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Aaaaaand we’re off!

Or maybe, more accurately, “I’m off.” Gonna take a little pause here at the blog. Been doing this for 15 years, a hunk of that solo, and I’m a little tuckered out.

Like to think that WHB has brought some diversity to the news feed, a little humor, some history and some activism salted with a little snark. May ponder something weekly. But we shall see.

Lots of good folks doing news aggregating and creating original content. Follow them, amplify them, spend your money on them.

No. Really. Spend your money on them. If you think WNBA players should be paid more, spend your money. If you think NCAA players should get more coverage, spend your money.

Oh, and if you think the Liberty should stay in New York, spend your money on them. Please.

And as a last, blatant self-promo: Pretty proud of this: “We Got Next!” The History of the WNBA

On June 21st, 1997, Lisa Leslie, center for the Los Angeles Sparks, and Kym Hampton, center for the New York Liberty, took the ceremonial “jump ball” marking the official start of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Leslie, 25, had just earned an Olympic gold medal as part of the 1996 US National team. Hampton, who’d graduated from Arizona State University in 1984, had spent the last twelve years playing professional basketball in Spain, Italy, France, and Japan. Between the two stood league president Val Ackerman. A four-year starter at the University of Virginia, in 1977 Ackerman had been one of school’s first female students to receive an athletic scholarship.

As the orange and oatmeal-paneled ball was tossed into the air, their names were added to the ever-expanding road of women’s basketball history. Retracing their route backwards through time, you would see the first NCAA women’s basketball champions, Louisiana Tech (1982), pass the Women’s Basketball League of 1979-81, and pause for a visit with the Mighty Macs of tiny Immaculata University (Malvern, PA), winners of  the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s first collegiate basketball championship (1972). Next, you’d circle the major road marker of Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, which revitalized and revolutionized women’s college athletics. Further down the road would be the legacy of US National Teams in the 50’s, and 60’s and the “industrial teams” of 1930’s and 40’s sponsored by companies such as Maytag and Hanes Hosiery. Avoiding the Women’s Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation’s attempt to strangle the sport in the late ‘20s by eliminating high school tournaments, a final exhilarating zig-zag through the nationwide explosion of the game’s popularity in the 1900’s would find you at the starting place: a gym at Smith College in 1892, right down the road from the birthplace of men’s basketball, Springfield, MA.

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018

NEW POETRY BY INDIGENOUS WOMEN

In my Mojave culture, many of our songs are maps, but not in the sense of an American map. Mojave song-maps do not draw borders or boundaries, do not say this is knowable, or defined, or mine. Instead our maps use language to tell about our movements and wonderings (not wanderings) across a space, naming what has happened along the way while also compelling us toward what is waiting to be discovered, where we might go and who we might meet or become along the way.

This feature of indigenous women is meant to be like those song-maps, to offer myriad ways of “poetic” and linguistic experience—a journey through or across memory, or imagination, across pain or joy or the impossibility of each, across our bodies of land and water and flesh and ink—an ever-shifting, ever-returning, ever-realizing map of movement, of discovery, of possibility, of risk—of indigenous and native poetry. It is my luck to welcome you to this indigenous space and invite you into the conversations of these poems, languages, imageries and wonders. In the first installment of this bi-monthly feature, I’m pleased to share the work of Laura Da’, Kimberly Blaeser, Heid E. Erdrich, and Kat Page (full bios below).

  –‘Ahotk, Natalie Diaz

Basketball

Fort Shaw Indian School, 1904

Shoot, Minnie, Shoot, 2004 book by Happy Jack Feder. Movie, 2013

Full-Court Quest: The Girls from Fort Shaw Indian School Basketball Champions of the World, Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, 2008

Playing for the World, Montana PBS, 2009

2001Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn, 

In this extraordinary work of journalism, Larry Colton journeys into the world of Montana’s Crow Indians and follows the struggles of a talented, moody, charismatic young woman named Sharon LaForge, a gifted basketball player and a descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer’s Indian scouts. But “Counting Coup” is far more than just a sports story or a portrait of youth. It is a sobering exposé of a part of our society long since cut out of the American dream.

2001: “Rocks with Wings:” A documentary that aired nationally on PBS chronicles the success of the Shiprock Lady Chieftains, a Navajo high school girl’s basketball program.

2005: Native Athletes in Sport and Society

Though many Americans might be aware of the Olympian and football Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe or of Navajo golfer Notah Begay, few know of the fundamental role that Native athletes have played in modern sports: introducing popular games and contests, excelling as players, and distinguishing themselves as coaches. The full breadth and richness of this tradition unfolds in Native Athletes in Sport and Society, which highlights the accomplishments of Indigenous athletes in the United States and Canada but also explores what these accomplishments have meant to Native American spectators and citizens alike.
Here are Thorpe and Begay as well as the Winnebago baseball player George Johnson, the Snohomish Notre Dame center Thomas Yarr, the Penobscot baseball player Louis Francis Sockalexis, and the Lakota basketball player SuAnne Big Crow. Their stories are told alongside those of Native athletic teams such as the NFL’s Oorang Indians, the Shiprock Cardinals (a Navajo women’s basketball team), the women athletes of the Six Nations Reserve, and the Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School’s girls’ basketball team, who competed in the 1904 World’s Fair. Superstars and fallen stars, journeymen and amateurs, coaches and gatekeepers, activists and tricksters appear side by side in this collection, their stories articulating the issues of power and possibility, difference and identity, representation and remembrance that have shaped the means and meaning of American Indians playing sport in North America.

2013: Beyond the X – Rez Ball, Max Preps and Beyond the X: Rez Ball fuels basketball fever in Arizona’s Navajo Nation

2013: Former Arizona State University women’s basketball player Ryneldi Becenti got her #21 jersey retired, first Native American to play in the WNBA (Phoenix)

2013: Angel Goodrich makes good in WNBA

As rookie Angel Goodrich broke the huddle with her Tulsa Shock teammates and headed for the jump ball at center court to start the game, the crowd in the stands of the Bok Center waved signs and cheered. it was May 27, 2013, and many in the crowd were there to see Angel make history as the first Native American to start a WNBA game. Her fans, most of them seated on the Shock’s end of the court, wore t-shirts emblazoned with her name across the front. Angel only played 11 minutes that night, and she turned the ball over three times. but by midseason, she was starting regularly and handing out 5-6 assists per game. On Native American night in July, the stands were full of fans from many different tribes – not just Cherokee nation – there to cheer her on.
“I saw so many familiar faces tonight,” said the happy 5-4 guard after that midseason game. “I felt like i knew everyone in one section. It is definitely an honor to represent them.”

The Schimmel’s

 “Off the Rez,” 2011 A profile of Native American basketball player Shoni Schimmel and her mother Ceci Moses. The documentary follows the family’s quest to secure a college scholarship for Schimmel by leaving their home on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon.

Basketball is the bridge, 2013

For Schimmel and her family, basketball (and the distinctive style of play called Rez ball) became the bridge from the reservation to the outside world. While few Native Americans have made that leap, Schimmel is by no means the first. Minnihaha (Minnie) Burton was the first Native American to make a name for herself as a basketball player back in 1904.

The Schimmel Effect, 2014

Native Driven Network chronicles the amazing impact that Shoni & Jude Schimmel have had on Indian Country. We catch up with the Schimmel Sisters to find out what they have been doing since moving “Off The Rez” put them into the national spotlight.

Inside Stuff visits with All-Star Shoni Schimmel, 2015

2014: Short film: “Lady Thunderhawks: Leading the Way,”  Wisconsin varsity basketball team is a pillar of hope for an entire community.

2015: “Basketball on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,”  video, Trans World Sport

2015Eight Native ballers you need to know better (Angel Goodrich, Tahnee Robinson, Jude Schimmel, Jenna Plumley), Indian Country Today

2017:  With rich hoops roots, Native American twins Kyarrah and Kyannah Grant bud into stars

Kyarrah and Kyannah Grant run about 30 miles each week. Twice a week, the fraternal twins sprint alongside the glimmering, blue-black ripples of Lake Pushmataha about 35 miles north of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation — the place they call home.

Most people are fishing or boating or admiring the cedar, pine and cypress trees that guard the lake. But the Grant sisters do not have time to stop or stare along the trail. When Kyarrah tries to zip ahead, Kyannah pushes farther. When Kyannah pulls away, Kyarrah zooms faster.

2017: Record-Setting Alumna Inspires Teens to Shoot for their Dreams – Former UNLV basketball player Gwynn Hobbs Grant encourages Native American youths to create their own success.

“I am a Rebel, and I’ll be a Rebel for life,” Grant said, before becoming just the fifth women’s basketball player to be inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in May. “UNLV gave me my degree, and it gave me an opportunity to do what I love. It’s a basis for who I am, and it gave me an identity.”

Grant, ’95 BA Sociology, stood out for setting long-term goals and her legendary long-range stroke — she remains the program’s most accurate three-point shooter at 40.6 percent — as a child growing up on a Navajo reservation in Ganado, Arizona.

“I had someone I looked up to on the reservation,” Grant recalls. “My uncle was one of the best to come off the reservation and play at the collegiate level. I wanted to be like him and play like him.

2017: Nike’s Native American Division Continues its Work with Native Kids

On November 24th the University of Nevada — Reno women’s basketball team ran out into the Lawlor Events Center in a preseason tournament game against the Sacramento State Hornets; instead of their traditional anthracite uniforms they had worn for every home game during the ‘17-’18 season, they took the court wearing turquoise Nike N7 jerseys

2017: The Jr. NBA partners with the Native American Basketball Invitational for 15th annual tournament,  The Undefeated

For 15 years, the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Tournament has united basketball fans as well as current and former athletes for an exciting yet competitive week of basketball fun in Maricopa, Arizona. This year, the Jr. NBA has partnered with NABI to include more than 80 Native American ninth-graders for a three-day basketball camp that aims to teach the high schoolers basketball techniques and how to apply sports and daily techniques toward life skills.

From July 10-12, about 40 boys and 40 girls from tribes across North America and New Zealand participated in positional skill development, shooting and skills competitions, and 5-on-5 games taught by league staff members, players and coaches, according to the press release. Special guests included Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger, former NBA small forward Cedric Ceballos, women’s basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale, pro basketballer Damen Bell-Holter and former Los Angeles Lakers forward A.C. Green, who is part Native American.

2018: Basketball camp taps Native women players, Navajo Times

It is very rare for anyone to be successful without any help. So, a key to being successful is finding someone who pushes you. Someone who pushes you to be the best you can be, said Buddy Tsingine.

“What I’ve seen are kids that I’ve coached in junior high,” said Tsingine, a retired basketball coach and a school administrator. “They never went on. They were better athletes than anybody. But after junior high, nothing.”

That is why Tsingine and his family are now inspiring area young people to take charge of their own future and complete their education past junior high and high school.

“Because they never went on – that’s what’s been bothering me,” Tsingine explained. “They have so much talent and we have so many people who are so smart.”

Earlier this month, Tsingine and his daughter, Georgia Lynn Tsingine, a family physician in Phoenix, invited Native basketball players Shoni Schimmel (Umatilla) and Abby Scott (Warm Springs) here to coach a basketball clinic at Tuba City Boarding School.

2018: Basketball standout Jude Schimmel helps open Piestewa Games, Arizona Sports

Jude Schimmel has started in a Final Four game, interviewed President Barack Obama, written a book, Dreamcatcher, and starred in Nike commercials narrated by LeBron James. Now, as a 24-year-old Native American woman, she is using her platform to encourage Native Americans to go out and live healthier lifestyles.

2018:  ‘LOOKING FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME,‘ Daily Yonder

JJ Nakai misses her days playing electrifying basketball on the reservation.

But the jam-packed gymnasiums, the thunderous crowds – united by heritage, momentarily divided by team colors – the breakneck pace of play and the irresponsibly creative trick passes are more than just memories.

They provide the framework for how she plays, the fabric of her game, infused in her basketball DNA, and part of why she’s one of the highest-rated junior-college basketball players in the country, with dreams of playing Division I.

“I loved playing on the reservation so much. The atmosphere once you’d enter the gym was so amazing. It was packed, I miss it,” said Nakai, a member of the Navajo Nation and the point guard at Pima Community College in Tucson.

A Division I offer would mean more than just a chance to play basketball on a big stage. It would help Nakai become the first member of her immediate family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. It also could make her the Native American role model she looked for but never found while growing up.

2019: The NABI Foundation is proud to announce the 16th Annual NABI Basketball Tournament, June 23-29

NativeHoops.com: Native American Basketball – Tournaments / Camps / Clinics

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THIS is why

we shouldn’t let AP Doug fly places. THINGS HAPPEN WHEN HE’S IN THE AIR.

Best of luck to the departing Prez Borders.

I’m intrigued about who the W might look for. As part of a company who just went through the “new Executive Director” process, it’s interesting to think of what the W wants, not what I want. So, how about:

  • Someone committed to social justice
  • Someone with a strong business background, specifically with the ability to sell the brand to sponsors
  • Someone who will take the time to understand that, as a niche sport, YOU CAN NEVER TAKE THE FANS FOR GRANTED, no matter how much sponsor money there is
  • Someone who can wrangle the 12 franchises into accepting what “Best Practices in Marketing” are and execute get the teams to follow them
  • Someone who is brave enough to share the financials of the league with the Player Reps and forceful enough to convince those players to keep that information internal
  • Someone who recognizes that a strong, active social media presence is essential. (So, yes, fix the damn .com) and that elevating any and all media coverage out there is essential. Which means: do not be afraid of criticism.
  • Someone who can commit to taking the league through its 25th year, ’cause the need to do a seriously good job of celebrating that
  • Someone who hires a team committed to the WNBA and its fanbase
  • Someone who will take the time to honor, preserve and celebrate the entirety of the WNBA’s history.
  • Finally, (and I’m being selfish here), someone with connections to a New Yorker who will buy the Liberty/Knicks/Rangers, kick Dolan out of the City and return my Lib to where they belong: Madison Square Garden

Where do I want them to look?

  • Former NCAA/W players or other athletes in other sports who’ve moved into the business world
  • Athletic Directors
  • ESPN executives
  • NIKE executives

About that GOLD MEDAL!!!!

I’ll admit it – I was nervous. The US-Belgium hadn’t been easy. And, through the tournament, I was concerned about the play of the young guards, the lack of a perimeter defensive stopper, and Dawn’s free-for-all-yes-I-know-you’re-resting-folks-but-what-is-happening! substitution pattern.

The arena had been rocking for the Belgium/Spain game – damn, it was a good’un!! – and it was cool to see Diana congratulate some of the Spaniard’s after their bronze medal finish. But the crowed seemed emotionally exhausted when it came time for the US to face Australia, and the Americans made sure to keep them that way. No doubt, Liz had no legs for this game. And Griner was superb against her – smart, contained, deliberate. The arena didn’t forget Liz’s sass during the Opals game against Spain, so she was greeted with good natured whistles and hoots, but not eventhat attention could get her shots to fall. Steadily, relentlessly, almost dispassionately, the US dismantled the Aussies to earn the win. The group came together as a team in that final game, and it was really cool to see.

It was also really cool to watch all the different players interact during the awards/medal ceremony (coaches, too!). There are so many inter-relationships we fans no nothing about. Fun to bear witness.

Community was kind and welcoming. Loved the cohorts of young students they brought in. Volunteers and staff were amazing. Tenerife rocked it. Aaaand, I got to visit the volcano El Teide!

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Final note: A nice moment from the prelims, Japan’s first win, there were 75-100 young’uns in attendance. All waving some sort of Japanese flag. (School project, maybe?) Japan’s Takada took time, post-interview, to visit with some of them and take pictures. THAT’s building the game.

AND: It’s time for North America to bid for the games. I’ll say it again: USA Bball should partner with Canadian Bball and co-host. Seattle/Vancouver, with the final rounds happening in the newly renovated Key Arena. It wouldn’t overly stress the Storm admin (unlike the ASG) and I’ve got to believe the many international fans would love to visit two great cities. Make it happen, folks!

Can’t get enough of international basketball? Follow Paul! 

The Undefeated: WNBA All-Star Maya Moore wants to reward great coaches

WATN? Former WNBA and Andover Central star Tiffany Bias returns to Wichita

NCAA

Finally

What I did while on vacation For the National Women’s History Museum, 2200 words on 22 years (Please excuse the typos. Hoping they’ll be fixed soon) “We Got Next!” The History of the WNBA

On June 21st, 1997, Lisa Leslie, center for the Los Angeles Sparks, and Kym Hampton, center for the New York Liberty, took the ceremonial “jump ball” marking the official start of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Leslie, 25, had just earned an Olympic gold medal as part of the 1996 US National team. Hampton, who’d graduated from Arizona State University in 1984, had spent the last twelve years playing professional basketball in Spain, Italy, France, and Japan. Between the two stood league president Val Ackerman. A four-year starter at the University of Virginia, in 1977 Ackerman had been one of school’s first female students to receive an athletic scholarship.

As the orange and oatmeal-paneled ball was tossed into the air, their names were added to the ever-expanding road of women’s basketball history.

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In Tenerife and thinking…

Rebecca Lobo is smart:

Of all the unsettling things we saw yesterday during the judiciary committee hearing, the thing that sticks with me most is the rage of the older white men. Ladies, we must raise our sons to be better. And raise our daughters to demand better.

Supporting women’s basketball is a political act against sexism, racism and homophobia. Anyone who believes otherwise is not paying attention. Remember what Clarendon has said? Remember what Stewie has said? Believe women. Support women. Educate, educate, educate.

Speaking of women…. there’s been a LOT of basketball in Tenerife. Some highlights:

In the Stands Story: Four young women sitting to my left. They notice Cheryl Reeve sitting to my right. One of them stands, walks over to get a photo with her. I turn to the woman remaining and ask, “Does she know Katie Smith is there, to?” “Oh yes,” she replies. “A WNBA champion and a Hell of Famer.” Turns out the four of them are from Germany. “My sister is mad about the WNBA. We watch all the games. When she heard the Worlds were going to be in Tenerife, we had to come.”

In the Stands Story: Two Puerto Rico fans in front of me. I’m yelling my head off for the team. They turn and say “Thank you,” and add, “Some of these girls lost everything in the hurricane. They lost their jobs, they drank dirty water. But they’re here.”

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Latvians in the house!

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In the Stands Story: A woman wearing a Latvia shirt walks over to Breanna’s dad, another Latvia shirt clutched in her hand. She’s trying to negotiate an exchange for the USA shirt he’s wearing, but it’s hard to hear because the Latvian contingent is loud, supported by an enthusiastic drummer. “I’ll tell you what,” Mr. Stewart says, “I’ll trade you this for that drum.”

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Watching the Latvian’s play their hearts out against the US, exhausted and close to weeping… and then being lifted up by their fans.IMG_2334.jpg

Nigeria breaking through. IMG_2360.jpg

NY Liberty’s Maddie could team the World’s mascot some moves….IMG_2305.jpg

A mural in Santa Cruz.

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Visiting a volcano.IMG_2362.jpg

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Gonna bus over to the arena to catch China v. Canada and very much looking forward to tonight’s semis. US v. Belgium: No surprise to anyone, the US guard play has been suspect. It’s also obvious there is no perimeter defensive specialist… and the Belgian guards have been rock solid so far.

Spain v. Australia. Never bet against a home-crowd-fueled team, but Liz has been amazing. AND, some of Australia’s “who dey?” support players have come up big.

LONG TERM PLANNING: 

Canada and US collaborate to host the Worlds in 2022. Vancouver and Seattle, with Seattle holding the medal round.

OR

Paris Olympic Committee hosts, giving them an opportunity to do a dry run for the 2024 Olympics and build enthusiasm for the Games. (BTW, the Games’ date – Jul 26, 2024 – Aug 11, 2024 – is gonna play havoc with the WNBA season.)

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Quick hits from Tenerife

Still recovering from a Friday work day, trip to the airport and three flights to get to Tenerife proper. Didn’t help that passport control in Madrid had lines so long that I missed my connecting flight. I made do.

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Thanks to @Iberia (and NOT to @AmericanAir, who were 1-800-MissingInAction) did get to the island just after 11pm. Missed the US v. Senegal excitement, but was happy to have arrived.

Learning to modify my Spanish to say “GraTHIas.” Everyone I’ve interacted with has been absolutely kind, patient and helpful.

Sunday was a super-full day of basketball, starting at 11am with two games, a break to wander outside and grab some lunch, then a return for a 6pm start to two more games. I got tickets to both sessions at the door – 5euro each. Small but enthusiastic crowds for first two games. Nicely packed for first evening game (US v. China) Check out some of the top plays here.

Australia v. Argentina was pretty much a wipe out. Liz is just as aggrieved about physical contact and officiating here as she is in the W. Argentinian’s played hard start to finish, but the were simply overmatched.

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High Post Hoops: Ezi Magbegor learning from Liz Cambage at World Cup

 

 

Japan v. Belgium was a bit of a stunner. With only one post, I expected Meesseman and the ever-present Belgian Waffle/Brussel Sprout Ann Wauters to dominate. Instead, Japan used their relentless energy and quickness, savvy play by Takada (knowing not to foul) and a timely three to send the game into overtime. And then they didn’t fade.

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IMG_2189.jpgFiba: Takada too hot to handle as she jump starts Japan’s campaign

Bullets Forever: Belgium vs. Japan final score: Emma Meesseman perseveres in 77-75 overtime loss

 

 

Good showing by Belgian fans.

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China v. US showed that folks need to keep an eye on the Chinese team – for possible draft picks AND future competitions. They were a delight to watch. MIA on the US side were Griner and Delle Donne. And defense. But, if you’re gonna score 100 points…Wilson was impressive – poised and effective. Stewart found a strong groove.

TeamUSA.org: US Women Hold Off China To Go 2-0 At Basketball World Cup

Hashtag Basketball: How Americans playing in China are growing Chinese basketball

Nigeria v. Turkey was thrilling and sad to see. Hard to see a program that was so feisty in Istanbul struggle so (injuries didn’t help, nor did Q’s temper). A heart-lifter to see the Nigerian team pull together and earn an epic win (on the same day Senegal did).

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Great shot! Nigeria only just getting started after historic success

Pulse Nigeria: D’Tigress beat Turkey 74-68 in 2nd group game

Punch: I left WNBA for Turkey to enhance my career — D’Tigress star Akhator

.com: How International WNBA Players Performed on Day 2 at FIBA World Cup

Some art in the street before a late night dinner

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Monday: Sleep and the walk through Santa Cruz…

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…and then up to the Botanical Garden.

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Tomorrow: Permutations: All to play for on exciting last day of Group Phase

News:

From Doug: At World Cup, Puerto Rico hopes to lift spirits back home

Puerto Rico guard Dayshalee Salaman remembers huddling with her family in her grandmother’s house as the wind from Hurricane Maria howled outside.

For 12 hours they sat and prayed that the storm would spare them. They made it through relatively unscathed. One of her cousins lost a house when the roof was ripped off.

Salaman knows that many other Puerto Ricans weren’t so lucky when the storm hit on Sept. 20, 2017. An estimated 2,975 people died in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm, according to Puerto Rico’s governor.

”I’m blessed and glad that my family was OK and that I was able to help other families that went through a lot,” she said. ”A lot of people lost everything and it was hard to see.”

ESPN: Team USA’s Tina Charles, Liberty teammates stepping up in FIBA World Cup

ESPN: Atlanta’s finest WNBA players (plus Dwight Howard) bring the heat on ‘Wild ‘N Out’

WaPo: Residents hope new arena means new life for long-neglected area

Las Vegas Review Journal: Aces’ A’ja Wilson previews FIBA World Cup, USA Basketball

MSP: International players to watch at Women’s World Cup

TBT: Fun facts and tidbits from the Women’s Basketball World Cup

Swish Appeal: A primer on the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

ICYMI: Why isn’t Maya Moore with Team USA in Spain? Lynx star is taking a much-needed break

HashTag Basketball: The 2018 Seattle Storm: How a Winning Formula turned into a WNBA Title

WATN? Heat add former WNBA Miami Sol player Ruth Riley as radio, television analyst

‘ello! Why not the Liberty? (Sob) Dodgers, WNBA Sparks Adding Billie Jean King As Minority Owner

NCAA

After nearly quitting basketball, WNBA prospect Cierra Dillard has ‘unfinished business’ at UB

And your future host will be….San Antonio, Minneapolis, Dallas, Cleveland. Reminder: If you want the F4 on the East or West coast SOMEONE HAS TO BID. Here’s something I wrote about that for the WBCA in 2009. NCAA TOURNAMENT HOSTING: Hidden Hurdles and Helpful Hints

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Here. We. Go.

No pressure, friends, but this is national, not-cable, T.V.: ABC, 3:30pm.

Mechelle, ESPN: Mystics must look to have an early answer for Storm in Game 2

It’s not that the Washington Mystics were unprepared for the intensity of Friday’s Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, Washington coach Mike Thibault said. But once things started getting away from them, it escalated fast. And in a building as full of fan energy as KeyArena was for their beloved Seattle Storm, it felt a little like an avalanche.

Thibault said the Mystics have to make some X’s and O’s adjustments for Sunday’s Game 2 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET) after their 89-76 loss Friday. But there’s more to it.

“We’ll make adjustments as need be, and there need to be adjustments,” Mystics guard Natasha Cloud said. “We’ve got to get back to being defensive-minded and focus on getting stops and allowing ourselves to be put in a successful situation, and then we can get into our transition offense.”

ESPN: From undersized post to defensive stopper, Alysha Clark remakes her game

But making it in the WNBA was a more challenging prospect. She was a “tweener”: a 5-foot-11, back-to-the basket, post player in college trying to adjust to being a wing facing the basket and needing to develop guard skills. Drafted in the second round at No. 17 overall by San Antonio in 2010, Clark didn’t get on a WNBA roster that year nor in 2011.

Watch the game with Renee (again). (WNBA Players Association Inks Deal With Sports Streaming ICO)

WATN? Team USA Gold Medalist, WNBA Player Lisa Willis Joins TC Williams As Head Coach

H.P.H: Katie Smith, Tina Thompson enter Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

International

And the young (and tall) shall lead them: U.S. women overcome 16-point deficit, beat Canada in exhibition

A’ja Wilson had 15 points and 10 rebounds to help the U.S. women’s national team rally from a 16-point first-half deficit and beat Canada 74-68 on Saturday night in an exhibition game.

The U.S. was shockingly down 16 in the first quarter and trailed 56-48 heading into the fourth quarter before finally getting going. Wilson, who was the AP WNBA rookie of the year, along with her Las Vegas Aces teammate Kelsey Plum, keyed the change in the fourth.

USA Basketball: 

“Everyone is used to seeing us blow teams out, and obviously that didn’t happen tonight,” Staley said. “This helps build chemistry. It helps me as a coach to see who we can call on.”

A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) answered the call by leading the team with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson, Napheesa Collier (Connecticut), Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream) and Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces) played the entire fourth quarter. Layshia Clarendon(Connecticut Sun) played seven of the 10 fourth-quarter minutes.

Additional quotes

Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)
Was that a good test for the team?
Oh, no doubt. That was a great test. The first quarter wasn’t exactly ideal. But, coach Dawn’s composure helped us maintain ours. But, I also really liked that we were able to get some of the new faces out there to develop the chemistry that we need. Today was a really good test. I’m really happy we won, but I’m happy with how we won. It’s also how we won that we should be proud of.

Sporting News: Canada Women’s Basketball comes close to upset, but can’t defeat USA in pre-World Cup exhibition

“It was a battle out there and I think that was something that was great for us as a team” said Nurse. “We’ve only had our 12 in the last two games that we played [against Japan Friday and USA Saturday]. To get that chemnistry, to get that battle in this game, in a test like that, was great for us.”

Hartford Courant: US Women’s Basketball Team Beats Canada, But It Wasn’t Easy

New Haven Register: USA Women’s National Team rallies past Canada in exhibition

Fortunately for Dawn Staley and Co., a few weeks still remain before the games start counting for real.

Saturday’s tune-up against Canada served as an important reminder for the U.S. Women’s National Team that there’s still significant work to be done leading up to the FIBA World Cup, which tips off later this month in Spain.

WNBA.com: Fourth quarter comeback highlights.
Indiana Fever represent.
More essential basketball history: Ora Mae Washington gets enshrined with hoops legends

Washington, born in 1898, is considered by many experts as the greatest female athlete of her era. She not only excelled in basketball, but she was a sensational tennis player as well.

Her basketball and tennis talents were honed at the YWCA in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. She started her basketball career in the fall of 1930 playing for the YMCA-sponsored Germantown Hornets. In 1931, after compiling a 22-1 record, the Hornets claimed the national championship.

In 1932, she became a member of the Philadelphia Tribune Girls basketball team. For the next decade, the barnstorming Tribunes were the top Black team in the nation, and Washington was the team’s major star.

Off sport, on topic

At U.S. Open, power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is overshadowed by an umpire’s power play

Williams abused her racket, but Ramos did something far uglier: He abused his authority. Champions get heated — it’s their nature to burn. All good umpires in every sport understand that the heart of their job is to help temper the moment, to turn the dial down, not up, and to be quiet stewards of the event rather than to let their own temper play a role in determining the outcome. Instead, Ramos made himself the chief player in the women’s final. He marred Osaka’s first Grand Slam title and one of Williams’s last bids for all-time greatness. Over what? A tone of voice. Male players have sworn and cursed at the top of their lungs, hurled and blasted their equipment into shards, and never been penalized as Williams was in the second set of the U.S. Open final.

And, for those of us trying to have “that conversation” with family and friends: #LoveSerenaHateRacism A Discourse On Western Attitudes Towards Serena Williams

“I could not believe what came out of his mouth…he said some awful things… and as an African-American I’m not going to stand for it”, she said as she approached the umpire pointing in the direction of a middle-aged man sitting at the stadium. She continued, “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I had to do a double take. I think I hit a double-fault on that point.” After sitting down, she put the towel on her lap and spoke on, “He was harassing me throughout the match, and I should have said something sooner. He was saying things he shouldn’t have and it was totally unethical. It was derogatory.”

This incident took place in March 2007 during a match between Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova at the Sony Ericsson Miami Open. The middle-aged man watching the match had just yelled at Serena, saying, “Hit the ball into the net like any nigger would.” In response, Serena approached the umpire to complain and to have him ejected from the match. Six years after this event, the racial slurs directed at Serena still continue although they have become more polished and less obvious.

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There’s a game today, btw. 7pm, NBATV

Hartford Courant: UConn Alumna Jen Rizzotti Continues To Impact UConn Players Long After Leaving Huskies

“It’s always special for me,” Rizzotti said. “Obviously I haven’t played with any of these guys, but I’ve been a part of their journey a little bit through USA basketball. … I’ve kind of seen them grow up through the game, and it’s really fun … just to see how much they’ve grown, how much they’ve matured, and the fact that they’ve been able to elevate their game so high that they’re still a part of this pool. And Napheesa (Collier), it’s just fun to watch the next in line and the expectation everyone has for her and how she’s handled herself in this atmosphere.”

Hartford Courant: Mike Anthony: Napheesa Collier Gaining Wealth Of Experience With Team USA

“Any time you can be around these players, it’s going to benefit you,” national team coach Dawn Staley, also South Carolina’s coach, said after a Team USA workout at the Knicks practice facility. “I don’t think the pace of the game bothers her. I think just being able to play with other players and seeing how your game fits in [is important]. With Napheesa, she plays hard all the time. There’s no big transition there. She understands the game, so there really isn’t any transition there. What’s missing is just her being out here, experience. Which she’s getting.”

WNBA

Listen up! WNBA Weekly reacts to ‘s win over in game 1 and look forward to the coming game 2 (Sun @ 3:30pm ET on ABC).

Seattle Times: Without Sami Whitcomb’s heroics off the bench…. 

What did Renee Montgomery think? SportsCastr.

Check out Chris’ photos.

Seattle Times: The Storm builds and rebuilds. Sue Bird just keeps going to WNBA Finals

Got some spare change? Isaiah Thomas

“The Storm is Seattle basketball royalty — and you can put that on a T-shirt.” Well guess, what… I did. Cop my custom tee while supplies last! Celebrate women’s hoops! And let’s goooooo . All proceeds go to .

Well, hello! WOMEN OF INTRIGUE: A’JA WILSON

Wilson’s evolution mirrors that of the Aces, formerly the San Antonio Stars before being purchased by MGM Resorts International in October and moving into a refurbished Mandalay Bay Events Center in time to tip-off in May. It was hectic development to say the least, but Wilson, who reached WNBA All-Star status, and her teammates handled it with poise, narrowly missing a playoff berth.

“I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit back and take it all in, but it’s definitely been a lot of fun and a great experience all around,” she says. “The community welcoming us and just being here in the facilities has been great, and I go to other places and know I’m spoiled.”

HOOP HALL HEROES!!!!

Lindsay Gibbs, Yardbarker: Tina Thompson and Katie Smith were the foundation for WNBA greatness

Still, as gaudy as Thompson and Smith’s statistics are, they tell only part of the story of their impact. Thompson wasn’t the first WNBA player to give birth during her career, but the way she seamlessly integrated her son, Dyllan Thompson-Jones, into her life as a basketball star, both domestically and overseas, really paved the way for future mothers in this league, such as Candace Parker and Tayler Hill, to thrive. Thompson-Jones traveled the world with his mother; he was on the bus rides and in the hotels and simply became a part of the team. She gave birth before the 2005 season and was back playing with the Comets just two months later. When she retired, Thompson-Jones was 8 years old.

And now, after paving the way for women basketball players, Thompson and Smith are paving the way for female coaches. Both legends have seamlessly transitioned into the coaching ranks. After retiring with the Liberty in 2013, Smith worked as an assistant under Laimbeer for three seasons. This season, she took over as head coach.

Streaking the Lawn: Virginia Women’s Basketball coach Tina Thompson inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Photos/USA Today: 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony

.com: Hall Of Famer Tina Thompson: By The Numbers

Weren’t watching when she was terrorizing opponents? Take a look.

The original W’s Big Three were there. Sweet!

Listen up! HoF Speech.

Katie Smith, Ohio State, Columbus Quest, Minnesota Lynx, Detroit Shock, Washington Mystics, Seattle Storm, NY Liberty, USA Basketball

Columbus Dispatch: Katie Smith gets chance to reflect, give thank in her Hall of Fam induction

Katie Smith was driving a few days before the NCAA Women’s Final Four in March when an area code for Springfield, Massachusetts, popped up on her phone.

“I was like, ‘Well, this is it,’ ” Smith said.

The voice on the other end asked Smith if she was having a good day.

“Because we’re gonna make it better,” Smith remembered the person saying.

With that, Smith learned of her selection for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but she didn’t get a chance to celebrate with her fellow 2018 inductees at the men’s Final Four in San Antonio. Instead, the Logan native celebrated in Columbus, which was hosting its first Women’s Final Four.

Logan Daily News: Naismith HOF awaits Logan’s Katie Smith

.com: Hall of Famer Katie Smith: By The Numbers

Weren’t watching when she was terrorizing opponents? Take a look.

Listen Up! HoF Speech.

Let’s not forget Doris Burke, Providence, Broadcaster extraordinaire

Doris Burke’s stellar broadcasting career – 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bill Reynolds: The Hall is where Doris Burke belongs

WEEI: Thinking out loud: Doris Burke is one of the best

Back in April: Doris Burke has Game

But Mr. Antetokounmpo, known around the league as the “Greek Freak,” had other thoughts on his mind. Sitting courtside in what looked like a toddler-size chair, the Freak noticed an athletic woman in workout clothes a few yards away.

“Oh, that’s Doris,” he blurted, with all the self-control of a celebrity gawker. “Hey, Doris!”

“Doris” would be Doris Burke, the longtime ESPN basketball personality, who, 27 years into her career, last September became the first woman to land a regular job as an N.B.A. analyst on national television — cracking what many consider one of the highest, hardest glass ceilings in broadcasting.

Listen up! HoF speech.

Speaking of history: Across the Timeline’s got a new one!! Sheri Sam

For players who spend several years in the league, it’s not uncommon to move at some point. But today’s subject is on the more extreme side, having played for seven teams in her 10-year career. A WNBA champion in her own right for the Seattle Storm, today’s “And One” profile is on ABL and WNBA guard Sheri Sam.

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