once banned, women’s soccer thriving at Olympics

The same historic venues that kept women off the field are seeing support ranging from decent to robust, topped by the 70,584 that watched Kelly Smith and Britain beat Brazil 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night, a record British crowd and the third-largest to watch a women’s game anywhere in the world.

“I think we’re breaking boundaries,” British forward Eniola Aluko said. “And the people who are in control of the game can recognize now that women’s football is essentially a sport. So get more people out to see us like this and it will grow.”

Wasn’t it better in the olden days?
In 1921, England’s Football Associationbanned women from playing soccer on Football League grounds because the game was deemed “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.”


In the US, two years later:
The WDNAAF holds its first conference. It attacks competitive athletics, especially basketball as being unhealthy and inappropriate. Concern that women’s scholastic athletics will begin to resemble men’s (quasi-professional, corrupt, promoting betting) they promote a “Sports for Sports sake” philosophy.
I appreciate how retro USA Basketball and their marketing partners are, don’t you?

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But it is about friggin’ time.

From Greg Bishop at the New York Times:U.S. Basketball Star’s Success Puts Her Pain in Perspective

At a recent practice, Augustus scrolled through her new phone, unable to find the tumor snapshot. She seemed genuinely deflated.

“I didn’t want to gross you out anyway,” she said. “But it’s gross. Really gross.”

Before the picture, before the injury, there was the torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2009 that ended her W.N.B.A. season before it really started. It now seems harmless in comparison.

Rehabilitation hurt more than the injury. Torture, Augustus called it. All that bending and flexing to break up all the scar tissue. The way she cried so loudly she swore that she scared the other patients. The moments, however brief, made her want to retire at 25.

If you’re reading this, please don’t settle for doing only that — click through, tweet it, facebook it, email it… whatever you can do to share this piece. Send the NY Times a message: we want more!

Hey, how about sending an encouraging tweet to Greg? For example:

@nytbishop Thanks for the piece on the Amazing Augustus. http://tinyurl.com/cbk2kqm The whole team is amazing – AND they’re going for a FIFTH gold! Who’s up next?

You might also ask why there was no game story from him. :P

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Inside the Rings: A Giant Leap for Women, but Hurdles Remain

During Friday’s opening ceremony, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, drew loud and sustained applause when he said: “For the first time in Olympic history, all the participating teams will have female athletes. This is a major boost for gender equality.”

It is true that women have come light-years from the first modern Games, held in Athens in 1896, when their presence was welcomed only as spectators. Women, too, have made significant gains even since the Atlanta Games in 1996, when 26 nations did not send female athletes.

Yet the fight for true equality is far from being won.

Something Jere’ doesn’t mention is coverage. Apparently David Stern asked the Times folks if they were going to cover the women.

I don’t believe he got an answer.

So, I don’t mind repeating myself: In case you’re inspired to do something about the missing coverage, twitter is, you know, very public. Since I can’t pick on EVERY news outlet, I’ll pick on my local NYTimes folks. Maybe the hashtag could be NYTimesOlympicFail?

@LondonLive: Continuous coverage of the #London2012 Olympics by New York Times reporters and editors.

@LondonLive: Hey, LondonLive Was wondering if you knew the US had a women’s national team in basketball. They’re pretty good, what with them going for their 5th gold. What do they need to do to get coverage?

@nytbishop: New York Times general assignment sports reporter.

@nytbishop: Hey Greg. Impressed with the number of words you’re writing about the men’s national team. Is there a rule new at the Times that you can’t write about the women? Just wondering.

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney: I write basketball things at basketball places. The New York Times. ESPN TrueHoop Network. NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.

@RobMahoney: Hey Rob. I see you write “basketball things at basketball places.” Did you know that there are some basketball things happening that include women? Might want to check them out. They’re called the US National Team

About the basketball (which is on-going and very interesting!) The US plays Angola today. Viewing info from RebKell:

5:15 PM ET
TV: NBC Specialty Channel – Basketball

Online video for cable subscribers:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/video-watch.html?video=womens-group-a-angola-vs-united-states

Alternate online video:
http://www.thefirstrow.eu/watch/132945/1/watch-olympic:-angola-vs-united-states,-womens.html

Preview/Boxscore:
http://london2012.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/12/olym/p/eid/6232/gid/15/grid/A/rid/9087/sid/6233/game.html

Live stats:
http://london2012.fiba.com/extSTATIC/fiba-live/?event=6233 (scroll down to game #15)

 

Learn a little about the Angolan team at Full Court. In case you missed Lee’s July 19th preview: London 2012: Angola — Just happy to be there

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From someone named Jim Caple: Team USA being taken for granted

Really? Taken for granted? Like, say, they’re going for their fifth gold and they don’t send Mechelle Voepel and her 28 seasons of covering women’s basketball chronicle the USA women. No, they send you, Jim.

To be honest, you DID write one article about women’s basketball in 2012. And another in 2010. And one in 2009. And, hey, there were those three that  you did in 2008!

I’m not poking at you, Jim. I’m sure you’re a nice, earnest guy. But I dare you to take a look at the company who hires you before you write stuff like:

“Right now the only streak we’re talking about is winning one in a row as many times as possible,” Auriemma said. “We’re not thinking about what the other teams did in the Olympics.”

The shame is, not enough people think about what the other teams did, either. Or, for that matter, what this one probably will do as well.

If you care, Jim, tell ESPN you’d like to pay more attention to this team. They deserve it.

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about the missing jerseys, twitter is, you know, very public. Some suggestions:

Jim Tooley,Executive Director/CEO @jtooleyusa

@jtooleyusa Hey Jim, enjoy your updates. Wonder if you could update me on how I could get a USABB Catchings jersey. Want to represent the best of the US

USABasketball: @usabasketball

@usabasketball Hey USA Bball – appreciate you supporting the men’s and women’s teams so equitably. Small fail, though – looks like the women’s jerseys haven’t arrived yet. Anywhere.

In case you’re inspired to do something about the missing coverage, twitter is, you know, very public. Since I can’t pick on EVERY news outlet, I’ll pick on my local NYTimes folks:

@LondonLive: Continuous coverage of the #London2012 Olympics by New York Times reporters and editors.

@LondonLive: Hey, LondonLive Was wondering if you knew the US had a women’s national team in basketball. They’re pretty good, what with them going for their 5th gold. What do they need to do to get coverage?

@nytbishop: New York Times general assignment sports reporter.

@nytbishop: Hey Greg. Impressed with the number of words you’re writing about the men’s national team. Is there a rule new at the Times that you can’t write about the women? Just wondering.

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney: I write basketball things at basketball places. The New York Times. ESPN TrueHoop Network. NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.

@RobMahoney: Hey Rob. I see you write “basketball things at basketball places.” Did you know that there are some basketball things happening that include women? Might want to check them out. They’re called the US National Team

@PeteThamelNYT: Pete Thamel is the national college sports reporter for The New York Times

@PeteThamelNYT: Hey Pete. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Any chance you could find the time to cover the USA Women’s Basketball team. They all went to — and graduated from — college. AND they’re going for their 5th straight gold!

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Diana Taurasi reflects on her road to London

Diana Taurasi knows it could have been all different.

Had her suspension for a banned substance in 2010 not been thrown out, odds are she would still be fighting it in court. Instead, she’s heading to London on Wednesday for her third Olympics with the U.S. women’s basketball team.

“That whole experience has helped me appreciate things more,” Taurasi said over breakfast Tuesday. “You wake up and whether it’s the Olympics, your parents, loved ones, friends or your family you learn how fragile everything is. We all kind of appreciate every little moment a little more. Sometimes it takes things like that to help you think that way.”

The Auriemma/Hardwick story isn’t over yet, so I’m not drawing any literal parallels, but you’ve got to wonder if Doug might be writing a similar story in six months or so.

A little somethin’ somethin’ on Diana’s friend and teammate, Sue: Bird simply loves playing in Seattle

 A long way from the Pacific Northwest, Sue Bird learned that one of the mainstays of Seattle sports was gone.

Ichiro Suzuki, who had been in Seattle since Bird arrived in 2002, was traded from the Mariners to the New York Yankees on Monday. That leaves Bird as the second-longest tenured athlete in the city behind Storm teammate Lauren Jackson.

“That’s pretty crazy, I never would have thought to check that out,” Bird said. “I actually really love that. I love that I’ve been in the same place, developed a relationship with the community and the fans and the ownership. It’s a place I want to be. I feel like they’re loyal to me and I’m loyal to them. It’s a very comfortable situation.”

Thank goodness Doug made the trip — ’cause, have you noticed? Mechelle seems to be missing.

Which made me want to take an unscientific look (serious study is THEIR job) at the coverage so far. Let’s take a look at the NYTimes Olympic/Basketball section: There are 15 links (two are basically repeats).

Three are devoted to the US women, all by the AP (don’t know if Doug did’em)

Complainant Headed to Games (87 words, by AP. Not about the team)

Atlanta Coach and Player Are Eager to Get to London (682 words by AP)

Americans Travel Great Distance for a Few Warm-Ups (615 words, by AP)

11 are devoted to men’s basketball, 10 the US men

U.S. Olympic Basketball Roster Is Versatile, but Not Tall (774 words, by NY Times employee Nate Taylor)

N.B.A. Title Adds to James’s Credibility as U.S. Team Leader (915 words by NY Times employee Nate Taylor)

Nigerian Men’s Basketball Team Makes Olympics (113 words, by AP)

Hanging Out With Olympians (part of NY Times’ Google+ hangout  –  with Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers)

Blake Griffin Off Olympic Team With Knee Injury (86 words, by AP)

U.S. Gets Past Brazil but Struggles Down Low ( 776 words, 40 devoted to the women’s game, by Adam Himmelsbach, NY Times employee)

U.S. Men’s Basketball Team Routs Britain in Exhibition (506 words, by Reuters)

An Eye-Opening International Education (1023 words, by Jake Appleman, NY Times employee)

Krzyzewski, at Scene of 1992 Victory, Harks Back More to 2008 (781 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

With One Tuneup Left, U.S. Has Biggest Test Yet (827 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

Only a Tuneup, but One the U.S. Takes Seriously (862 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

Wouldn’t it be cool if every single NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA Division I, II etc. coach dropped a “6623 words v 1424 words? It doesn’t add up!” email to the NY Times Sports department? Sports@NYTimes.com

And no, we don’t have Tom Jolly to kick around anymore. Instead it’s Joe Sexton, who admonished Karen Crouse publicly for voicing her opposition to the Augusta National’s gender discrimination policy. Hmmmm… Illuminating, no?

You could also try:

Public Editor

Arthur Brisbane, our public editor, represents our readers. You can reach him by e-mail or by calling (212) 556‑7652.

Write to the Publisher or President

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Kim Callahan has decided to shut down her site, womensbasketballonline.com.

I would classify Kim high up in the ranks of what a friend recently identified as “amateurs who are more professional and passionate about the women’s game than most who are paid to cover or work in it.”

Those of her who’ve known her since the site was called “Chicks with Balls” can only gape and the number of early morning hours she spent gathering all the articles published online and organizing them in to one, readable page. And let’s not forget the endless extra hours she spent tabulating attendance, hunting down wnba media and team contact information, crafting her “lessons for advocacy” know as Media Tips, or hosting the women’s basketball timeline (information that has been sourced by various media outlets, big and small, not to mention numerous college students and a diverse group of history-curious individuals).

Ask her a question, and Kim has never failed to respond, either offering her information or directing you to the person who could offer you an answer.

Most people are lazy about their passions. They’ll indulge in them, but they rarely advocate for them. Kim did nothing BUT advocate.

I will miss her presence on the ‘net as much as I’ll miss her pointed humor and her constant support. The loss to women’s basketball is immeasurable.

Hey, Kim? “Chicks with Balls” rules!

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co-founder of the Women’s Hoops Blog Sara Sampsell-Jones.

Yes, she is cool…. But Sara. Ted. You don’t write, you don’t call…. whatupwiththat?

Love,

The WHB

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for all you’ve done in support of women’s athletics.

A columnist steps away after more than three decades on the beat.

¶ In 1996, I proposed covering women’s sports just about every day of the coming Summer Games in Atlanta, noting that the International Olympic Committee had rightly increased the events for women. The so-called Games of the Women were graced by soccer, softball and basketball teams from the United States and elsewhere.

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Not a critique,

just an observation. Of the 3o photos picked as their “favorite” by SI photographers, only one features a woman. And that woman isn’t “playing” her sport.

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From Marie’s blog

some news of interest:

A discussion with sports journalists about recent events that have become national news at Penn State will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Schwab Auditorium as the latest installment of an ongoing series conducted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

“A Conversation About Covering Controversy” — featuring Mark Viera of The New York Times, Christine Brennan of USA Today and others — will address the efforts, role and work of journalists when covering controversy in general, and the situation at Penn State in particular.

Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, will moderate the session.

The session is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed Monday, Nov. 28, to Penn State students and, if any remain, Tuesday, Nov. 29, to Penn State faculty/staff and the general public.

Tickets will be available as follows at four locations on or near the University Park campus:

— 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Eisenhower Auditorium;

— 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Penn State Downtown Theatre on Allen Street in State College;

— 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center; and

— 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the HUB-Robeson Center.

In addition, the event will be streamed live at http://comm.psu.edu/sports online.

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Today @BrendaVanLengen and @MechelleV launched a new women’s sports radio show at womenssportscentral.com, follow the show @WomensSportsCen

Women’s sports fans have always had to work harder to find news and commentary on their favorite sports. We’re working to make it easier.

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No really…

what the hell is up with the “Rate This” ass ads on ESPN?

When should I expect crotch shots of men with the invite, “Measure This!”

Maybe we should “Ask Kelly,” the ESPN ombudsman.

By the way, have you heard about this: ESPN partners with Poynter – Journalism institute expands the traditional role of network’s ombudsman

ESPN and The Poynter Institute have partnered for a new step in media transparency — The Poynter Review Project — in which a panel of Poynter faculty will review ESPN content across all platforms and publicly comment on ESPN’s efforts. This will include monthly essays and additional timely responses as issues arise. The group also will address fan concerns during its 18-month tenure.

“The Poynter Institute’s reputation in the field of journalism is unmatched, and we welcome the panel’s scrutiny in this new format,” said John A. Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor. “Our goal is to improve our content through increased accountability, transparency and timeliness. We believe The Review will take the traditional ombudsman role and advance it for the 21st-century media world.”

So, if you want a voice in what, who and how ESPN covers, speak up!

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Big bucks

Pacnolonger10but12 Announces Landmark Media Rights Deal With ESPN Fox Sports Media Group

Nate has some good follow-up links over at Swish Appeal.

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Grading America’s sports departments

This week, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) released its third Racial and Gender Report Card on newspaper and online newsrooms. APSE partners with The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport to conduct the survey every two years.

The 2010 survey shows women and journalists of color increased as members of the total staffs of all APSE member papers and websites in 2010. However, the number of African-American sports editors has dropped since the last survey in 2008.

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continues it’s blanket-like coverage of women’s basketball.

From Harvey Araton: Auriemma Brash From the Beginning

Yes, she testified, young Geno was every bit as brash, driven and demanding as the 56-year-old version already enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

“But to me, he was a breath of fresh air,” Polinsky said. “He had us riled up to the point where it was crazy. We had a practice once where I went after the ball and wound up jumping over the benches and falling over on my back.”

Now, according to my plan, if you are, for example, a St. John’s fan, you’ll drop Harvey a thank you note (araton@nytimes.com) and mention you’ve got this great coach rebuilding a program that he can get to via subway! (Well, he’ll have to transfer to a bus, but he can get there for $2.25.)

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to the WHB: WBBall Writers.

It’s devoted to… *drum roll* those who write about women’s basketball.

Obviously it’s under construction, but I wanted to start the New Year by sending a big shout out to all the writers who find the time — some times on their own dime — to cover women’s basketball. And another shout out to the sports editors those writers convince that devoting space to women’s basketball is important. It’s not an easy fight.

If you have a local writer, please send along their name and, if possible, their email so I can add them to The List. Local writers rock. They’re tapped into their community and the players, and they deserve our support. And, the work they do will build into more national coverage — if people know how to find it.

So, here’s your WHB New Year’s Resolution: Get to know your local women’s/girls basketball beat writer and make sure I have their info. nywnbafan @ yahoo.com

Here’s to a rockin’ and writin’ 2011.

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found this blog:

what was the betting line on december 30, 2010 between uconn and stanford ncaa womens basketball?

and

lady huskies loose string

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End of the 2010 stuff

from the collectors at Women Talk Sports.

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Closing the year in California

Over the Christmas weekend, I wrote a long, long entry reflecting more on the whole UConn streak/UCLA streak topic  … but realized (after writing it) that I’m very weary of that particular “debate” right now, and that you might be, too.

So I put that entry on the shelf. I may decide to post it later, or maybe it’s one of those blog entries that just never sees the light of day. (It would hardly be the first.) For now, let’s just move on completely from the Bruins and their record streak for men’s basketball, and instead talk about the next few days and where the spotlight will be for women’s hoops.

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From Mel

New Guru Home Launched For The Holidays!

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From the NY Times

(It was on the front page, no less. Holy kamole, Harvey and Jere’ must really be throwing their weight around!) Lieberman Is Back in Men’s Game, in New Role

Two and a half hours before tipoff, before a single fan had entered the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and before she had donned her pink blouse, necklace and high heels, the player who once dared to dribble among men was making her case to be more than one of the guys.

“They need women in every aspect of life — why not as coach?” Nancy Lieberman said.

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