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Gonna have to use multiple platforms to keep up, though….

4pm: Seattle v. Dallas or, as I tend to think of it, GreenYellow v. Green Blue. Really looking forward to this game, as both teams are finding their groove.

5pm: LA v. Westchester. Oooof, with the Sparks coming off a stomping, this could get ugly.

6pm: Indiana v. Connecticut: “Looking for Win Two” faces “Looking to End a Losing Streak.”

6pm: Las Vegas v. Minnesota: The Newbies v. The Oldies. Which of these teams will maintain their groove from their previous games?

6pm: Phoenix v. Chicago: Great game for the to regain their focus, but let’s not take the Sky lightly, shall we?

From BDuD: The Money Line: Spread trends to know for today’s games

We are about a third of the way through the season and with the exception of the Indiana Fever, it would appear every team is in playoff contention. The Lynx have rattled off three wins in a row and appear to be taking shape, while the Sun find themselves on a four-game skid after starting the season 7-1. Both those teams, along with eight others, are in action tonight and there are a handful of trends to know for each game when looking from a betting perspective.

Hashtag Basketball: The Unsung 2018 WNBA All-Stars

Important: Breanna Stewart opens up about her story of sexual abuse

Stewart tells her story in an E:60 feature today at 9 a.m. This is an online exclusive story from ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue 2018.

Last October Breanna Stewart — four-time NCAA champion, No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, WNBA All-Star in her second season — joined the #MeToo movement by publishing a powerful essay in The Players’ Tribune in which she detailed years of sexual abuse as a child. The piece was about reclaiming her voice and taking back control of her body. It’s with the same spirit of empowerment that Stewart decided to take part in the 10th edition of the Body Issue: “I’ve really opened myself up to the world this year, so this felt like another part [of that]. It’s hard to open up and tell your story, but it’s worth it. I’ve really embraced myself — being tall, understanding my body — and also the story that my body portrays.” Stewart sat down with espnW’s Julie Foudy to share more details of her story and talk about finding the strength to come forward.

NCAA

Opa! Maryland women’s basketball guard Eleanna Christinaki turning professional in Europe

Arizona Desert SwarmWhy are top recruits flocking to Arizona women’s basketball?

The Tennesseean: Vanderbilt women’s basketball: ACC transfer, five-star signees, major departures

International

“Flat! Flat! Flat!” Interesting night, no?

Don’t see THAT too often. Connecticut had the lead over a rather discombobulated Atlanta, and then they went on and 0-20 run. Dream win by five (welcome back, Ms. Sykes).

Wings of BOOM! Top dog LA went into DFW and got their Sparks handed to them. Dallas by 29.

Tina got her 5000th, but L.V. was playing with house money. Aces pull away in the fourth to win by 10. (oh, and this was cool: Statue of Liberty on Las Vegas Strip dons Aces jersey).

“I’m not dead yet!” Minnesota got their groove back (for a game) and chilled the Merc with an 11-point victory.

The Boss, Sarah Spain showed up (cool) but so did Elena (30-10-6). Washington gets a 16-point win over a struggling Sky.

Shine bright like a diamond! Jewell goes off for 25 and the Storm keep the Fever at one win.

Catching up:

Thanks, Seth: The Liberty Try to Make Westchester Feel Like Home

After Tina Charles and Maya Moore exchanged go-ahead baskets in the final minute of the Liberty’s home opener against the Minnesota Lynx on May 25, a high-ranking W.N.B.A. official sitting courtside proudly remarked, “Who says women can’t play basketball?”

That question was tongue-in-cheek. But a more serious question emerged as Charles and Moore, both Olympic gold medalists and former league most valuable players, dueled inside the Westchester County Center in front of an announced crowd of 2,319.

What constitutes a proper environment for women’s basketball?

Washington Post: Elena Delle Donne took exception to Adam Silver. With that, a WNBA star found her voice.

Think Progress: The first WNBA player to join Kaepernick’s protest refuses to stop kneeling

Sumter Item: No. 1 pick Wilson adjusting to tough life in the WNBA

.com: A’ja Wilson’s Idols Becoming Her Rivals During Stellar Rookie Season

DieHards: Jordin Canada finding her stride in WNBA under mentor Sue Bird

Hero Sports: FanDuel and WNBA Partnership Taking Off

Hashtag Basketball: Evaluating the Dallas Wings through one quarter of the 2018 WNBA season

Hey, remember that time two weeks ago when I said that the Sun couldn’t be stopped?

Well, they were, and now the WNBA’s standings are a bit more complicated than they were at the beginning of the season.

The State: Dawn Staley’s hopeful message to Tiffany Mitchell after her WNBA team’s slow start

Cool: Former UConn Star Diana Taurasi Honored By WNBA For Supporting Single Mothers, LGBTQ Community

.com: Race to MVP (Week 5): Taurasi Joins Griner in Top Five

The Ringer: Diana Taurasi Plays Basketball in a Coat of Invincibility Armor

LVRJ: Bill Laimbeer has game plan for building Aces

Women’s Hoops World: Aces embrace Las Vegas in maiden season

“Our message was, women’s basketball is here, pro hoops has arrived,” said Christine Monjer, Executive Director of marketing for MGM Resorts. “We’re really staking that claim that we do know basketball as a community, and this is basketball you’re going to want to see.”

The Aces are currently in the midst of a rebuilding season, but have set their sights on creating brand awareness this year, without regard to on-court success.

High Post Hoops: Cheryl Reeve: The mileposts on the way to 200 wins

Minneaplois Star Tribune: Is Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve the most powerful sports figure in Minnesota?

Cheryl Reeve has achieved so much with the Minnesota Lynx that she’s now one of the most accomplished coaches in Minnesota sports history.

The journey to get there was not always easy — nor was the path always clear. A standout student and point guard at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Reeve went into coaching and moved her way up the college and professional basketball ranks.

She endured tough early years, with franchises she worked for folding or relocating, but Reeve was able to parlay her role as a well-respected WNBA assistant with Detroit into the Lynx head coaching job starting with the 2010 season.

Michelle: Inside the W with Michelle Smith:

It’s hard to believe that the WNBA season is just about a third of the way through.

Enough time to determine front-runners – teams such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and Connecticut. Enough time to determine surprises, disappointments and teams that still have a lot of work to do.

But the breakouts, those players who have gone from being role players to marquee names, those are much easier to spot.

Hashtag Basketball: Facts And Figures: Miscellaneous Numbers From the First Month of the 2018 WNBA Season

Kvetch and be heard? A response from the league on Tuesday’s ‘Hoops Happening‘: A source from the NBA/WNBA reached out to address concerns raised in Tuesday’s column. Here’s a roundup of the points that were addressed.

Although this passage does not include intentional or unintentional critique of the league’s scheduling, I was asked to report that the number of back-to-backs in the WNBA for the 2018 season is 2 games per team, which is close to the all-time low for seasons condensed by international competition: World Cup (WC) and Olympic Games.

From Ray: Anne Donovan truly larger than life, both on and off court

NCAA

Wanna support history? Got an extra 19.82 hanging about? Maybe ya wanna support Rutgers/AIAW’s Forgotten Champions

Woot! ND women’s basketball nominated for three ESPYS

At the symposium, the participants took an active role in exploring many important areas of college athletics, such as: personal branding, individual strengths and values, resume building, interviewing and goal and vision setting.
 
“The symposium consisted of multiple sessions each day on a variety of topics,” Wall said. “All of the speakers were excellent and taught me so much that I didn’t know before. There was so much insight they had to offer.

So now what? I have a 9 month recovery, no more school, no more scholarship check to live on, no more training table every day… crap. When my family asked me my plan, my first idea I shot out was that I was going to be an Uber driver! Yes… a Duke graduate, business masters owning, WNBA draftee Uber driver. Heck, I bet I could get 5 stars and make a name for myself. I was hype about this idea and honestly still may do it in the fall… but luckily another gig panned out in the meantime. I was lucky enough to snag a summer sports marketing internship with an awesome company in Chicago called Intersport. Ask me how I got it if you want to hear a funny story.
International
High School

Anne Donovan, 1961-2018

Mechelle: Anne Donovan played essential role in growth of women’s basketball

It was Dec. 14, 1979, and Scope arena in Norfolk, Virginia, was packed to the rafters with patriotic fever. The Soviet women’s basketball team, on a tour of the United States, was meeting defending national champion Old Dominion in an exhibition.

American hostages had been taken in Iran in November. The Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan in late December would lead to the United States’ boycotting the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The Cold War was still red-hot.

On the floor was a very tall, thin, 18-year-old center. A Catholic-school girl from New Jersey whose gentle nature coexisted with her determined competitiveness. Anne Donovan had always loved being on a team but never wanted to stand out. At 6-foot-8, she didn’t have a choice.

Yet somehow, her Old Dominion point guard, Nancy Lieberman, briefly lost sight of Donovan in that game. Crazy as it sounds, Donovan was obscured by one of the few women bigger than she was: the Soviets’ 7-foot-2, 250-pound star center, Uljana Semjonova.

AP Doug: Women’s basketball mourns death of Anne Donovan

To many in the world of women’s basketball, Anne Donovan was a giant. And not just because she stood 6-foot-8.

She won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach in her storied career.

The 56-year-old Hall of Famer died Wednesday of heart failure, her family said in a statement.

“One of the greater basketball players in her time slot,” Las Vegas Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said. “She stood out for her height, but also her playing ability and continued that throughout her whole life, coaching, her ambassadorship. You name it, she did it.”

Mechelle: Anne Donovan, Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist, dies at 56

Out of Paramus (N.J.) Catholic, Donovan was one of the most highly recruited female basketball players in the country in the late 1970s. She picked Old Dominion, in part, because of the success the program had with stars such as Nancy Lieberman, who was a senior when Donovan was a freshman.

“I know that when we were recruiting her, the coaches were saying, ‘You’ve got to see this kid. She’s amazing,'” Lieberman said by phone Wednesday night. “She and I talked a lot about the experience she’d have. We talked about building a legacy, even though we were so young. I don’t think we really knew what a legacy was at that point.

NorthJersey.com: Anne Donovan, a one-of-a-kind athlete in Bergen County

As an eighth-grader playing basketball for Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Ridgewood, Anne Donovan towered over her teammates and the competition. 

“It must have been challenging for the other teams to show up and play us,” her coach back then, Maureen Monroe of Glen Rock, said. “Anne was so considerably taller than the other players. She was leagues above the other players in terms of height.”

Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer from Ridgewood who won a national championship at Old Dominion and two Olympic gold medals in the 1980s, and coached the U.S. to gold in 2008, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56. 

NorthJersey.com: Anne Donovan: Rose Battaglia, North Jersey athletics world on the basketball legend

Seems only fitting that Anne Donovan spent some of her final hours socializing with the people she knew best — other greats in women’s basketball.

The much decorated player and coach from Ridgewood attended the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Knoxville, Tenn., last weekend, at which Dr. Rose Battaglia, her coach at Paramus Catholic High School, was inducted.

The news of Donovan’s passing Wednesday at age 56 of heart failure hit her high school coach and longtime friend Battaglia particularly hard.

NorthJersey.com: What they’re saying about Anne Donovan, North Jersey sports legend

The Virginian-Pilot: Old Dominion basketball legend Anne Donovan dies at age 56

Anne Donovan, a towering figure of the glory years of Old Dominion women’s basketball and a legend in the sport as a coach and player on the professional and Olympic levels, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.

The 6-foot-8 Donovan played for the Lady Monarchs from 1979 to 1983, and teamed with Nancy Lieberman to lead ODU to the AIAW national championship in 1980.

TeamUSA.org: Anne Donovan, Only Woman To Win Olympic Basketball Gold As Player And Coach, Dies At 56

At 6-foot-8, Anne Donovan towered over opponents on the court, but stood even taller off of it with her contributions to USA Basketball and the sport as a whole.

Donovan died Wednesday at the age of 56 due to heart failure, leaving a lasting legacy as a decorated player, coach and pioneer of women’s basketball in the United States.

A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Donovan was a two-time state champion in high school before going on to play at Old Dominion. With the Lady Monarchs, she won the first-ever women’s Naismith College Player of the Year award in 1983.

With no professional league at the time in the U.S., Donovan played her pro ball overseas. But it was with Team USA where she perhaps starred the most, winning Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988.

High Post Hoops: Anne Donovan, Basketball Hall of Famer, dead at 56

A life that included so many successes, building women’s basketball in every way, is over much too soon.

Anne Donovan, a champion by every measure, a game-changing player and coach whose imprint on the game of basketball will continue for decades to come, has died at the age of 56, Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com reported Wednesday night.

 

Donovan, a 6’8 paradigm-shifting center, grew up dominating the opposition in Paramus, NJ, before heading to Old Dominion to win the 1980 AIAW (forerunner to NCAA tournament) championship and reach the 1982 Final Four. Donovan remains the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, with 801.

Indy Star: First Indiana Fever coach dies at 56

“First and foremost, she was a personal friend of mine,” added Krauskopf. “I have lost a friend and someone who’s had an impact on the basketball world, certainly with the Fever. She’ll forever be part of our history. She’s always been a part of our family.”

“We’ve shared a lot of stories and a lot of laughs over that first season. There will never be another first year. And there will never be another Anne Donovan. She was a professional and a class act. The roots of women’s basketball are embedded with her name, and so is our franchise.”

The Day: Anne Donovan was much more than just a basketball legend

The following juxtaposition applies to all of humanity:

There’s what we do: Anne Donovan was a basketball coach who led the United States to Olympic Gold, the Seattle Storm to a WNBA championship and later walked among us, coaching the Connecticut Sun.

And then there’s who we really are: Anne Donovan was a gentle soul. Yes. This is where it begins and ends with her. A gentle soul with a puckish sense of humor, big family and many friends who were lucky enough to be in her life.

It was with unspeakable sorrow that we learned of Anne Donovan’s death during Wednesday night’s Sun-Mystics game, the most surreal night in the history of the franchise and the arena.

Anne Donovan died the night the man she replaced here in Connecticut, Mike Thibault, was coaching the other team.

She was 56.

“A great friend,” Thibault said. “I don’t know what to say. All the basketball stuff goes away when you have this kind of stuff happen.”

NH Register: Anne Donovan was towering, on and off the court

There was something surreal and undeniably sad about the moment. Pacing one bench was Mike Thibault of the Washington Mystics, the man who was replaced by Anne Donovan as coach of the Connecticut Sun. Pacing the other was Curt Miller, the man who replaced Donovan.

And now, squeezed between the two, as two WNBA teams raced the floor at Mohegan Sun Arena Wednesday night, was this horrible news that Anne Donovan was dead of heart failure at age 56.

Seattle Times: Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Anne Donovan, who led Storm to a championship, dies

USAToday: Anne Donovan through the years

Washington Post: Death of Anne Donovan, legendary women’s basketball star and coach, stuns sports world

Washington Post: How Anne Donovan was a trailblazer in women’s basketball

USAToday: Anne Donovan, Olympic gold medalist, basketball Hall of Famer, dies at 56

NPR: Anne Donovan, A Basketball Legend As A Player And Coach, Dies At 56

“She brought half of us here and hearing about it at halftime, it really put me in shock,” Sun guard Alex Bentley said. “That second half was for her, just to fight for her. It is crazy. 

“She just got us on the court. She was really connected to how we played, our style of play. She brought me here so I had a special relationship with her because she was one of those coaches who completely put her faith in me and believed in me, pushed me, challenged me. I am definitely going to miss her.”

As small Anne story from me: When she was coach of the New York Liberty, I was hosting a group of female college students from the UAE. Took them to a game (they were ecstatic) and we met with coach Donovan after. She was shy and humble. They were shy and in awe. It was beautiful.

IMG_2080.jpg

West Coast Dreaming

Seems like Atlanta has snuck under the radar a bit, but check out their wins. And, while everyone is going to talk about the six zillion offensive fouls and “the hair pull” (don’t nobody do hair pulls like LJ and LL), don’t get distracted – coach Collen is doing some stuff….Also, put some respect on her name: Tiff Hayes.

In Westchester, Coleman came with the “revenge” dagger to seal the win over a feisty Indiana team. I’m sure the Fever could care less about their feistiness. They want a win.

Chicago looked overmatched against LA, as the Sparks rolled.

Sparks Turn Up The Defense Against The Sky

After the game, coach Brian Agler pointed to better individual defense from the primary coverage for allowing the team to display strong team defense.

“Pick and roll, to me, is like the point of attack,” Agler explained. “We have to really be engaged there. If we can keep those two [defenders], with the ability to guard those two offensive players, and not have to rely on rotation, then we’re going to be a pretty good team. But if you need three and four people to guard that certain action, that means people are open on the backside. So it comes down to that right there – how sharp are you at the point of attack.”

Happy almost birthday, to she who dropped 25 just before her 37th. Merc extend their win streak to five.

Phoenix Mercury down Las Vegas Aces for fifth consecutive win

Taurasi is celebrating her birthday with her wife, infant son, parents and other family members. “Just a lot of reflection.  I started as a little kid here and now I’m 36 and married with a baby. Being in this locker room still means a lot to me and I’m still playing a high level. It all pays off when you put the work in.”

“No games tonight,” you say? (Actually: No time for playing around now. 🇺🇸 is into the World Cup knockout rounds tonight) Then it’s time for a High Post Hoops Summit: Hall of Famers, future Hall of Famers, and a look around the WNBA

Nice: Dallas Wings seeing an increase in attendance to kick off 2018

First for CBS? WNBA Power Rankings: Connecticut Sun at the top; Minnesota Lynx continue to struggle

GQThe Real-Life Diet of Sue Bird, Basketball Legend

At this point, there isn’t much left to accomplish in the basketball career of Sue Bird. Yet here she is in her 16th WNBA season, still lacing up Nikes and pointedly ignoring questions about when she plans to call it quits. Instead, the 37-year-old point guard will tell you that she’s never been in better shape, and with the way she orchestrates the attack for her Seattle Storm each night, it’s hard to argue otherwise. We recently caught up with the league’s all-time assists leader to learn how her diet and preparation have allowed her to play at such a high level for 15 professional seasons—and counting.

GQ: How sick are you at this point of being asked about retirement?

Sue Bird: [laughs] I think it got tiring two years ago. Now, I’m numb to it, so I just kind of ignore it.

Her Agenda: Powerful women give us a peek into their agendas. Each woman embodies the no one ever slows her agenda motto in her industry: Lisa Borders

WNBA President and former Vice Mayor of the Atlanta City Council, Lisa Borders knows that humans make up a business and that business has a long way to go in supporting humans. Because of that, she’s spent her life moving across sectors – from Coca-Cola to nonprofits to government and now, the nation’s longest standing female sports league (and youngest sports league overall), where she is backing a player led athlete activist movement to bridge the gap between the personal, the political, the business, and sports. In our interview, Lisa shares more on her defining experiences and what it was like for her to be one of the first Black children to integrate a private school in the South, how her WNBA players are helping lead the athlete activist charge, and how our generation should face adversity.

Learn more about Lisa Borders, the president of the Women’s National Basketball Association and her advice for the next generation of women leaders:

Listen up! To HPH: Ann Meyers Drysdale chats about the WBL, WNBA and more on the latest podcast

This year, the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL) is being honored as Trailblazers of the Game by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. We caught up with WBL first-round draft pick Ann Meyers Drysdale.

The California-native was inducted to the Hall’s inaugural class in 1999. This year, the WBL was honored during the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.  I chatted with Meyers Drysdale about her basketball career, her current role as an announcer, and what is needed for the WNBA to succeed.

Yackity-yack, he called back! Undeterred after part 1, Kris and I spend another hunk of time talking women’s hoops.

From Ben York: The Article I Wanted to Write: President Trump Inspires with Minnesota Lynx White House Invite

“A new day is upon us,” President Trump emphatically said with a smile.  

In a remarkable display of unity and inclusion, not only did the President host the 2017 WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx at the White House Wednesday, but also dozens of underserved children from all 12 WNBA cities. Over 130 kids received a tour of the White House and participated in a basketball clinic led by Lynx players.  

Additionally, representatives from several prominent LGBTQ organizations met with the President to discuss tangible ways to help spread the message of equality, and how to put an end to discrimination and bullying within the community.  

While the move stunned a large number of President Trump’s supporters, the unprecedented show of support sent an indelible message of inclusion to the American people. 

NCAA

Daily Bruin: Senior signoffs: Kelli Hayes reflects on basketball and her humanitarian growth along the way

As a student-athlete, UCLA has opened my eyes and given me experiences that I could only dream of before arriving on campus.

I was fortunate to receive the opportunity to have my senses awakened by the pothole-filled streets of Westwood that wrecked my Jetta’s tires, to expand my knowledge through the gender studies department, to develop leadership skills on and off the court, and lastly, to gain perspective, giving way to a constant desire for finding the commonalities among things seen as different and to hold a relentless pursuit for saving the world one person at a time.

Also from the D.B.: Senior signoffs: Kari Korver grateful for five years of UCLA basketball

UCLA was my dream school growing up. Who doesn’t love the blue and gold and living in Southern California? However, like many, I didn’t think I would make the cut.

By my junior year of high school I was getting recruited by a good number of Pac-12 schools, but UCLA still had not batted an eye my way and I honestly didn’t feel as though I deserved their consideration. Then right before I was going to commit to Oregon State, the UCLA coach at the time, Nikki Caldwell, left and took a job at LSU.

There was hope! And hope’s name was coach Cori Close.

History: Chris Dailey “still passionate” about coaching, makes history as she enters the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

“As I got older, I came to the realization that it is OK to be really good at what you do and love what you do and not be a head coach,” Dailey said. “To be at one of the top programs in the country and be in my position, it is OK for me to enjoy that. I don’t have to always think I have to be somewhere else to be happy.”

Eclipsing a Dynasty?

Let’s not move the crown jewels quite yet… but DANG Connecticut is looking fierce.

Today’s Games

To those who want league expansion: We’re about a quarter through the season and five of 12 teams are under .500.

From nocomets.com: How the Collective Bargaining Agreement Limits Players’ Freedom. Couple of semi-related thoughts about salary:

  • Stop comparing the W salaries to NBA salaries.
  • Please remember this is a business. So when we’re talking player’s salaries, break me down a business’s expenses, including taxes, insurance, technology, promotions, space rental, housing, food, salary staffing, support, travel etc.
  • Unpopular take: I’m guessing many of the W fanbase works year-round to earn what a rookie makes for 4 months of work (plus benefits). Don’t @ me until the stands are jammed packed for all franchises.

History:

AP: Spirit of Pat Summitt hovers over HOF induction

Former Lady Vols star Chamique Holdsclaw and former Tennessee assistant Mickie DeMoss both referenced Summitt in their induction speeches. Summitt died in June 2016 at the age of 64, five years after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Holdsclaw noted that Summitt told her players that her job was to raise strong, independent women who would know how to fend for themselves after college.

“When you get out in the real world and you have things that hit you, that knock you down, you realize that it was my grandmother, it was that Coach Summitt speech, it was Mickie putting her arm around me and telling me it was going to be OK, that help you propel forward,” Holdsclaw said.

ESPN: Newly inducted Chamique Holdsclaw returns to where it all started

Chamique Holdsclaw was just 18 years old. The Tennessee freshman had already had big moments that showed she would be a transformational player in women’s basketball — but none like this. The Lady Vols’ whole season came down to 20 minutes, with them trailing Virginia by double digits at halftime in a 1996 Elite Eight game on the Cavaliers’ home court.

It’s funny to look back on it all now for Holdsclaw and assistant coach Mickie DeMoss, both of whom were inducted among a group of seven into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. But as a youngster at Tennessee, Holdsclaw would get irritated some days with the structure of coach Pat Summitt’s system. She also missed her home in New York, and made frequent (albeit empty, she admits) threats to go back. DeMoss often was the one to have to calm her down.

MSR: Member of first US women’s pro hoops league once swore ‘never again’

Tonyus Chavers is a huge WNBA fan. But there was a time she didn’t want anything to do with hoops because it had broken her heart. “I was just angry,” she vividly recalled.

She was a member of the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL), this country’s first professional women’s basketball league during its entire three-season run (1978-1981). Chavers, who left college early to turn pro, played for three WBL clubs, including the Minnesota Fillies, one of the league’s original eight franchises. The players barely made a thousand dollars a month before taxes; sometimes their pay envelopes were empty.

Holdsclaw HOF speech.
DeMoss HOF speech.

*and yes, Sue, please unfollow anyone who says differently*

*also, I am LOVIN’ the W’s twitter game: A Twitter troll came at the and got completely destroyed  Also: WNBA champions to sexist tweeter: Delete your account and Minnesota Lynx Roast Twitter User Over Sexist Comment and Minnesota Lynx Roast Twitter User Over Sexist Comment

*taps mic* ESPN2 Scores With WNBA: Audience Up 58% In 2018, Up 26% Overall vs. 2017

Not so Lost Lynx:

Washington Mystics point guard Natasha Cloud wholeheartedly embraced the two unusual aspects of her team’s Thursday matinee against the Minnesota Lynx.

The first was especially welcome: Coach Mike Thibault inserted Cloud, usually a reserve, into the starting lineup. The second was the buzz of the large crowd, which doubled as early arrivals for the watch party for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals in Las Vegas, with the Washington Capitals one win from capturing their first championship, filled up Capital One Arena. 

West Coast Whomp: Seattle stepped into the Staples Center and made it theirs (at least for one game)

Like sand through their hands:

Happy Dreams:
Scorched: 

Looksee:  Phoenix Mercury launch new documentary series ‘The Chase’

Fingers crossed: Mystics Hope Some Caps Fans Stick Around After Getting Taste Of WNBA

Yah, we know: Spin it as you will: the Liberty’s new home is an insult to the sport

MSG management has exiled the Liberty to an venue that resembles a big high school or small college arena. And it is not a shiny new place, either. The Center opened in 1930 and was last renovated in 1988. It even has a stage at one end. Set up for basketball, it is smaller than many high schools. The lighting is dim.

This is not the place for a professional sports team to play. It insults the game. It insults the team. It is also difficult to imagine how the change can be anything but an economic disaster. Last season, at the Garden, the Liberty averaged 9,899 fans. That was among the top numbers in the WNBA, but less than half of the Garden’s 20,789 capacity. New York averaged similar numbers during the three years they played at Prudential Center, which seats 19,500, in Newark, N.J.

Game day!

The Day: Sun return home to host defending WNBA champion Lynx

Courant: Sun Burning Bright in Early Goings of WNBA Season

Also

Drop Off: Column on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

And from there I just began to fixate on basketball, as much of it in whatever form I could find. I coached, watched, played and read constantly. At the same time, I began to wish that I hated the sport instead. Why have this passion that I didn’t share with anyone in my family?

Well, there was one person, I was later told. I just never got to know that part of her.

13 years ago this month, my grandma’s battle with Alzheimer’s came to a close. I was 12 years old.

The Atlantic: On her journey to becoming a basketball icon, Maya Moore just couldn’t lose

Michelle: Inside The W with Michelle Smith: 2018 Rookies

Las Vegas: Aces broadcasters look to ingratiate WNBA team to community

Yup: Aces rookie A’ja Wilson among WNBA leaders in scoring

When they go low, this is how you do it: WNBA Champs Visit DC Kids After Not Being Invited To The White House

Notre Dame Insider: Basketball world still buzzing about Ogunbowale’s impact on women’s game

Slap the Sign: Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: The 4 Best Players of the McGraw Era

24/7Sports: WSU hoops: Kamie Ethridge breaks down numbers and more in Q&A

You stay put: Amy Williams receives raise, contract extension after leading Nebraska to NCAA tournament

DKPittsburgh Sports: Fast pace marks White’s arrival at Pitt

Davis Enterprise: Postseason run for Aggie women was school’s best as Albany transfer bolsters Aggies’ backcourt

Latvia will co-host the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019 and so how much of a celebration do you think it will be and can the team handle the pressure and expectation?
Right now, in the summer of 2018, we are only focusing on playing our best at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. That is our main and only focus. Of course, when looking to the future, everyone is very excited about Latvia hosting another major event. But before tackling ‘the party planning’ for 2019, we have business to take care of in Tenerife.

High School

Storm warning: After constant battles with parents, long-time coach Ed Shepard steps down

History

2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees

Mechelle: Fittingly, Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss head into Women’s HOF together

Chris Dailey recalls sitting next to Mickie DeMoss as both watched prospects at a high school gym in 1995, not that long after UConn won its first national championship by defeating Tennessee in the final. DeMoss, then an assistant with the Lady Vols, mentioned to longtime Huskies assistant Dailey that Tennessee was going to need to make some changes in style of play.

“I tell you,” DeMoss says now, as both coaches are about to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in a class of seven this weekend, “you would have to be some kind of idiot to not try to learn from somebody who just beat you. I thought Geno [Auriemma] and UConn were ahead of the curve on a lot of things; they could beat us at our own game sometimes. They could figure out how to use some of your own strengths against you.”

Playing basketball in college is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

In fact, college basketball was so hard I almost stopped doing it. One afternoon during my freshman season at the University of Colorado, I walked into a meeting with my head coach and told her I couldn’t keep playing: It was too much, too demanding, and I wasn’t up to the challenge. I wasn’t who I thought I was. Even worse in my mind, I wasn’t who shethought I was.

Ceal Barry listened. Then, without hesitation, she said, “Give me two weeks.”

“Two weeks?” I asked.

“Yes, give me two weeks to change how I coach you,” she said. “If after two weeks you still want to quit, I’ll accept it.”

“I have never missed the last day of school,” said longtime teacher Tonyus Chavers, but this time she has a very good excuse. The Richard Green Central Elementary physical education teacher is heading to Knoxville, Tenn., where she will be inducted into a class of her own – the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

On June 9, Chavers will join a roster of women in Knoxville, Tenn. that includes players Tina Thompson, Chamique Holdsclaw and Katie Smith, coach Ceal Barry, assistant coaches Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss, and veteran and contributor Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia. All will be inducted into the WBHOF Class of 2018.

Lisa Thomas thought her basketball days were over.

For 19 years, the Cedars-Sinai laboratory investigator of inflammatory bowel disorders and immunobiology concentrated on studying the human microbiome—the ecosystem of microorganisms, bacteria, fungi and viruses that naturally live within the human gut. Her glory days as a forward and center for collegiate and professional teams were behind her.

And then she got a phone call that returned her to the hardwood courts of her youth. On June 9, Thomas will be one of 96 players from the now-defunct Women’s Professional Basketball League to be inducted as “Trailblazers” into The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Want to know more? Read Karra Porter’s Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women’s Professional Basketball League, 1978-1981

No one’s perfect…

and the Dream proved that by eclipsing the Sun and giving their fans a well-deserved win. (Didja catch this: Atlanta Dream Schedule Preview: june 5th to June 10th)

On the other hand, Westchester came back to the Garden to face Phoenix… and their last two minutes were a disaster. Lib fall to Diana and her 8000.

I detect a thread running through current broadcasts: Diana Taurasi feeling rejuvenated early in WNBA season

Vroom, vroom: 2018 Power Rankings: Week 3

Oi! Oi! Aussie Wrap: WNBA Week 3

Sizzle: Early impressions: Sun on the rise in WNBA

Ready: Connecticut Sun preparing for life as “the hunted”

No $hit: Rookie Class Making Waves In 2018 WNBA Season (Canada’s Kia Nurse on breaking records, inspiring the next generation) (also: A’ja Wilson’s WNBA education: Some moments of doubt, but ‘it’s a process’) (Gabby: Focused on ‘getting through the wall) (And: No surprises: Mystics rookies Atkins, Hines-Allen making an impact)

Mechelle asks: Who are the best duos in the WNBA this season?

Two of the most dynamic duos in the league clash Thursday when the Sparks (4-1) host the Storm (5-2) at Los Angeles’ Staples Center (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m. ET).

So who are the best tandems in the league? Certainly, these duos need the contributions of other players around them for their teams to be successful. But there’s something special about these combinations. Whether it’s two players who are near the same age, or two who have more the mentor-pupil dynamic, these talented tandems are providing a lot of highlights in the WNBA this season.

From AP Doug: Jordin Canada and Sue Bird’s bond began before Seattle

Right before her senior season at UCLA, Jordin Canada was seeking advice on how to be a better point guard. Who better to turn to than Sue Bird?

The two got in touch and had a long phone conversation where Bird imparted some of her wisdom to Canada. Fast-forward eight months, and Bird is still offering advice to Canada, now as a teammate with the Storm after Seattle drafted her with the fifth pick in April.

“It’s an honor being able to learn from the best,” Canada said. “It’s great for me. I see her in practice and games and what she does, her confidence, the way she leads. It’s unbelievable to experience that first-hand.”

Seattle Times: Former Husky star Kelsey Plum only looking ahead after trying rookie WNBA season

Listen up: Sun Cast Episode 7: Road Wins and Old Friends Curt Miller talks big Sun road victories at Chicago and Washington this past weekend. Curt also reflects on what it meant to catch up with Loyola University Chicago women’s basketball coach Kate Achter, who played for Curt at Bowling Green. David also talks to Kate about what makes Curt such a special coach.

Listen up: WNBAInsidr –This episode we look have a special guest Krystal Thomas of the Washington Mystics. Having been on the same roster as some of the biggest names in the league and being an elite basketball mind we go chat Mystics as well as positional play. Also, Athletic Success Runs In The Family For Nurse

Listen up: John Focke, with Coach Reeve after Lynx practice. 

Shake it up: WNBA having captains draft teams under new All-Star format

Kinda fun: Drop Off: Early-season three-point shooting observations

Yes: WNBA Pride Night Schedule | Outsports and WNBA only pro league with all teams having LGBTQ Pride nights

BTW – In case you are wondering, LeBron, it’s all good: Minnesota Lynx to Commemorate 2017 Championship in Washington D.C. Through Community Service

BTW: Elena Delle Donne talks WNBA’s “Take a Seat, Take a Stand”

Listen up: Around the Rim w/LaChina: Nice For What; Holly Rowe

WATN? WNBA legend Ruth Riley talks about her journey, development of women’s basketball in India and more

NCAA

FunHebard, Oregon teammates join forces at FIBA 3×3 World Cup

It’s never too early to think about the fall: Bracket for 2018 Preseason WNIT

So not okay: Wolf Pack women’s basketball player arrested for DUI, second charge

You stay putAUBURN ATHLETICS EXTENDS CONTRACT FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY

Arizona Daily Star: Arizona Wildcats coach Adia Barnes eager to put into practice what she learned at clinic as Icelandic center Birna Benonysdottir commits to Arizona

Roll’em: Rider coach Lynn Milligan excited for MAAC Tournament to bring women’s basketball to Atlantic City

Lexington Herald: Bake sale? Car wash? Not exactly. But UK women getting creative to pay for Italy trip.

Big Ten: 2017-18 Women’s Basketball Season in Review

The Herald: Women’s basketball super agent can work from anywhere; how she ended up in Rock Hill

It’s not a stretch to say Johnny and Felicia Hall Allen are big-time. Felicia could be considered a women’s college basketball super agent. She represents 20 women’s college basketball coaches, including Texas’ Karen Aston, Georgia’s Joni Taylor and Virginia’s Tina Thompson. Three of her clients won their conference’s coach of the year award last season.

Allen is a natural sports agent. Her bright personality shines through and she’s a social hub, evinced by a backyard at her house that is clearly arranged for hosting.

BlueStar Media offers up a little international ball: Talk from across the pond with Marie Vervaet (BEL)

Related News

Listen up: What if the Greatest Women’s Sports Victory Never Happened? In 1999, the U.S. scored a stunning win over China in the Women’s World Cup. Nearly 20 years later, female athletes are still fighting for recognition and equality.

On the latest episode of Upon Further Review, journalist Louisa Thomas talks to Chastain and fellow teammate Julie Foudy. Together, they explore the mixed legacy of women’s soccer in the U.S. following the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

The Shadow League: Women Of Color In Media: Progress Required “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”

Cool: 

The Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW announced today the 2018 recipients of the Sports 4 Life initiative, a national effort to increase the participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls in youth sports programs. For 2018, more than $450,000 has been awarded to 64 organizations, representing 37 traditional and non-traditional sports in 18 states across the nation, expected to serve nearly 14,000 middle and high school girls.

As Nancy Hogshead-Makar and her crew help call out the USOC, InsideHigher Ed asks: Why Do Colleges Keep Failing to Prevent Abuse? Despite vows to push back against sexual abuse on campus, cases keep coming, with leaders failing to act on abuse reports until it’s too late.

In several recent cases, presidents who mishandled abuse cases made one key error, said Susan Resneck Pierce, president emerita of the University of Puget Sound, who now serves as a consultant to presidents and trustees. She said they hadn’t created a campus culture in which it was expected that they’d be informed of allegations of inappropriate behavior.

“I don’t care how large the institution is,” said Pierce, an Inside Higher Ed columnist and author of the 2011 book On Being Presidential: A Guide for College and University Leaders. “I fervently believe that presidents share the responsibility with their boards for the health and integrity of the institution and all of its aspects. They not only need to understand that, but it needs to be understood on campus.”

It angers me that I keep on having to refer back to the heartbreaking series from the Seattle Times from 2003: Coaches Who Prey: The Abuse of Girls and the System That Allows It

In a dark side of the growing world of girls sports, 159 coaches have been reprimanded or fired for sexual misconduct in the past decade. And 98 continued to coach or teach — as schools, the state and even some parents looked the other way.

Do. Better.

Well, well, well….

what do you think about THAT!

Was sneaking a peek at the Mystics-Lynx game and saw it was a blowout early (in favor of Minnesota). Walk over to chat with the dad for a bit, snuck another look… WOWZA!!!

For Washington Mystics rookie Myisha Hines-Allen, the wait was agonizing. The 21-year-old second-round draft pick out of Louisville had grown to expect double-doubles, because she notched 12 of them in her final 24 games for the Cardinals and 16 total during her senior season. She had 45 double-doubles in four years, which made her the active ACC career leader before she left school. In college, they were second nature. But the WNBA is a different beast.

“I was just like, ‘Ugh, when is it going to happen, when is it going to happen?’” Hines-Allen said Sunday, rolling her head back in frustration.

Welcome back! A little rusty, perhaps, but nice to have Parker able to play 27 minutes. That being said, channeling my inner db: “Go ahead, Chelsea. We see you!”

Candace Parker returns, helps Sparks get past Phoenix 80-72

Candace Parker almost had scored her first points of the 2018 WNBA season, but instead the ball clanked off the iron and got scooped up by the opposition. Parker fouled reaching for the ball.

Yet, as referees blew their whistles and paused Sunday’s game, Parker laughed, clapped and, yes, smiled on her way to a team huddle. Even though she missed that shot, Parker still had plenty to smile about.

Fly, eagle, fly! Dallas over the Dream.

 Burn, baby burn! Sun over the Fever.

BTW: Sun want to accomplish as much as they can before they’re gone

“Thanks for raining on our parade“!” Storm over Aces. Lotta points were scored, lotta people watched, and Sue Bird nailed the dagger as Seattle took down Las Vegas.
 Tuesday Games
Lynx v. Dream: Looking to Rebound v. Looking for a Home Win.
 Wings v. Westchester: Lookng to Make Statement v. Looking for a Win
Mystics v. Storm: Streak v. Undefeated Streak
In other news
Yo! To that non-reasearcing dude-lette in my twitter feed: Alabama HS makes gender-bending decision, hires woman to coach boys basketball
Listen up! Old friend, and friend of the game, Kris Gardener called me up and we a little talked a bit about a lot….
James Dolan and the New York Liberty – the roots of the WNBA – from subscriber to the demise of the Houston Comets – Helen’s background and the WNBA – the future of the Liberty and the WNBA – media coverage from back in the day to now – Adam Silver’s comments about the WNBA’s inability to attract young female viewers and a back story of the relationship of men and women watching athletics – NCAA teams (slowly) doing a better job promoting / connecting fans to the WNBA – Social media and the WNBA and the NCAA – ‘Final Four’ / ‘Women’s Final Four’; ‘basketball’ / ‘men’s basketball’ – Reminiscing when we first met (before Twitter) – Conclusion
  • We’ve got a great crop of rookies in the league.
  • The BIGS are showing up.
  • Some W teams (and others) have really upped their twitter/social media game.
  • The WNBA.com still is amateur hour.. and btw @nike where are the jerseys?
  • The Westchester Liberty can draw 2,300. Who want’s to buy’em?

    A Curtain closed one end of the Westchester Building. 2315. There are a lot of issues. 4500 is the Max capacity. If there was demand, we would have seen 4500. This Venue is 35-40 Miles from MSG. Many told Alan Barcoff the Lib Fan they are not going to commute. They better figure something out long term.

  • Consider how good the play has been, in spite of injuries/MIA players. If you’re not a Liberty fan, this is going to be a fun season.

From Michelle: Inside the W: First Impressions

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

With just a handful of days gone by in the 2018 WNBA regular season, those first impressions are forming around the league. To be clear, a first impression is far different than a final conclusion, but there are some early things worth noting as the schedule gets into full swing.

Articles

High Post Hoops WNBA Expansion Roundtable – not a lot new here, but actually having the discussion is part of the process. Wonder what current W owners are thinking (except Dolan. We know what he’s thinking.)

High Post: Drop Off: must see WNBA lineups in 2018, part 2

Think Progress’ Lindsay Gibbs: While the NFL cowers to Trump, the WNBA takes a stand

The way both leagues reacted to activism by its athletes — and to the election of Donald Trump a few month later — has come to define them. This week, the NFL unveiled a controversial new national anthem policy — without input from the players — which requires players to stand during the anthem if they choose to take the field during its performance, or else their team will be issued a fine. The league is trying to do all it can to prevent Trump from publicly attacking its policies on Twitter or at a rally; its making decisions out of fear, and out of a desire to suppress the voices of its athletes.

Meanwhile, the WNBA officially baked social activism into its brand when it unveiled the “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” campaign that donates a portion of every ticket sold to a group of charities that support women, the LGBTQ community, and efforts to end sexual assault.

New Haven Register: WNBA players weigh in after NFL passes new anthem rule

Before Thursday night’s WNBA game between Los Angeles and Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Arena, reigning WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, who also happens to be the president of Women’s National Basketball Players Association, spoke to Hearst Connecticut Media about the issue.

“(WNBA players) have been at the forefront of a lot of social issues, our players have done a really good job of expressing themselves and work among themselves to be leaders in the community and I think the NFL players are trying to do the same thing,” Ogwumike said. “It is interesting to see the changes that they made and I think it calls to attention changes that might be made in other sports. We have discussed it as a union briefly just through small chats, nothing official but I don’t think there is ever an inappropriate place for players to effectively voice their opinions especially on social and political issues.”

Ogwumike said it is not only the prerogative of players to speak out on issues impact them and their community, but it is the mission of the WNBPA to encourage that to happen.

 Listen up! Around the Rim: LaChina Robinson and producer Terrika Foster-Brasby recap the excitement from the WNBA’s opening weekend including the Sparks’ win over the Lynx and Chelsea Gray’s performance in big moments. Plus, Liz Cambage of the Dallas Wings joins to discuss her return to the league.

Great news! Guards Kayla McBride, Kelsey Plum join Aces

Plum, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 who averaged 8.5 points and shot 36.5 percent from 3-point as a rookie, seemed confident as she begins her second WNBA season.

“I think mentally I’m a different person. Overseas will do that to you,” she said. “Honestly, whatever comes my way, I’ll handle it. I expect things from myself, but I’d rather just play it on the court than say it.”

Courier-Journal: Louisville basketball could have another breakout rookie in the pros

When Hines-Allen checked in for the first time Thursday with 33.6 seconds left in the opening quarter, it set off a chain reaction.

As she stepped onto the court Louisville’s coaches raised their phones to chronicle the moment, nearly in unison with a group of nearby Cardinals fans who started the wave accompanied by a loud, “Woo!” 

Louisville coach Jeff Walz and most of his staff made the trip up I-65 to watch the latest Cardinal turned pro, staking out seats a couple rows behind the Mystics bench.

Yardbarker: Three questions with Kelsey Mitchell: How the No. 2 pick is adjusting to the WNBA

.com: Breanna Stewart to Wear, Auction Shoes to Benefit Sexual Assault Awareness and Resources on May 25

Breanna Stewart’s #MeToo story that ran in The Players’ Tribune on Oct. 30, 2017, caught fire on a national scale, bringing to life the toll and destruction that sexual abuse can have on anyone, even a young girl aspiring to be a professional athlete.

Now, Stewart is continuing to give back and raise awareness.

Listen up! Burn It All Down: The crew talks about Danica Patrick’s complicated legacy, and then they discuss how women’s sports leagues can continue to grow their audiences. Plus, interviews Holly Rowe ()!!

Listen up! The second part of the podcast this week is now live. We break down the opening weekend of the season for the Eastern Conference teams

For the Win: Why a group of WNBA, NBA players spent the offseason back in the classroom

Some game articles:

CanisHoopus: Lynx Finish Strong to Top Liberty

Awaiting Mel’s epistle on the travel adventures of getting out to Westchester…. and the game. We know Doug was there… anyone else? Oh, Hi, Rebecca: 

I don’t swear in the GNoD. I take pride in this. But this Westchester nonsense is really testing me. I got on the bus to White Plains at 3:40. We pulled out of the stop at 3:47. We made it to White Plains station a bit past 5:30. And that was followed up with a long, sweaty walk to the WCC. I am not a fan of this whole thing, and neither was the other Liberty fan on the bus. (She was sort of obvious, what with the seafoam green Liberty shirt, the Liberty backpack, the two Liberty bracelets, and the green and white sneakers.) There was a lot of swearing behind me when she was updating her friend on her status. I am hot, I am sweaty, I am annoyed, and I am somewhat hungry. (To my amusement and frustration, I ended up playing guide to a couple of other lost fans, because guess what? The way the STH were told to go from the train station to the WCC is closed and they didn’t provide alternate directions!)

Sonics Rising (Hope Ally’s ok) Seattle Storm rally from 14 down to win in OT 95-91 over the Chicago Sky and from the Daily Herald Storm work overtime to beat Chicago, 95-91

The Courier: Chiney Ogwumike gets 1st WNBA victory against sister as Chiney Ogwumike details her unreal schedule as an ESPN analyst and WNBA player

More stuff

Eight years ago, former WNBA player Valerie Still’s mother, Gwendolyn, unexpectedly died. Still, the leading rebounder and scorer in University of Kentucky basketball history, turned to writing to help cope with her mother’s death. 

“We lived in Camden, New Jersey, which is one of the poorest and crime-infested cities in the United States. My mother was raising 10 children and I don’t know how she did it besides having the spiritual fortitude,” Still told espnW. “Her spirituality kept her going. My mom didn’t leave us any monetary inheritance and yet every day I live by her philosophy. I’ve survived because of that.”

Still’s story, told in her new memoir, “Playing Black and Blue: Still I Rise,” which is out now, touches on her upbringing, her rise to basketball fame and the importance of understanding vulnerability.

NCAA

Please continue doing this: Blue Devils on the Hardwood WNBA Update and Huskies in the WNBA: Week One

Congrats! Mocs Announce Burrows as New Women’s Basketball Head Coach

GamecocksOnline: MY SIGNATURE: BIANCA CUEVAS-MOORE BLOWING UP

Two days later, I was at rehab, working with Brian on my knee, and my phone was blowing up.

I’m not on my phone during rehab, so I just thought it was my mother or Kiki and I could call them back. We finished working out, and I go look at the phone and just see a whole bunch of missed calls and texts. I see Coach Staley, Kiki, my mother. I knew it must be important.

I called Kiki first and she says, ‘Dawn wants you to come back.’

’bout time: Mizzou AD Sterk apologizes to South Carolina’s Staley, settles lawsuit

Doink: Jeff Walz banned one postseason game for criticizing Final Four calls

El Paso Times: UTEP’s huge women’s basketball recruiting class could transform program

 

When will the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team head to the NCAA Tournament?

My prediction is the 2019-2020 season, and I think I have pretty sound reasoning.

First, the next time the UL women head to the NCAA Tournament, it will be a big deal. The program has appeared in the NCAA Tournament only once before (2007), and has been through its share of lean years. Since Garry Brodhead became head coach prior to the 2012-2013 campaign however, Louisiana has gone on to unprecedented success.

Related news

An athlete accused her coach of sex abuse. Olympic officials stayed on the sideline.  Lawmakers choke back tears, scream at Olympic sport leaders for sex-abuse scandal

The tears and anger this time came from lawmakers who spent the day fuming over a growing sex-abuse problem in Olympic sports that leaders have taken too much time to solve while devoting too little money for the fixes.

“I just hope everyone here realizes the time to talk is over, and you need to walk your talk,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said Wednesday shortly after choking back tearswhile questioning leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Speaking of the Olympics: Check out Blue Star Media’s coverage of the U17 trials. 

Speaking of coverage: Where To Find Coverage Of Women’s Sports

Such an observation is consistent with academic research. As Cheryl Cooky, Michael Messner and Robin Nextrum have observed, the sports media has for decades focused less than 10% — and often less than 5% — of its coverage on women’s sports. This can be seen — as Kiley Kroh noted in summarizing this research — by looking at ESPN’s SportsCenter:

SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program, dedicated just 2 percent of its airtime to women’s sports in 2014, according to the report — a figure that has remained flat since 1999.

As noted, there really is no upward trend in the data. Coverage of women’s sports remains persistently low.

Although coverage is low, it doesn’t mean coverage is nonexistent. With a bit of searching one can find sites that are providing consistent coverage of the various women’s team sports. What follows is a very incomplete list of sites dedicated to women’s team sports (i.e. not the LPGA or WTA). Although incomplete, it should give fans of women’s sports a place to start.

 

A little feast, a little famine, a little agita. Great way to spend a Sunday.

Sun v. Aces: After Las Vegas jumped out to an early lead, they folded.

Hartford Courant: Connecticut Sun Start Season Off With A Bang — A 101-65 Rout Of Aces

Forget about a slow start this season.

The Connecticut Sun lived up to the preseason hype of being one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, blowing out Las Vegas 101-65 Sunday afternoon in the season opener at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Day: Sun Rout Aces in Record Fashion

Bleacher Report: Las Vegas Aces Lose Franchise’s 1st-Ever Game in Historic Fashion vs. Sun

The Connecticut Sun didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for the Las Vegas Aces in the Aces’ regular-season WNBA debut.

The Sun won 101-65, with the 36-point margin of victory the most ever during the WNBA’s opening weekend, according to Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN.com).

The Aces were without Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride, both of whom are still playing overseas in Turkey. Moriah Jefferson is recovering from a knee injury as well, leaving Las Vegas down three of its top guards.

LV Review Journal (they hired John Altavilla, y’all!) Connecticut routs Aces in season-opener 101-65

Four months from now, the WNBA’s regular season will have wound down and there will be irrefutable evidence about whether this western shift from San Antonio to Las Vegas had a positive impact on last season’s worst league franchise.

But there was no sense getting ahead of things Sunday when the Las Vegas Aces, a team very much still in its evolutionary stage, made their debut against the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena

Mystics v. Fever: Tolliver was Tolliver-ing in a good way.

Washington Post: Elena Delle Donne finds other ways to contribute as Mystics beat Fever in opener, 82-75

The Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne, by Coach Mike Thibault’s recollection, didn’t miss a shot for roughly 20 minutes during pregame warmups for Sunday’s season opener against the Indiana Fever.

“I’m thinking, ‘Boy, that’s a pretty good rhythm,’ ” Thibault said. “And then we ran the first play for her, and that didn’t go in, and then she air-balled one. I just think she was pressing a little bit.”

WTOP: Mystics take first step in season, take a stand

The Washington Mystics’ 2018 season opened Sunday at Capital One Arena in front of 7,400 enthusiastic fans, who cheered the home side to a near wire-to-wire, 82-75 victory over the Indiana Fever. While that attendance number is often an afterthought, a new leaguewide initiative by the WNBA means that in their home opener alone, the Mystics raised $37,000 for women and girls empowerment programs.

HPH: Takeaways: How Washington Mystics found success on a tough shooting night

Indy Star AP: Indiana Fever comeback falls short in season opener against Washington Mystics

Kristi Toliver hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and Elena Delle Donne scored 13 with seven assists to help the Washington Mystics beat the Indiana Fever 82-75 on Sunday in the season opener for both teams. [Paging the fact-checker]

Intersting .com feature: Notes & Quotes: Mystics Stop Fever, 82-75

Wings v. Dream: Liz is impressive, yes, but clearly she’s not in shape. Maybe it won’t matter.

Dallas News: Wings’ blowout win over Atlanta offers glimpse at the dynamic duo Dallas dreamt of this offseason

A 37-point second quarter, a new franchise record, took control of the game for the Wings. Diggins-Smith’s 3 for 4 shooting from 3-point range opened up the floor for Cambage to operate down low. She started her scoring with a four-point play and finished with a game-high 25 points.

Cambage introduced herself to the 5,907 fans in attendance with an array of post moves that left the undersized Dream helpless in the paint.

CBS-DFW AP: Diggins-Smith & Cambage Lead Wings Past Dream 101-78 (at least they have some video)

Hashtag Basketball: Thoughts on the Dallas Wings home opener

HPH: Fouls were a problem in Atlanta Dream’s loss to Dallas Wings: Three Takeaways

The Dream played fast and aggressive — which was by Collen’s design — but often times they were undisciplined. Atlanta racked up 32 fouls, and each starter finished with at least four fouls. This threw off Collen’s rotation as she had to make some unplanned substitutions at key moments in the game.

“We couldn’t go with a natural rotation with (several players in) foul trouble. It was really hard to get into a rhythm of timing of subs,” Collen told The Crush SportsTalk. “… Every time I turned around I had an assistant telling me, ‘Oh, she’s got three, oh, she’s got four.’ … I definitely think that affected the rotation.”

Lynx v. Sparks: Minnesota spotted LA to a nice lead, fought back and… got Gray’ed out.

Mechelle: Chelsea Gray’s buzzer-beater leads Sparks past Lynx in WNBA Finals rematch

The Los Angeles Sparks entered Target Center to start their WNBA season Sunday with one true post player, but a large amount of moxie and some of the toughest defenders the league has had. The Minnesota Lynx came into the game after a ring ceremony that had flashy lights and indoor pyrotechnics, with the defending champions joyously welcomed back by a sellout crowd of 13,032.

The set-up was perfect: 

Star-Tribune: Chelsea Gray’s buzzer-beating layup sends Sparks over Lynx to spoil season opener

Down to one real post player in Nneka Ogwumike, the Sparks flooded the defensive zone, collapsing around Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, who scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds, but also six turnovers.

“They just kept flooding, flooding, flooding,” Reeve said. “And we botched every opportunity on the inside. So Syl couldn’t hold it. Syl didn’t have any poise. We forced it to her. Just dumb. Dumb basketball. How do you have that big an advantage and you can’t exploit it?”

Pioneer Press: Sparks beat Minnesota at buzzer to spoil Lynx’s celebratory season opener

SB Nation: The short-handed Sparks stunned the Lynx in season opener

LA Times AP:

“Chelsea is the game-winner queen,” said Odyssey Sims, who led the Sparks with 21 points. “I don’t know how she squeezed up and flipped it in. I still don’t believe. I don’t even know how, but it was amazing.”

CBS Minnesota: Lynx Fall To Sparks 77-76 In Intense Home Opener

SB Nation: Sparks vs. Lynx has everything a rivalry needs — and more

Bingo! The Lynx-Sparks rivalry will waste no time getting intense this time around

ESPN: WNBA BPI: What’s next for Sparks and Lynx?

Liberty v. Sky: Fun to see a good crowd supporting Chicago in their sweet new digs. The Q’s fourth quarter made sure they went home happy.

Chicago Daily Herald: Quigley leads team effort as Chicago Sky down Liberty

The Sky, which got points from all 10 players who entered the game and between 13 and 26 minutes from each one of them, is now 2-0 on the season after its win on the road in the season opener Saturday against the Indiana Fever.

“Tina was like, ‘you’ve got a whole new five (coming in)?'” said Faulkner, relaying Charles’ reaction when the Sky again subbed in a fresh five players. “We have fresh legs. (The other teams are worn out sometimes).”

Faulkner, who is back in the fold after missing all of last season with a knee injury, is loving the Sky’s new look.

WGN

It’s certainly not the first basketball game to be played in the venue. In fact, Wintrust Arena has been hosting games for over a half-a-year by this point.

But for the Chicago Sky, everything was new on Sunday night. It was their first regular season game in the venue which they will now call home after previously playing the bulk of their games at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

While time will tell how they’ll fare playing closer to the city that before, at least their first effort lived up to their new arena’s name.

Chicago Sun-Times AP

“I think I want to be aggressive all the time, it just happened to be in the fourth quarter this time,” Quigley said. “We talked about it in the locker room that we had 20 assists on 30 field goals, so the ball was moving and my teammates were finding me, so that’s [a good thing].”

Mercury v. Seattle: Dang, Griner looks good. And the West is gonna be some kind of tussle!

HeraldNet.com Staff & Wire Reports:

“I didn’t feel like we got out of the gate well,” Seattle coach Dan Hughes said. “That’s my responsibility, especially playing a team that’s (already) played a game.”

Brittney Griner had 29 points and 10 rebounds to help Phoenix hold off the Storm. Griner, who led the WNBA in scoring and blocks per game last season, shot 10-for-16 from the field and added four assists and three blocks.

Spokesman-Review AP: Mercury beat Storm 87-82 in Seattle’s WNBA season opener

Seattle Times: Storm rallies but can’t catch Mercury in season opener

“For us, we’re still getting comfortable and developing our identity as a team,” said Bird, who had five assists. “The thing that we’re going to hang our hat on as a team is still in the works. So for us to battle back and to make it a game where we had a chance that says a lot about our resilience.

Sonics Rising: Top 5 Takeaways from the Storm’s 87-82 loss to Phoenix

Sunday evening, the Seattle Storm opened up their 19th season of basketball in Seattle in front of a good crowd. Unfortunately, the Phoenix Mercury looked like a team that made the semi-finals last year and could make another run at a championship this year. Phoenix came out strong in the first quarter as the Storm struggled to make shots and the Mercury were hitting every wide-open shot. Phoenix went up 26-17 after one period of play and were up double-digits by half-time.

News

ESPN: 20 Questions: Diana Taurasi’s historic game, Arike Ogunbowale and Kobe Bryant friendship goals

247Sports: Kelsey Bone ready for WNBA season with new team

UConn Blog: WATCH: Interview With New York Liberty Rookie Kia Nurse

CBC.ca: Canada’s Kia Nurse impresses in WNBA debut

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Bill Laimbeer begins quest to build WNBA’s Aces into champion

New York Times: The Liberty, in Transition, Make a New Home in the Suburbs. I wonder how many journalists will make the trek out to Westchester…

Billboard: The LA Sparks’ Essence Carson Opens Up About Her Blossoming Music Career & Record Company Internship

Ben Dull, HPH: Drop Off: 22 (not so) bold predictions for the 2018 WNBA season

1. Renee Montgomery and Brittney Sykes will combine to hit 130 three-pointers

Neither player made 40 last season. Montgomery’s career high in makes (66) was set in 2010 with Connecticut.

2. Sky will rank in the top-four in offensive efficiency

(This comes with one obvious condition: The clock doesn’t start until Courtney Vandersloot returns.)

 

This team simply needs to take better care of the ball, and they need everybody else around Vandersloot / Allie Quigley / Stefanie Dolson to make their open three-pointers.

3. The first two off the bench for the Sun by season’s end will be Chiney Ogwumike and…Lexie Brown

NCAA

You stay put: Dayton announces contract extension for women’s coach Shauna Green

Bye: OSU women’s basketball: Kalmer leaving program

Quad City Times: Cyclone men, women face significant summer

Worcester Telegram: Globe Trotters: Several former area college athletes choose to pursue professional careers overseas

Good reading: Uncovering the Hidden Resistance History of Black Women Athlete – Professor Amira Rose Davis has uncovered a history of athletic resistance

Amira Rose Davis is an assistant professor of History at Penn State and co-host of the Burn it All Down podcast. We discuss groundbreaking research and her forthcoming book, Can’t Eat A Medal: The Lives and Labors of Black Women Athletes in the Age of Jim Crow. To listen to this entire interview, check out the latest Edge of Sports Podcast.

Dave Zirin: Can you speak how you were able to find your source materials and put together this rarely recorded history of black women athletes?

Amira Rose Davis: This is part of doing black women’s history, in general. There’s not going to be one intuitive place, so you have to get really creative. For me, I started looking at [HBCU] college programs. Black colleges have gems in their archives. There, I found scrapbooks and journals and sometimes you don’t find them in the papers of black women, but you have to look at black men who have daughters or wives and that’s where their papers are actually held. Then, I looked in those papers and you have documents where people are talking about trying to start competitive athletics at Fisk University in the 1920s. All of a sudden, you have all of these documents about college-age women in the 1920s who are saying, “Give us competitive sports. We want to play!”

#WNBAALLDAY

And here I am, trying to be good and read the two theses siting on my desk….

A huge H/T to the fab BIAD pod/twitter feed for a gaggle of articles (Why aren’t these tagged so google finds them?):

Lindsay Gibbs, Yardbarker: Top 10 storylines for the 2018 WNBA season

The 2018 WNBA season launches on May 18, and it is shaping up to be a dynamite five months of basketball.

Exciting players like Angel McCoughtry and DeWanna Bonner have returned from a sabbatical and pregnancy, respectively; superstars such as Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner, Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore, Tina Charles and Candace Parker look ready to build on their legendary careers; while up-and-comers such as Jonquel Jones and Breanna Stewart look to truly come into their own.

Honestly, it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting WNBA seasons yet.
Here are 10 of the biggest storylines to watch this summer.

Jessica Luther, Complex: Skylar Diggins-Smith Wants the WNBA to Win: ‘You Can’t Be What You Can’t See’

Most would say that Skylar Diggins-Smith is competitive. But anyone who’s spent time with the Dallas Wings point guard knows that’s an understatement. She’s always going hard. It’s a Monday evening in Las Colinas, a suburb northwest of Dallas, and Diggins-Smith is bowling with a group of friends, which includes her husband, Daniel Smith—a former wide receiver at Notre Dame—and Wings head coach, Fred Williams. Growing up in South Bend, Indiana, “You either do skating or you bowl,” she says.

We’re in the VIP section of Pinstack, one of those all-in-one entertainment complexes where aside from bowling, you can climb a rock wall, ride in bumper cars, play arcade games, or drink at the bar. To start, Diggins-Smith and her husband play on separate air hockey tables because the newlyweds—who just celebrated their first wedding anniversary—decided it’s healthier for their relationship if they don’t compete against one another. But the habit is hard to break.

Mirin Fader, Bleacher Report: PUT SOME RESPECT ON CANDACE PARKER’S NAME: As she begins her 11th WNBA season, Candace Parker drops knowledge on what it’s like being an OG in the game with plenty left in the tank.

Say hello to the bad guy, they say I’m a bad guy / I come from the bottom but now I’m mad fly / They say I’m a menace, that’s the picture they paint / They say a lot about me, let me tell you what I ain’t.

Candace Parker loves Jay-Z’s “Say Hello.” She too has been labeled many things: egotistical, standoffish to the media, difficult to play with, settles for too many jumpers, is too intense and argues with the referees too much.

“A lot of people love her, and a lot of people on the court hate her because of how good she is, how talented she is, but also because of the confidence she exudes,” says Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike. “She’s very, very misunderstood.”

Ava Wallace, Washington Post: Monique Currie never really left Washington, but she’s changed on her return to Mystics

Monique Currie had almost made it to the end of her first media appearance back in a Washington Mystics jersey when guard Tayler Hillcut into the semicircle of reporters to ask for a selfie. Hill slung an arm around Currie, who immediately threw up a peace sign for the photo op before Hill skipped away. When the interview finished, Currie slapped low five with a passing Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and laughed with Coach-General Manager Mike Thibault.

On that morning this month, Currie was one of just two non-rookies milling about Capital One Arena who didn’t play for Washington last year; Thibault had added her and fifth-year pro Devereaux Peters as free agents during the offseason. But Currie didn’t seem like a newbie.

“D.C. has always been home,” she said.

More at B/R: Roundtable: Experts on What to Expect in the 2018 WNBA Season

You might be one of many fans lamenting the approach of a long summer with “no basketball,” but here’s the thing: There will be basketball. World-class basketball, in fact, courtesy of the ballers of the WNBA, who are tipping off the league’s 22nd season Friday.          

Start with 12 teams, a 34-game season, and one rivalry—the Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx—that resulted in one of the highest-rated finalsever last year. Add stars such as Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, who’ve returned stateside after dominating overseas, and rookies such as A’ja Wilson, Azura Stevens and Jordin Canada, who are bringing the buzz from the NCAA tournament as they prepare to make their WNBA debuts. Now, all that’s left is to sort things out on the hardwood.

Lyndsey D’ArcAngelo, Them: The WNBA’s Most Outspoken Gender-Nonconforming Player Is Over Shame

Layshia Clarendon isn’t going to apologize for who she is. She’s come into her own as one of the WNBA’s only gender-nonconforming players, and her LGBTQ+ advocacy and raw authenticity is a rainbow that pierces through dark clouds of conformity in professional sports. In an interview with them., she says she isn’t going to “dim my light” in order to make other people more comfortable, no matter what. And she means it.

Clarendon’s identity as a gender-nonconforming individual, a devout Christian, a person of color, a lesbian, and a professional basketball player have all been diametrically tied to one another. And as she’s grown more confident in who she is, embracing every single part of herself along the way, her confidence on the basketball court has become paramount to her success.

Shea Serrano, The Ringer: The WNBA Season Is Tipping Off

The WNBA season starts Friday. That’s exciting because, among other things, (1) this past WNBA Finals, in which the Minnesota Lynx defeated the Los Angeles Sparks, was the highest-rated WNBA Finals in 14 years, which means things are trending upward; and also (2) this past NCAA women’s tournament produced the best, most electric, most suspenseful final three games of any basketball tournament in recent memory, and the buzz from that is still soaking the atmosphere, so let’s hurry up and get started here, is the thinking.

As such, maybe you (like me) are feeling like you want to spend more time watching WNBA games this season. But maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of learning a new kind of game on the fly (like I was), and new game rules on the fly (like I was), and new game schemes and game tendencies and game actions and game reactions and game terminology on the fly (like I was). If that’s the case, then you can take the rest of this article as a CliffsNotes of sorts for the WNBA, because it’s different from the NBA, which I know because there’s an extra letter in it, which makes it different, because that’s how “different” works.

Michael Baumann, The Ringer: In A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Could Finally Have a Superstar Athlete to Call Its Own

Wilson’s South Carolina teams were electrifying, but not in the fast-moving, dangerously beautiful way in which we usually use that word in sports. Last year’s Oregon team — with its fast-paced, outside-shooting-based offense — was traditionally electrifying. South Carolina basketball is electrifying in the “NOT ONLY WILL THIS KILL YOU, IT WILL HURT THE WHOLE TIME YOU’RE DYING” sense of the word.

Last year, South Carolina finished third in the nation in free throw attempts, 10th in field goal percentage, third in blocked shots, and 26th in rebounding margin. It was, by contrast, tied for 238th out of 349 teams in made 3-pointers. Not only was this not Oregon-style, this wasn’t even the preppy, Disney movie bad-guy dominance of UConn — South Carolina was like a glacier, advancing slowly, and flattening the landscape in its path.

Tamryn Spruill, Swish Appeal: Basketball legend Diana Taurasi teams up with BodyArmor in ad honoring her greatness

So, what goals remain for a human who already has won it all? For starters, Taurasi is laser-focused on the minutiae — the individual stones that pave the path towards bigger things.

“I’ve said it a lot, where you go into a training camp and all you talk about is championships and you forget to do all the work and the next thing you know, you lose in the semifinals,” said Taurasi. “I think this team has put together a roster where we should compete for a championship and it should be talked about, to win a title. But that only happens when you do the work … when you show up every single day ready to play, and ready to compete, respecting your opponents.” 

Over at WomensHoopsWorld, Jim Clark takes a deep dive into the Sun.

The Sun went from a ninth-place league finish in 2016 to fourth last season, and sprinted into the playoffs for the first time in five years by winning 19 of their final 21 regular-season games. They scored an average 86 points per game, blistering some opponents – including the powerhouse Minnesota Lynx – to whom they gave their first loss.

The emergence of 6-6 center Jonquel Jones from “who?” into an All-Star was the most obvious difference-maker for Connecticut, as she averaged a double-double and led the league in rebounds all season long in her sophomore year.

Jones was not alone in her advancement, however. Both veteran point guard Jasmine Thomas and second-year guard Courtney Williams improved in nearly every statistical category, providing support for the brilliance of Jones and the rock-steady play of forward Alyssa Thomas. That core group can take the Sun back to the playoffs. The most enticing question, as the season begins, is how much impact the return of 2014 Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike and top-three pick Morgan Tuck will have to elevate the Sun to truly elite status.

Sharon Shabazz adds: Sky view: Alaina Coates is ready for her rookie season and Joe Veyera has Newly-deep Storm looking to get back to winning ways

Also – if you aren’t checkin’ High Post Hoops, you’re missin’ out…

In other news….anyone noticing a pattern? Scandal after scandal focuses scrutiny on USC leadership, culture

As with Tyndall, USC chose not to report the physician to authorities when top administrators learned of misconduct allegations.

The scandals have many inside and outside the university asking how both doctors could have operated in such sensitive positions for so long and whether USC was more concerned with keeping the allegations of misconduct secret than trying to fully investigate them.

“It was an egregious violation of its societal responsibilities for USC to keep quiet about Dr. Tyndall’s misconduct,” said Nancy Jecker, a professor of bioethics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Far from remaining neutral, silence took sides with power and privilege while failing to safeguard vulnerable patients.”

#WNBAAllDay

and stay in for some Sunday WNBA basketball…’cause EVERYBODY PLAYS!!!! (Get your twitter schedule here)

1pm Connecticut v Las Vegas:

Indiana v. Washington

3pm: Atlanta v. Dallas

5pm: Los Angeles v. Minnesota

7pm: Westchester v. Chicago

9pm: Phoenix v. Seattle

Until then:

The Fever were ahead. And then they were very much not. Indy Star’s Matthew Van Tryon: Young Indiana Fever team gets rude awakening in season-opener

Indiana Fever rookie and former IndyStar Miss Basketball Stephanie Mavunga took the microphone before the team’s season opener and thanked the crowd for coming to support the team, receiving a loud ovation. It was just another sign that the focal point of this team going forward will be its youth.

But an 82-64 loss to the Chicago Sky showed that there will be growing pains along the way.

From highlights the two main contributors in Chicago’s season-opening win against the Indiana Fever: Allie Quigley & Diamond DeShields.

BTW, from Babcok McGraw: As season opens, Chicago Sky will lean on its depth

“Depth is one thing that we have that few teams do,” Stocks said. “A lot of teams will have a seven-player rotation and I think we will be able to get productive minutes from 10 players every game.”

In fact, Stocks is so committed to playing a deep bench that she is already planning on a slightly unusual rotation that includes two sets of starters.

Hashtag Basketball has The Morning After: Mercury vs Wings

Jack Maloney at Medium: DeWanna Bonner shines, shows versatility in triumphant return to Mercury lineup

This season, however, the Mercury just might have what it takes to return to championship contention and prevent a three-match between the Sparks and Minnesota Lynx in the Finals. They made a number of nice moves this offseason to improve their team, but if they are able to get back to contender status, one of the main reasons why will be DeWanna Bonner. The lanky, versatile 6–4 forward is back in action after missing all of last season on maternity leave, and provides a much-needed boost on both ends of the floor.

Listen up: Hear Coach Thibault break down camp, the new season, the state of the WNBA.

From The Athletic – who should have the WNBA as one of the leagues they list on the “curate your reading” page – The Lynx-Sparks rivalry will waste no time getting intense this time around (bummer Parker is a scratch for the game)

When you are as intense as the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, the thought of standing through a championship ring ceremony for the team you lost to in the WNBA Finals is an uncomfortable scenario.

When the WNBA unveiled its schedule in February with the Minnesota Lynx and Sparks meeting opening day at Target Center in a rematch of the past two WNBA Finals, Parker voiced her displeasure with the league:

Also: Extended Q&A with Cheryl Reeve on her future, balancing two roles and more

When The Athletic sat down with Lynx GM and coach Cheryl Reeve and assistant GM Clare Duwelius this offseason, a lot of ground was covered in the hour-long conversation.

The bulk of the chat served as the framework for a story on Tuesday that detailed Reeve’s efforts to keep the Lynx dynasty rolling and the newly structured front office setup with Duwelius as her right-hand woman.

There was a lot that had to be left on the cutting room floor. So here are some excerpts of the conversation on Reeve’s desire to one day get into ownership, her appetite to continue coaching and raising her family in Minnesota, edited for clarity and length.

Howard at the Athletic: Storm’s offseason additions could mean a return to WNBA’s elite

In other, related news: Michigan State Will Pay $500 Million to Abuse Victims. What Comes Next?

And Diana says, “Hello, remember me?” Familiar faces return, but familiar star Diana Taurasi leads Mercury past Wings

In a WNBA season opener that had some intriguing comeback stories — including the return of Dallas center Liz Cambage — the star of the game was that player who for so long has made defenses groan, “Ugh, she never goes away.”

Or as Phoenix’s DeWanna Bonner put it, “Still the GOAT — that’s exactly what she is.”

Jeff Metcalfe, AZ Central: Diana Taurasi hits 1,000th career 3-pointer in Mercury’s season-opening win

Now there is definite proof that it’s better to not play basketball with a wedding hangover.

The Phoenix Mercury tried that, not by choice, last season and managed all of 58 points in a 10-point loss to the Dallas Wings on the day after celebrating Diana Taurasi’s marriage to Penny Taylor.

Friday night, again against the Wings, the Mercury broke away in the third and fourth quarters for an 86-78 victory to kick off the WNBA’s 22nd season.

High Post: Brittney Griner and Liz Cambage duel to open the 2018 WNBA season

For Griner, the change may need to be more of a mental one. The Mercury have been grooming her to take Taurasi’s spot as the heart of the franchise and a leader in the locker room for two years now. She is getting more comfortable, but that fire flickers out from time to time.

The next adjustment will be to a force out of her control — WNBA officiating. Griner is an impossible player to call fairly, with length to interrupt every shot and strength to ignore defense played against her. At war with Cambage, Griner gave the referees no chance, sitting for large portions of the game in foul trouble.

Did you miss the game ’cause you were having dinner with your second cousins? NO WORRIES. Revisit it: Free Through 5/24: Watch Live WNBA Games

Post final cuts: Drop Off: tough roster decisions, value of versatile shooters

Appreciate all the concerns about the W having “too much talent” and needing more franchises. Thoughts:

  1. Let’s stabilize the following franchises first, shall we? New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas
  2. Let’s get in-person attendance up to 75% per team.
  3. Let’s get TV viewership up 20%
  4. Let’s get more games on TV.
  5. Let’s get online viewership up 20%
  6. Let’s see how many teams distribute minutes across their bench
  7. Then, let’s find business-savvy people with $15-20 million in their account who are ready to spend it and have a five-year plan

For the Win: WNBA rookie A’ja Wilson is just excited she doesn’t have to go to class after her 1st game

Love this woman: Scott D. Pierce: Still battling cancer, Utahn Holly Rowe gets a chance to call a WNBA game for ESPN

I’m such a sap: Delino DeShields and his sister, WNBA star Diamond, had an adorable embrace before Rangers

High Post Hoops offers: Top 20 WNBA players countdown, ranked for the 2018 season: Part 1

18 players have been waived in the past two days. More cuts are coming both today and tomorrow. Shaping a WNBA roster can be difficult for a variety of reasons.

Five teams in particular stand out.

Also: The Chosen Three: Indiana Fever 2018 team preview

Show them your money! WNBA extends deal with FanDuel, offers contest for Las Vegas trip as Bettors back Aces at long odds to win WNBA title

Need some help? Forbes: The Pareto Principle And Forecasting The WNBA

No surprise: Minnesota Lynx sit atop preseason AP WNBA power poll – again

.com: Race to MVP: Brittney Griner Leads Preseason Rankings

SportsTechie: WNBA President Lisa Borders Previews the Future of Women’s Basketball

Michelle Smith: Inside The W: 22 Questions Heading into the WNBA’s 22nd Season

SB Nation: 3 reasons to be stoked about the new WNBA season

.com: Preseason Power Rankings: Can Anyone Catch the Lynx and Sparks?

All the “stick to sports” fans are gonna be pissed. And I’m lovin’ it: The WNBA Is Starting a New Season—Of Activism—By Asking Fans to ‘Take a Stand’ and  The WNBA Is Standing With Planned Parenthood

The WNBA season opens tonight, and the league announced Thursday the “Take A Seat, Take A Stand” program; for each ticket purchased, the league will donate $5 to one of six organizations that focus on issues key to women’s lives—and one of those organizations is Planned Parenthood.

Given the history of activism with WNBA players, this isn’t the biggest surprise—but it’s still pretty significant.

With the new NIKE gear (almost) here, some food for thought: At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives

For too many women, life inside Nike had turned toxic.

There were the staff outings that started at restaurants and ended at strip clubs. A supervisor who bragged about the condoms he carried in his backpack. A boss who tried to forcibly kiss a female subordinate, and another who referenced a staff member’s breasts in an email to her.

Then there were blunted career paths. Women were made to feel marginalized in meetings and were passed over for promotions. They were largely excluded from crucial divisions like basketball. When they complained to human resources, they said, they saw little or no evidence that bad behavior was being penalized.

Finally, fed up, a group of women inside Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters started a small revolt.

WBHOF

World’s largest basketball at Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame gets 80-gallon paint job

NCAA

East Bay Times: Cal athletic department employee fired after report verifies sex assault allegations

After a months-long investigation sparked by a star basketball player’s allegations of sexual assault, UC-Berkeley has fired a longtime ​official in its athletic department ​for conduct involving at least seven women athletes, bringing the university’s long struggles with sexual harassment into the #metoo era.​

Mohamed Muqtar, 61, who served as assistant director of student services, was ​let go​ May 11​, a story first reported by ESPN.​ It is not clear when the university was first informed of claims against him​; ESPN reported that a former Cal instructor said she had twice in the past raised concerns with the athletic department after hearing from female athletes but was told nothing could be done unless the athletes themselves came forward.

​Muqtar’s alleged behavior​, which involved no fewer than seven women athletes over 20 years, ​finally burst into the open in January when Layshia Clarendon, a standout guard at Cal who currently plays professionally in the WNBA, filed a civil suit that launched a four-month investigation.

Cool that the dean of CUNY’s School for Professional Studies and I were chatting about this: Lindsay Whalen Juggles Jobs as a W.N.B.A. Player and an N.C.A.A. Coach

Lindsay Whalen had already secured her legacy in the state of Minnesota.

She led the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team to a Final Four as a player, after growing up in Hutchinson, Minn., about an hour’s drive from campus. After a successful tenure with the Connecticut Sun, she returned to Minnesota in 2011 to join the Lynx, and served as point guard for four W.N.B.A. championship teams and two other trips to the finals, a vital cog in the most sustained success by any group in league history.

And yet there was a new reason to cheer this month when Whalen joined her teammates on “Minnesota Lynx Night” at Target Field before a Twins game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Just kidding! She’s back! Bianca Cuevas-Moore not leaving the Gamecocks after all

Long term planning: Women’s Basketball: Huskies set to face Vanderbilt in 2018 Hall of Fame Showcase

Building the Dam: 2018-2019 Oregon State Women’s Basketball: A Way Too Early Preview

WNDU TV: ND women’s basketball’s traveling trophy series kicks off in SB

Anonymous Eagle: Marquette Women’s Basketball Announces Addition Of Amanda Maqueia

Since the Marquette women’s basketball season ended in March, the Golden Eagles have undergone two somewhat unexpected departures. First, it was Myriama Smith-Traore announcing her decision to transfer, and then it was Olivia Moskari being a surprise additionto the senior tribute section at the end of season banquet.

That left head coach Carolyn Kieger with three open scholarships for this coming fall instead of the lone spot that was expected. On Tuesday, the team announced that they’ve filled one of those spots with junior college transfer Amanda Maqueia.

High School

Congrats! She’s good people: Talawanda High School names Mary Jo Huismann as its next girls’ basketball coach

The Talawanda Board of Education approved the hiring of the Ohio Basketball Hall-of-Famer and former longtime Mother of Mercy High School coach at its meeting.

“She is not only a proven winner but she also has knowledge of building a program and also has great leadership,” Talawanda Athletic Director Wes Cole told WCPO. “Those qualities stood out with our interview committee. We were looking for someone to build our entire program from the youth levels to high school.”

Huismann is just four wins from becoming the third Ohio high school girls’ basketball coach in history to win 700 career games, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association

Anxious times for all awaiting news of “cut” or “keep.” Thursday’s a comin’…

Las Vegas Review: Aces rookie center Ji-Su Park impresses with skill, enthusiasm

Check out   for their, “O, Canada!” tweets.

Rob Knox: Mississippi State Grad Victoria Vivians’ Rookie Debut Under Way With Indy

It hasn’t taken long for Indiana Fever rookie guard Victoria Vivians to find her way to one of Indianapolis’ best eating spots: A mouth-watering soul food restaurant called Country Kitchen.

“I had the fried catfish and the greens,” a smiling Vivians said prior to the Fever’s second preseason game against the Washington Mystics at the University of Delaware Saturday night. “Everything was good. Indianapolis is a great city and I am grateful to be there. I can’t wait to play there in front of the fans in an official game.”

Ciao! An Italian Economist From 1906 Helps Preview The WNBA East

Minnesota CBS local: Playing Horse With The WNBA Vet Who’s Never Made A 3-Pointer

Wings: Inside the Paint: Coach Taj

,com: 2018 Season Preview: Five Reasons To Watch The New York Liberty Work

espn: Just how far can every WNBA team go this season?

The 2018 WNBA season tips off Friday, and even those teams who didn’t make the playoffs last summer — Atlanta, Chicago, Indiana and Las Vegas (then in San Antonio) — have reasons to believe they can get back to the postseason. Minnesota and Los Angeles, the titans of the past two seasons, return enough talent to once again be favorites for the championship. But they aren’t guaranteed to make the WNBA Finals, as some other teams are hungry to get their shot at winning a title.

Here’s a look at what could be the best-case scenario for every WNBA squad in 2018 — and also what could be the worst case.

For the Win:Meet the mom behind the most successful family in women’s hoops

The Undefeated: Motherhood is the guiding light in Los Angeles Sparks Candace Parker’s life

NCAA

The State: Build that statue! A’ja Wilson receives a very special graduation present from USC

The sign sits on the edge of the desk, almost missed among an office — populated by books, binders, plaques and the like — your basic head basketball coach’s office. The sign, with its inscription, is quite adept at drawing the visitor in.
Teach. Love. Inspire.

The sign sits in Stephanie Gaitley’s office at Fordham. Interestingly, it almost perfectly sums up her three-plus decades as a head coach, a career that recently added MBWA Maggie Dixon Coach of the Year honors to an illustrious resume. This past season, Gaitley led the Rams to second-round WNIT appearance, furthering the winning culture she established upon her arrival in 2011.

Debbie Antonelli was in Indiana broadcasting a WNBA game when she got the call in early July 2011. It was from her friend Robin Pingeton, fresh off her first season as Missouri’s women’s basketball coach.

She probably wanted to talk about recruiting, Antonelli figured. Robin left a voicemail. She was in the hospital. She’d just had a baby.

BTW: Have you been paying attention, NCAA? USOC can’t just look ahead to better sex abuse prevention. It must face its failures.

Presumably, the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee don’t wake up in the morning saying, “I want to enable child molesters.” They don’t go to work every day intending to help peddle young women to sexual abusers. Yet somehow, the USOC became a victimizer of athletes instead of their protector.

It’s hard to say what’s more sickening to read, the graphic descriptions of coaches rubbing up against their young charges or the chronology of years-long inaction by USOC administrators that left athletes vulnerable.

 

Survive and advance…

That’s how teachers feel about May and how, I’m sure, many of those battling for spots on W teams feel, too.

Keep up with who’s cut/who’s not via the .com transactions page and your team’s roster. Might recommend you follow your team on twitter, as updating can be…slow. Also, Welcome to the WNBA: Good Luck Finding a Job

“Ball! Ball! Ball!” a chorus of players screamed inside the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, where the Los Angeles Sparks were holding training camp. The gym was filled with W.N.B.A. stars like Candace Parker, Odyssey Sims and Alana Beard, but the voices ringing out loudest were the rookies competing for a spot on the team.

Winning a spot will be no easy feat with the Sparks coming off back-to-back W.N.B.A. finals appearances.

Shakayla Thomas, who was the team’s second-round pick in last month’s draft, is one of those rookies. A star at Florida State, she is not guaranteed a roster spot despite being drafted, and she could be packing her bags in a matter of days.

NCAA.com: A record 4 Ivy Leaguers trying to make WNBA teams

Lynx

Times Herald-Record: Lynx set sights on back-to-back WNBA titles

ESPN: Lynx duo Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles bring out the best in each other

How is this possible? In the NFL, it means you can’t play quarterback! Minnesota Lynx WNBA Star Rebekkah Brunson Credits Vegan Diet for Career Longevity

Listen up! Lynx Radio

Storm

.com2018 Season Preview: Five Reasons To Watch The Seattle Storm Work

Mystics

.com 2018 Season Preview: Five Reasons To Watch The Washington Mystics Work

Mercury

.com: 2018 Season Preview: Five Reasons To Watch The Phoenix Mercury Work

.com: 2018 Season Preview: Five Reasons To Watch The Chicago Sky Work

Aces
Wings
Sun
Liberty
OMG, I actually got an email from the New York Liberty asking me to buy single tickets! *insert shocked face* Yes, the sarcasm is deep this morning.
Fever
Atlanta
Other W Stuff

First up on the show, Brenda, Shireen, Lindsay, and Jessica reflect on this year and look forward to the next one.

Then, Lindsay interviews sure-to-be-a-legend Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics about Adam Silver’s recent comments about the WNBA, how WNBA president Lisa Borders is doing, and EDD publicly coming out.

Up next, Wyomia Tyus — a two-time olympian, track legend, and author — joins Amira to talk about Tyus’ experiences playing sports in the Jim Crow South, the 1968 Olympics, and athletic protest. They also preview Tyus’ memoir, Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story.

Then the BIAD crew, once again, talks about diversity in sports media (or lack thereof).

As always, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, Bad Ass Women of the Week, and what’s good in our worlds.

Which makes this wicked important: WNBA to Work with Sylvain Labs on Growth Opportunities

NCAA

Listen up! Blake speaks with Emily Potter

Former Utah WBB player Emily Potter talks to me about her decision to write an article for her school newspaper that detailed her battle with depression. We talk about what it took to get to that point, her low points in that fight and what her life has been like since the article. We also discuss her food instagram, her homemade cake pops and her love of Christmas.

If you’re looking for a great place to combine Thanksgiving turkey and basketball, check this out: UNC Basketball: Tar Heels to participate in Paradise Jam and  UConn basketball’s 2018 Paradise Jam bracket revealed

Slap the Sign: Notre Dame Basketball: NBA Coach Seeks Advice from Notre Dame’s McGraw

Notre Dame Insider: Notre Dame’s shooting star: Arike Ogunbowale’s journey filled with big shots, big moments

Rev’em up, coachWhirlwind start for new BG basketball coach Fralick

Good luck! New Georgia State basketball coach, Gene Hill is a proven winner

That’s one! Scalia commits to play for Whalen, Gophers That’s two! Gophers basketball lands four-star guard

Daily News Journal: 3 ways Matt Insell’s hiring gives MTSU basketball a needed spark

HelloAgnus Berenato to Give Commencement Speech at Mount St. Mary’s

ByeLawson leaves Purdue basketball program

ByeWilson Central basketball star Kendall Spray leaving UT Martin for Clemson

Bye: Sabrina Haines transferring from ASU basketball

Hello: Danni Williams transfers to Texas

Hello: Purdue basketball adds Texas Tech transfer

Thank you: Jim Foster made immeasurable contributions to basketball

Foster — who retired Tuesday after 40 years with 903 wins and as the only coach to take four different teams (Saint Joseph’s, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Chattanooga) to the NCAA tournament — expected people to pay attention and think for themselves. That included his players, his assistant coaches, the media and even fans.

He wanted to know what you knew. And if it was obvious you didn’t know anything, he wanted to know why. There was no excuse for that.

Thank you: Central Valley basketball coach Freddie Rehkow resigns

Central Valley girls basketball coach Freddie Rehkow resigned from the position on Tuesday morning after 21 years, citing the desire to concentrate on the needs of his family.

“My boys need me, my wife needs me,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Rehkow coached the 2017-18 Bears to a state 4A title, their second in three seasons, and won a postseason national invitation tournament in New York.

Thank you: Stan Swank Announces Retirement After 31 Years as Basketball Coach

The end of an incredible era of winning has arrived. After 31 years as Edinboro University’s women’s basketball coach, Stan Swank has announced his retirement.
 
Swank completed his 31st season as Edinboro’s head coach recently. He departs as the all-time winningest coach in PSAC basketball history, both men’s and women’s basketball, with a 581-305 record. He broke the PSAC record for career victories with his 560th career win on December 2 at Mansfield, breaking the record previously held by Bloomsburg’s Charles Chronister.

Thank you: Kennard-Dale basketball coach to retire after reviving program

When he agreed to take a junior varsity position with the Kennard-Dale girls’ program four years ago, he still didn’t think another varsity head coaching job was in his future. 

But it was. Rudisill accepted the top girls’ job at Kennard-Dale in 2016, and turned the Rams from a losing team into a state playoff qualifier in just two seasons. 

That turnaround is giving him peace of mind as he steps away from coaching.

A loss: Clare Droesch, former Boston College guard, dies at 36. From the Daily News’ Kristie Ackert: Remembering NYC high school hoops legend Clare Droesch 

The thing I remember about Clare Droesch was not so much the natural way she found the basket. It wasn’t so much the sweet jump shot that took her from Christ the King to the national stage at Boston College. It wasn’t even her self-assuredness on the court or the dry sense of humor she had.

The thing that alway stuck with me about Clare was the respect that other players had for her.

Good reading

From my former WBMagazine editor, Lois Elfman: Panel Tackles Issues of Sexism, Misogyny and Patriarchy

On Feb. 27, 2018, renowned journalist, award-winning writer and media consultant Carol Jenkins hosted a dynamic panel discussion at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. The panelists for “Urgent Conversations: Sexism, Misogyny and Patriarchy, Where Do We Go from Here?” included journalist Susan Chira, attorney and commentator Wendy Kaminer, social justice advocate Carol Robles-Román and cultural anthropologist Dr. Bianca C. Williams.

As the lone academic on the panel, Williams, associate professor in the anthropology program at the CUNY Graduate Center, provided insights into her work, experiences and perspective in academia.

Holy sexist bullshit: Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel: D’Amato: Time not right for Becky Hammon to coach Bucks

What they need is an experienced coach with a strong personality to get them to the next level. I’m not saying Hammon can’t be that person. I’m saying it’s too big a risk to find out whether she is or isn’t.

***

But what if she failed? What if the team took a step backward under her leadership? The Bucks would come under fire for allowing a “social experiment” to derail their title aspirations. Critics would howl that the ownership group was out of touch, that the team wasted two or three years of Antetokounmpo’s prime on a publicity stunt.

It’s just too big a gamble for a team teetering between good and potentially great.

Players Tribune: An Open Letter About Female Coaches

The reason I wanted to start by telling you about my parents, is that their story makes me think about today’s NBA. Specifically about how, in the 72-year history of the league, there has never been a female head coach. Even more specifically, it makes me think of Becky Hammon: a coach who has been the topic of much conversation lately, and who I’ve had the opportunity to play for in San Antonio.

But if you think I’m writing this to argue why Becky is qualified to be an NBA head coach … well, you’re mistaken. That part is obvious: One, she was an accomplished player — with an elite point guard’s mind for the game. And two, she has been a successful assistant for arguably the greatest coach in the game. What more do you need? But like I said — I’m not here to make that argument. Arguing on Coach Hammon’s behalf would feel patronizing. To me, it would be strange if NBA teams were not interested in her as a head coach.

Sarah Spain: ‘Area 21’ authentically embraces women athletes

It’s late April in Atlanta and a heated debate breaks out on the set of TNT’s “Area 21.” The show’s host, former Timberwolves and Celtics legend Kevin Garnett, is halfway out of his chair with excitement, while former Sonics great Gary Payton is cackling away on a nearby couch. Both men are focused on Candace Parker, who’s going off, analyzing the moves of Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“Antetokounmpo crip walks down the court! He be doing this,” the Los Angeles Sparks superstar and two-time WNBA MVP exclaims while pantomiming the dance’s footwork from her leather armchair, “and then dunks! He euros eight times! … I don’t understand how you stop him when he can travel!”

Garnett has been waiting for this opportunity to unearth an old debate.

“Right after she gets done, ask the question!” he interrupts, yelling over to Larry Lacksen, a.k.a. Wonder Boy, who’s seated at a giant wooden desk underneath an illuminated “Area 21” sign.

“This is a relevant question here from Derek,” says Wonder Boy, reading a viewer question from a laptop. “Gary Payton, is Candace Parker’s post move a travel?’

“Oh, we’re going to the court!” Parker yells. “Oh, we’re going!”

Dad on Friday, where I got to hear Vijay Seshadri read.

Mom Saturday and Sunday, where we got to take a walk, see a golden retriever who’d found the only mud puddle around, and eat a yummy BLT. This morning, the tufted titmice are claiming spring is here with their insistent “Peter, peter, peter” and there’s a downy woodpecker crawling up a tree. Life is good.

Meanwhile, lordy Mr. Silver, do better (Adam Silver: One of the WNBA’s problems is that not enough young women pay attention to it). Sigh.

Katie Barnes: A shift in the WNBA season? Show me the money

Would having the WNBA’s season run during the fall and winter help improve the league’s profitability? That’s a question NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he contemplates, according to an interview Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

“It’s been harder to get people to come to the games,” Silver said. “It may be because the games are in the summer. One of the things we’ve talked about is do we need to shift to the so-called more natural basketball season sort of in the fall and winter?”

It’s not a new thought. Traditionally the idea goes as follows: Summer is for swimming and flip flops; it’s for running outside, not lacing up high tops or sitting in dark arenas. And there’s some truth to that argument.

But the WNBA would need to vastly restructure its compensation agreements with players for this thought to ever gain traction.

Sue’s action steps from September, 2015: Marketing the WNBA? Here’s a plan

A response from Elena Delle Donne

Pick and Roll: Kristy Wallace: From injury nightmare to WNBA Dream

WLTX: A’ja Is Embracing Her New Role As A Headliner In Las Vegas

FoxReno: Catching up with Gabby Williams

Hey, ya wanna new gig? From the Minny Star Tribune: Women coaching men’s basketball? Why not a hugely successful Minnesota coach?

Who’s got game? Seattle’s mayor takes on WNBA star Sue Bird in HORSE

Feel like watching some basketball? High Post Hoops will catch you up WNBA players shine in EuroLeague Final Four: recap and highlights

BTW: Matchups Set for Women’s Medal Round at USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships

Feel like attending a conference? Check out the “Muslim Women in Sport Network Summit”  is their keynote speaker

A ground-breaking global virtual summit featuring some of the leading Muslim women experts in sport. The conference will showcase inspirational women in sport who lead, inform, and display innovative practices across the sport industry. From Sport for Development to Leadership and Athlete Advocacy, the focus will be on a call to action to purposefully pursue and embrace diversity as a critical enhancer to best practice in sport.

WATN? Kristin Haynie starts free basketball clinic for Benton Harbor students

NCAA

New hire: Lance White Named Pitt Women’s Basketball Head Coach

New hire: The La Salle Official Announcement of New Wbb Coach Mountain MacGillivray’s Hire

AP: South Carolina will look different, plans to have same success

Dawn Staley is ready to start a new chapter her South Carolina women’s basketball program.

The coach believes the program will continue its winning ways, albeit with a different look. The Gamecocks won’t be led by dominant post players, Staley will turn her focus to her backcourt.

’cause why the heck not? 2019 WNBA Draft: Way-too-early mock draft

Jack Maloney at Medium: A guide to the EuroLeague Women 2018 Final Four

Following the WNBA Draft 2018, the next big event on the women’s basketball calendar is the EuroLeague Women Final Four. This year’s edition will be held in Sopron, Hungary, a city of just 61,000 tucked into the far Northwest corner of Hungary, right along the Austrian border. And it just so happens that Sopron Basket, the city’s premier women’s basketball squad, has made a surprise run to the Final Four.

With all of the excitement just a few days away, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this thrilling event.

And why aren’t you following/reading Paul? Petrovic ready to go 11 in a row

For a staggering 11th consecutive season and indeed every one of her EuroLeague Women career to date, Sonja Petrovic has been on the roster of a Final Four or Final Eight club.

Recognized as one of the great European players of her generation and with her appeal extending beyond the Continent, Petrovic is looking to add to her silverware haul with Dynamo Kursk this year as the reigning champions try to defend their title.

Also from Paul: My EuroLeague Women Final Four ups, downs and ratings for 2012-2017

OK: It’s time for us in America to appreciate women’s professional basketball abroad more

WNBA

From the Marquette Wire: Nicki Collen brings Marquette experience to professional level

Marquette women’s basketball has yet to establish a strong presence in the Women’s National Basketball Association, but that is beginning to change. In October, the Atlanta Dream hired former Marquette guard Nicki Collen, formerly Nicki Taggart, as their head coach.

“It is a little exhilarating and terrifying at the same time,” Collen said. “I like meeting new people. I like selling our league and selling our team. I think there are a lot of great things about the opportunity to be the head of an organization.”

In case you wondering, as Nike Unveils New Jerseys, Alliance At WNBA Draft,  The Evolution of the WNBA Jersey

Mystics: Courier-Journal: Myisha Hines-Allen’s new WNBA coach didn’t need her, but drafted her for her ‘toughness’ and Ariel Atkins’ efficiency, athleticism, and work ethic are what the Mystics need at the wing

BTW: Woot! ESPN’s Audience for WNBA Draft 2018 Presented by State Farm Up +25%;

From USA Basketball: Roster Set for USA Basketball Women’s National Team Camp in Seattle

NCAA

Lots of coaching news:

From the NCAA: Where are the women?

Yet in 2016, while more women play college sports than ever before, just over 40 percent of NCAA women’s teams have a female head coach. That number is down from 55 percent when Hutchins began her coaching career in 1981 — the year NCAA women’s championships got their start. And, according to the “Women in Intercollegiate Sport” study produced by Brooklyn College professors emerita Linda Carpenter and R. Vivian Acosta, before Title IX — the 1972 federal gender equity law — more than 90 percent of women’s teams were coached by women. The steady decline over the decades begs the question: What is driving women away from coaching?

Speaking of which (didja notice what I did here?)

Ouch: Former Utah Valley basketball players cite ‘toxic environment’ for early departures

Boulder Daily Camera: JR Payne excited for future of CU Buffs basketball

Listen Up! In episode #50! Burn It All Down talks Michigan State failures, WNBA draft, and Muffet McGraw reflects on history

The Eagle: Defining ‘family’: Basketball travels to players’ hometowns

In her nearly four years at AU, women’s basketball senior guard Emily Kinneston has only had one Thanksgiving dinner at home. It included industrial-size serving trays, dozens of folding chairs and enough mashed potatoes to feed an entire Division I basketball team, coaching staff, medical personnel, sports information directors and bus driver.

She brought her team home for Thanksgiving.

Cool: Purdue basketball player Abby Abel named grand marshal of 500 Festival Parade

Goodbye/hello: Aussie wing transfers to TCU from Oregon

Goodbye: Siena Basketball loses three players

Wow: NAIA to Combine Basketball Divisions: Will move to a single division in both men’s and women’s basketball in 2020-2021

From Lady Vols: In Memoriam: #LadyVols Legend Daedra Charles (Furlow):

In other news

Somewhat OT, but always good to think aboutWhen will we separate women on TV from their bodies?

Last August, the Chicago Red Stars professional women’s soccer team held a “Sarah Spain Bobblehead Night,” and a bunch of my friends came with me to the game to celebrate. I got to do the coin toss and sign autographs at halftime, and we all had a blast watching the Red Stars battle the Portland Thorns.

When I got home, I posted a photo of myself to social media surrounded by a gaggle of young soccer fans I’d met, all of whom were probably about 7 years old. I loved that they were able to go see professional women’s soccer players in action and that they were excited to meet me and talk about my job as a sports reporter.

One of the first comments someone on Twitter made responding to the photo was “Your boobs” next to three smiling emojis with hearts for eyes. It was childish, idiotic and not all that uncommon for me, as I get inappropriate comments about my chest all the time. But this time I snapped. It was a photo of me in a soccer jersey up to my neck, surrounded by young girls. What was wrong with this guy? How could that possibly be his takeaway?

and the many, many folks connected to women’s basketball.

Knoxville News Sentinel: Former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball star Daedra Charles-Furlow dies at 49

“She was my roommate,” Adams said Sunday morning. “God made her special, no doubt. She was a phenomenal leader, charismatic. She had a heart for people.” 

The 49-year-old Charles-Furlow was one of six former Tennessee Lady Vols to have her women’s basketball jersey number retired. She won two national championships during her UT career (1988-91). In 1991, she became the first SEC player to win the Wade Trophy and was named SEC woman athlete of the year.

Detroit News: Detroit native, Lady Vols great Daedra Charles-Furlow dies at 49

247 Sports: Lady Vols mourn Daedra Charles-Furlow

Corriere di Comondo: Lutto nel basket: è morta Daedra Charles, alla Comense all’inizio …

Story image for Daedra Charles from Corriere di Como

La brutta notizia è arrivata dalla stampa degli Stati Uniti, il suo Paese. A 49 è morta a Detroit l’ex giocatrice di basket Daedra Charles. Una atleta che i tanti tifosi della Comense non hanno dimenticato. Sul Lario, per lei, una sola stagione, il campionato 1991-1992, quando era ancora giovane, alla sua prima …
WHBOF: Daedra Charles-Furlow
<

From @KaraLawson20

Olympian.
Champion.
All American.
Legend.
Lady Vol.

RIP Daedra Charles 🚊

If you can, perhaps you can make a donation to the Kay Yow Fund in Daedra’s name.

Huge surprise at number one (not). The some interesting decisions.

Grades, grades, we got grades! Sky, Wings, Fever and Aces earn top marks in WNBA draft grades

.com:WNBA Draft 2018: Team-By-Team Analysis

Forbes: By The Numbers: The 2018 WNBA Draft

Hoopfeed: After a stellar college career, A’ja Wilson is first pick in 2018 WNBA Draft, already thinking about ways to improve her game

Sours and Feathers: A’ja Wilson looking forward to playing one former Gamecock teammate

Check out HighPost’s coverage

Listen in on the WNBAInsdr podcast.

The Athletic: Sky’s the limit for Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams, Chicago’s newest basketball rookies

Jackson Clarion Ledger: Where dreams are made: Inside Victoria Vivian’s journey to New York City for WNBA Draft

Great Falls Tribune: From Fairfield to the WNBA: Jill Barta humbled by support, pro hoops opportunity

.com: WNBA Draft 2018: Teammates Today, Opponents Tomorrow

Learn more about Sun draftee Cal Senior Wing Mikayla Cowling

Ava Wallace, Washington Post: Mystics take Texas guard Ariel Atkins in first round of WNBA draft

David Woods, Indy Star: Fever grab high-scoring guards, local star in WNBA draft

1070 The Fan: Fever “Reload” With Three Picks In The Top 15 of The WNBA Draft

Sooooo…. Did the Sparks get a steal? Europeans mocking the WNBA 2018 Draft as it underlines the lack of global game view Stateside. And if you don’t follow Paul’s twitter, you should. Especially this summer…

The Telegraph: Mercer’s Kahlia Lawrence, Georgia’s Mackenzie Engram hear names called in WNBA draft

Waco Tribune Herald: Just like a Dream: Atlanta takes Baylor’s Wallace in WNBA Draft

Landof10: Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty not selected in 2018 WNBA Draft

Nice touch:

ESPN: WNBA draft class embraces new sisterhood

The league invited 10 players to attend the draft in person, and they also spent the days leading up to it together. From eating meals to figuring out what to wear, the group instantly bonded — and even started a lively group-text message.

“Over the past two days, we’ve spent a lot of time together,” said Lexie Brown, who was selected ninth overall by the Connecticut Sun. “We started a really funny group chat and we’re going to keep it going all season long. We have a lot of memes.

Mechelle: Diamond DeShields knows she has plenty to prove in the WNBA

Not long after Diamond DeShields arrived in Turkey last September, she gazed out her window and began to cry. But they weren’t tears of sadness that she wouldn’t be spending another season in college at Tennessee. Or of concern about being far from home in another country.

She wept with gratitude. Her goal, growing up the daughter of a professional athlete, baseball player Delino DeShields, was to be a pro athlete herself. And now she was. Admittedly, it all went differently than she expected when she started college at North Carolina in 2013. But sometimes, even when the road isn’t what you expected, it still gets you where you want to go.

SB Nation: For WNBA players, it’s a night of celebration after the draft. Then it’s back to class.

Thirty-six lives were changed on Thursday night at the WNBA Draft. Ten of those athletes were flown into New York City to hear league president Lisa Borders call out their names in person.

It was the biggest night of their 20-something year lives. The draftees dressed to the nines, knowing well they’d have a night of celebration with friends and family after achieving the dream they’ve had in place for a decade or longer.

Many can’t enjoy it for long, though. They have school tomorrow.

Swish Appeal: Four miscellaneous facts about the 2018 WNBA Draft class that you may not have known about

Tulsa World: OSU basketball: Loryn Goodwin drafted by Dallas Wings in WNBA’s second round

Duke Chronicle: Duke basketball’s Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell selected in WNBA Draft

Other Stuff.

Re-introduced at Williams Arena this afternoon, Lindsay Whalen was welcomed home as new coach of women’s basketball

The Next Chapter: WNBA CHAMPION TAMIKA CATCHINGS TALKS ENTERING THE WNBA – As well as the power speaking to young girls and her next chapter after basketball

WATN?: Randall Added to Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff

WATN?: Bench-mark: Former basketball star Chasity Melvin coaching with men’s team

You decide who’s your number one pick:

High Post Hoops 

WNBAInsdr

Just-under-the-wire trade: Sun Acquire Bria Holmes from the Atlanta Dream for the No. 15 pick in tonight’s WNBA Draft and Connecticut’s second round selection in 2019.

Speaking of which: FUTURE is the focus for ATL Dream heading into 2018 WNBA Draft – Lericia Harris chats with new head coach Nicki Collen

Did you catch Doug’s Rookie Chat?

.com: WNBA Draft 2018: Five Things To Know About Me

NY Times: Diamond DeShields’s Path to the WNBA Took Her From Tennessee to Turkey

Bleecher Report: A’JA WILSON IS READY FOR HER WNBA TAKEOVER: A South Carolina hoops phenom with a megawatt personality is just what the league needs to take it to the next level. 

Draft Diary: A’ja Wilson talks WNBA meetings and giving back

Indy Star: Will IU’s Tyra Buss, Brownsburg’s Stephanie Mavunga get WNBA shot?

1500 ESPN Strong WNBA draft will make Lynx’s competition tougher in 2018 (and beyond)

Other stuff

Congrats: Whalen Hired by Gophers. I have many thoughts, and I think it’s wise that I not share them.

Sheeee’s Back! Clemson has its new women’s basketball coach. And she has SEC ties

Bye: Rutgers’ Desiree Keeling To Transfer Hmmm…. maybe ya shoulda played in the WNIT?

Anyone got a free round-trip ticket to Seattle? USA Women’s National Team to face China in exhibition game on April 26 in Seattle

Congrats! Jeff Walz, Natasha Adair and Cori Close to lead 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team

WATN? Former ODU star Adrienne Goodson trying to catch NBA’s eye at the PIT

Adrienne Goodson emerged from the locker room at Churchland High, an apple in one hand and a legal pad in the other. She made her away across the court to find a seat to scout her team’s next opponent in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Goodson’s Cherry Bekaert squad had just fallen to Sale Systems Ltd. Wednesday night, and the former Old Dominion basketball great could feel the heaviness in the locker room. Disappointment is natural any time a team loses, of course, but Goodson believes there’s a different, deeper vibe when women coach men.

Russia’s Maria Vadeeva could be the steal of the WNBA draft

When scouting international prospects as potential first-round picks in the WNBA draft, every franchise hopes to land the next Lauren Jackson or Penny Taylor. In the 17 years since those Australian legends were drafted, however, few have yielded a return that comes close.

From 1997 to 2007, 13 international prospects (all without NCAA experience) were drafted in the first round. In the past 10 drafts, there have been only four.

WIShttps: Strategizing with the Fever for an historic draft night

AP: A‘ja Wilson Hits the Road for New York

The State: The WNBA rule that could make A’ja Wilson even better — and an immediate All-Star

Who ya got? 2018 WNBA DIE HARDS’ MOCK DRAFT- FIRST ROUND

Landof10’s got some thoughts: 2018 WNBA Mock Draft: First-round projections, top players, order (April 10, 2018)

So does Forbes: A Brief Statistical Guide To The 2018 WNBA Draft

Hello to our friends at MSR News Online: It’s WNBA Draft time!

Listen up: High Post’s WNBA Draft preview, pick-by-pick look at the first round

LA Daily News: WNBA draft: Where UCLA’s Jordin Canada, Monique Billings fit in

Press Enterprise: Alexander: Former Santiago star Billings awaits WNBA draft

Coach and GM? No prob: Day in the Life of Amber Stocks

No pressure: You think draft is important to Colts? For Fever, the future depends on it

espnW: Christine Monjer’s cool job: Las Vegas Aces head of marketing

Cheryl Reeve at The Player’s Tribune: No Excuses.

I was 10 years old, walking home from school with my brothers – Tom and Larry. Some kid — a bully — started jawing at Larry real bad. He wouldn’t stop. Now, Larry is older than me. Having his little sis step in to defend him probably wasn’t the look he wanted.Too bad. I wasn’t having it.
Hope springs eternal (HEY! The forsythia is finally out!) Can Clemson basketball catch up to Dawn Staley’s program at South Carolina?
which means, once again: Job opening: Albany.
Job opening: Netter Resigns as Howard Payne Head Women’s Basketball Coach. If HPU strikes a bell, you may be remembering them from their rags-to-riches run that ended with a national Championship 2008. I included them in my WBCA article BUILDING ATTENDANCE: Hand Shakes, Hoarse Voices, and a Boost from the NCAA – What coaches across the Divisions have done to build attendance

Brownwood, TX, home of Howard Payne University, is a town of about 25,000. “When I first got here the program was in terrible shape. They hadn’t had a winning season in four years,” recalled Chris Kielsmeier, who became head coach in 2000. “Quite honestly, nobody cared about women’s basketball. The stands were almost an embarrassment.”

These days, Howard Payne is the top-drawing Division III team in the country. Averaging 1,494 a game, including over 15,000 fans for the last four game of the season, they enjoy the enthusiastic support of the local newspaper and some of the most influential people in town.

What happened?

“But women’s basketball doesn’t dra….” @basketmedia365  Paul steps in with an STFU tweet:
expected to break attendance record for a women’s basketball game in Europe. This is biggest attendance for any game including 1⃣3⃣,0⃣0⃣0⃣ plus expected for Final 1st leg.

Do you remember the part of Love and Basketball when Monica goes to play basketball overseas in Spain? She had to walk to her game, tape her own ankles, her coach didn’t speak any English, and the whole championship game plan was to pass her the ball to score?

Well, my overseas experience is nothing like that. For one, my coaches and teammates can speak English. Secondly, I have two great trainers that tape me everyday for practice and games. And lastly, I play on a well-balanced team, so I’m definitely not getting all the shots. The only thing Monica and I have in common is not having a car.

What is WNBAinsidr?
WNBAinsidr is a hub for WNBA fans and the only site that exclusively covers professional women’s basketball. We started WNBAinsidr.com because we are passionate fans-turned-journalists who noticed a dearth of quality coverage of the league we love. The NBA has so many outlets for their fandom, from salary cap podcasts to daily YouTube shows, and we want to bring the same honest and critical analysis to the WNBA. We’ve worked hard to cultivate sources that include players, coaches, general managers, and agents to bring you breaking news, features, analysis and our popular podcast.
What We Do
Each week we release two WNBA podcasts covering topics from game analysis to mock drafts to interviews with special guests. Past guests have included players Jewell Loyd and Renee Montgomery, as well as other well-known media members. Our website has daily articles including breaking news, features, and other breakdowns. Be sure to follow @wnbainsidr and @CoachHorowitz13 for in-game tweeting, live shows, and total coverage of the WNBA.

Why Contribute?For less than a cup of coffee a month, you can directly show your support for the work we do. Our goal is to be full-time, independent WNBA reporters. Right now, we both have day jobs and run WNBAinsidr in our spare time. We believe the players of the WNBA and its community deserve the same in-depth analysis and respect that men’s sports receives on a daily basis.

Mechelle takes her shotWNBA mock draft: Projecting all three rounds

Howard at HighPost2018 WNBA Draft trade rumors swirl around the second overall pick

With little more than 48 hours remaining until the 2018 WNBA Draft, conversation is swirling around a number of fronts, most notably the second overall pick held by the Indiana Fever. High Post Hoops has learned that multiple teams have inquired about trading for the pick, including Mike Thibault’s Washington Mystics.

Read upReigning WNBA Rookie of the Year gives advice to this year’s [soon to be] 2018 Rookie Class

It was a good year: ACC Women’s Basketball: Recapping A Banner Season For instance: 10 defining moments of the Notre Dame women’s basketball championship season

ByeMiracle Gray to transfer from Purdue women’s basketball

Makin’ plansOhio State women’s basketball | Signee Aaliyah Patty preparing for transition to college game

NC StateWomen’s basketball defying the odds

Good luck! 35 Athletes Accept Invitations to USA Women’s U17 World Cup Team Trials

Listen up! Burn it All Down is a must listen this week

This week, the BIAD team discusses our complicated feelings about Kobe’s relationship with women’s bball. Then we have a new racism-in-sports roundtable, and interviews about being a black woman in cycling.

Kara Lawson is groovin’ on a different kind of board:

“We appreciate the General Assembly, especially the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. David Hawk, for their partnership in passing this important legislation and we’re excited to move forward with the implementation process,” Haslam said. “This restructuring will improve the effectiveness of the board and positively impact the multiple campuses that comprise the UT system. Additionally, the advisory boards will create a culture of creativity at the campus level, and will allow each of the boards to respond nimbly to the needs of their respective institutions.” 

Haslam today also announced the names of the 10 board appointees, all of whom are UT alumni and include at least two members from each grand division of the state. The board will have a total of 12 members including the Commissioner of Agriculture and a non-voting student member. A faculty member will be appointed to the Academic Affairs and Student Success committee of the board.

In the New Yorker: How Far Can Becky Hammon Go in the N.B.A.? The former women’s-basketball star has broken convention by becoming the league’s first female assistant coach. [WHB question: Is “convention” the right work?]

Though only five feet six, Hammon was a commanding presence on the court: gum-snapping, energetic, her quick cuts and jab steps to the basket punctuated by a swishing ponytail. She could slip through a narrow space between two defenders and drive to the hoop, scooping a shot that would skim the rim and slide through the net. Like Magic Johnson, she flipped no-look passes over her shoulder, and, like Stephen Curry, she hit shots from half-court. But Popovich was most struck by her prowess as a court general: she had an uncanny ability to direct her teammates around the floor. “I’d watch the game, and the only thing I could see—it’s an exaggeration, I mean, but—was Becky’s aura, her leadership, her effect on teammates, her effect on the crowd, the way she handled herself,” Popovich told me. “She was, like, the ultimate leader. Energy, juice, vitality. At the same time, she was doing intelligent things on the court, making decisions that mattered.” In the N.B.A., a woman in charge was almost unthinkable, but he was considering hiring her.

Draft Day in Indy’s

gonna be lit:

Spend draft night with us! 📍 📆 Thursday, April 12 🕡 6:30 pm RSVP ➡️

Since I’m in NYC and not allowed to attend, perhaps I’ll follow HighPost Hoops: 2018 WNBA Draft Big Board v. 6.0: Azura Stevens shakes up the board
Swish Appeal is doing some stuff, too:
Or do a little catch up: Kelsey Mitch – Draft Profile

Last season Kelsey Plum was taken with the first pick and she had a similar record. Granted she was injured but Plum is a similar height to Mitchell and had huge scoring numbers in college. She also had questions about her defense but she did not have a huge impact on the league, even when she was at full health.

Up until the nomination of Azura Stevens, Mitchell was a lock to go to the Indiana Fever with the second pick. Now she could potentially go with the fifth or sixth pick depending on which team wants a high volume scorer.

Job opening: Minnesota. Kinda late in the season to be looking – or am I just being weird about it?

More WNBA draft

WNBAInsidr offers up their analysis:

We spoke with a coach and/or general manager from all 12 teams and blended what we believe WILL happen based on our reporting with what we think SHOULD happen based on the eye test and advanced analytics. We slant towards taking the best player available early in the first-round, whereas the coaches and GM’s spoke more about team needs on the record. Our feeling is that even if a player doesn’t fit, you maximize your leverage in trades by acquiring the best talent available. Later in the first-round, team needs are a higher priority.

So glad the public isn’t invited to this event. I mean, why on earth would we want to be there?  *that was sarcasm, in case I wasn’t clear*

From the DetroitShock.com/aka WNBA.com site: WNBA Draft 2018 Preview: Phoenix Mercury

From the ClevelandRockers.com/aka WNBA.com site: WNBA Draft 2018 Preview: Los Angeles Sparks

What does Sue think? Bird Discusses WNBA Draft Prospect A’ja Wilson

Knoxville News Sentinel: Diamond DeShields has given WNBA plenty to think about before draft

From the Courier-Journal: WNBA coach: Louisville’s Myisha Hines-Allen can ‘make a little noise at this level’

Speaking of which, if you’re in the Louisville area, make this your Draft Day Destination:

Myisha Hines-Allen’s 2018 WNBA Draft Watch Party
Let’s make Myisha’s 2018 WNBA Draft Watch Party the biggest Louisville has seen! Come celebrate our very own “Cardinal Forever” Myisha Hines-Allen, as she finds out where her new home will be on Thursday, April 12th. Come join Myisha, teammates, coaches, family, and friends to watch the 2018WNBA Draft. Music, light snacks and refreshments will be provided. See details below:

LOCATION:
Berrytown Recreation Center
1300 Heafer Rd, Louisville, KY 40223

DATE/TIME:
Thursday, April 12th
7pm – 10pm
Doors will open at 5:30pm; autograph signing begins at 6pm

TICKETS:
Tickets are $5 for kids and students, $10 for adults
Limited space so RSVP now!

PROCEEDS:
Proceeds will go to the Metro Parks Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR). This non-profit organization offers a wide range of recreational activities for individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, along with their friends and families.

Another site to poke around in: Across the Timeline: On to the Draft

The 22nd WNBA Draft will take place Thursday, April 12. The first round will be broadcast on ESPN2 starting at 7:00 EDT, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPNU. The Draft marks the transition from the college basketball season to the WNBA season, which tips off in May.

In honor of the coming draft, I have compiled the first version of my WNBA Draft Database to assist in capturing the history of the draft and WNBA seasons as well as finding interesting facts and trends around the WNBA Draft.

Forbes’ David Berri: Of Course Women Can Lead Men In Sports

Congrats: Seimone Augustus inducted into Louisiana high school hall of fame

NCAA

Seth Soffian: What role will Destanni Henderson play as South Carolina women’s basketball enters unknown?

What happens when a player who is so calm and collected that she can nap at halftime of a state title game goes to play for a coach who is so intense that she can stare holes through walls?

Fire and ice can sometimes make magic. Especially when they’re both point guards.

especially now that I’ve *almost* stopped trying to cough up a lung. So much not fun. Fortunately, the cats are bookending me all weekend in an effort to prevent a relapse.

Still thinking about Columbus, where I spent three games turning towards total strangers and yelling, “OMG!!!!!” What a great weekend of heartbreaking and heart-filling basketball (as well as visiting the amazing Columbus Museum, the stunning Statehouse, and the delicious Guild House. Oh, and of course, Jenni’s Ice Cream). Now comes the hard part: building on that energy and hype.

*jumps onto soap box*

Lovely to see Ellen host Arike. (and yes, there was that other basketball guy – but, if you don’t know why his presence is problematic, you may not be paying attention to history – recent and past.) Let’s hope for more coverage, shall we? And not JUST when something dubbed “amazing” happens – especially since amazing things are happening ALL season.

First, do read this from Jessica Luther (even though it admits it’s a bit of a rehash): The More Women’s Sports Are Covered, The More Popular They Will Be

After a women’s tournament and a Final Four like those we had this year, the excuses for not watching ― that the basketball is not high enough quality, that there isn’t enough drama, that the athleticism is lacking, that no one dunks ― are harder to make. In truth, it would seem people don’t watch women’s basketball because they have sexist ideas about who counts as basketball players and what version of the game is legitimate.

These conversations inevitably lead to the chicken-egg argument around media coverage: Is it that not enough people watch women’s sports to warrant better and more sustained coverage? Or do people not watch because there isn’t better and more sustained coverage?

To be honest, chicken, egg, hash browns or bacon… I don’t really care why any more. I care about what can be done. Since 1997, when I first became aware of women’s basketball, I’ve recognized a hunger for coverage of the game – and that hunger was fed by people and sites created out of love, passion and curiosity. Lena Williams (NY Times), Ed Stickney (Houston Chronicle), Mike Terry (LA Times) were folks who fought for coverage – and got paid to do so. (I know that Lena would cover the Liberty during her vacation…because she didn’t know if the Times would send anyone to cover games when she was not there).

We know names like Mel, Michelle and Mechelle who’ve stuck around through thick and thin. We remember when Lois and Gabby created Women’s Basketball Magazine to fill a need. I started writing for Sharon Bibb on Kat Fox’s HoopsLink.com. Kim Callahan created ChicksWithBalls (later, WomensBasketballOnline) and spent endless unpaid hours aggregating everything written about women’s basketball. Kevin Brown tracked – and still tracks – invaluable data on WNBA coaches and players. Data that is not just the W’s history, but is essential background knowledge for anyone who wants to write about the W with any kind of historical perspective. The road is littered with women’s basketball sites that rise, flourish, fall, grow and are reborn (just look at my needs-to-be-updated sidebar).

Love – or, perhaps, obsession – has always be part of the coverage of any sport. But it is not sustainable – because stamina gives out, life gets in the way, passion ebbs…WHICH IS FINE. That is part of the cycle of coverage. Which is why complaining about coverage is also a cycle. So, what to do?

Many years ago, Kim (with a little collaboration from me) created a MEDIA TIPS page, which I’ve carried over to this site. If you want some action steps you can take, check it out. I also wrote what I thought was a pretty actionable article for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 10 years ago: MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE ALTERNATIVES: Paper, Pods, Streams and Blogs

But how about some actionable steps for the folks who have money and will benefit from expanded coverage: the WNBA and the individual franchises (yes, I know there are barriers to demanding a certain standard from each franchise. Knock. Them. Down.)

Invest in a YEAR ROUND social media team that includes writers, humorists, artists, historians and COPY EDITORS. There needs to be a constant and diverse stream of information share – and shared on diverse platforms. Also, it SHOULD BE FACT CHECKED to avoid embarrassing errors (hoping the .com Draft boondoggle has been repaired).

Make subscriptions to local media outlets part of your season ticket benefits package. I don’t care how – a coupon, a 3-month gift – just do it. Have a weekly “WNBA news quiz” with points/gifts attached to encourage reading and sharing. How about an ASG trip? with a trivia challenge featuring a representative fan from each team? How about a “meet the author” event to help unpack and humanize the profession?

Do you own damn aggregating. Sue and I do a lot. Personally, I do it because I’m curious about the game as a whole, the issues/politics around it. And it keeps me invested in the game. But the WNBA should be doing this. EVERY SINGLE PIECE WRITTEN ABOUT THE WNBA, ITS STAFF, THE PLAYERS SHOULD BE CAPTURED AND SHARED WITH EVERY SINGLE FAN.

Also, if you’re committed to social justice, you need to share the politically risky stories, too.

That means ACTIVELY getting fans to sign up for feeds: no one should leave an arena without being asked/invited/tempted to sign up for some sort of media feed. Subscribers can pick how they get the news and how often – but you SHOULD be able to get anything from a daily to a monthly digest. How about a header for each news section:

  • Know your team – learn about our players, coaches, support staff
  • Know your opponents – learn about who we’re facing
  • Know the game – learn about what happens on the 94′ of hardwood – plays, rules, logistics
  • Know the issues – health, injuries, coverage, community, social justice advocacy

And why not have a running archive of those stories so we can catch up on things we missed?

This is going to be a tough WNBA season for me (and most Liberty fans). But it’s nothing that Houston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Utah, Detroit, Tulsa, Miami, Orlando, San Antonio and Sacramento fans haven’t faced. It’s the challenge of the WNBA – where teams are located and how few teams there are. The W must commit to a year-long, nation-wide, network of information gathering and sharing.

*jumps off soap box*

*jumps back on for a sec*

And ALL of this applies to college programs.

AND, the WNBA and NCAA should continue to collaborate and cross pollinate to build the game.

*jumps off*

News:

Listen up! LaChina Robinson puts a cap on the NCAAW basketball season with the National Champion Notre Dame Irish. Clutch guard Arike Ogunbowale and head coach Muffet McGraw join.

’cause it’s NEVER too early. Fresh off NCAA title, Irish lead way-too-early top 25 for 2018-19

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: Why Mississippi State Women’s Basketball is only getting better

Courier-Journal: Five takeaways from Louisville women’s successful basketball season

USA Today: From women’s basketball to NASCAR pit crew member, Brehanna Daniels breaking barriers

Ames Tribune: ISU’s gymrat, Carleton, not slowing down in offseason

WNBA

Women’s Basketball Blog: 2018 WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0
From the .com (do you realize the web address in the search reads “PortlandFire.com”?)
More from the .com (do you realize the web address in the search reads “UtahStarzz.com”?)

Swish Appeal: Three questions leading up to the 2018 WNBA Draft in New York City

247 Sports: Tamika Catchings comes home to give back and Former WNBA Catchings Star to Give Commencement Speech at Franklin College

(And, if you were – click on as many of these links as you can to prove to those who HIRE those who cover this game that “YES, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL DESERVES MORE COVERAGE and THERE’S AN AUDIENCE WHO WANT TO READ IT!!!”)

The Ringer, Shea Serrano: Every Great Thing About Arike Ogunbowale’s Championship-Winning Shot for Notre Dame

Same as we did with Chennedy Carter’s perfect game-winner earlier this tournament, let’s go through the best parts of the play, because there are so many “bests” of the play, because the play was unbelievable, because Arike Ogunbowale is incredible.

ESPN, Graham: Irish’s Ogunbowale hits shot of a lifetime … again

First she punched the padded support behind the basket in frustration.

A few minutes later she threw her hands in the air in exultation.

As her last shot dropped through the net, the most frustrating 39 minutes, 57 seconds of Arike Ogunbowale’s young basketball life vanished into the same air that would soon be filled by confetti.

After a season in which much of what was talked and written about Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team involved injury misfortune, look at who was the last team left standing.

The Irish won the program’s second NCAA title with a 61-58 victory over fellow No. 1 seed Mississippi State on Sunday, an Easter to remember for coach Muffet McGraw, whose 800th victory at the school was one of her sweetest.

The word Muffet McGraw kept coming back to throughout this unforgettable weekend was “resilient,” a word that seems wholly inadequate now.

Down to seven scholarship players thanks to a 10-month string of injuries, four ACL tears that stripped the Irish of depth and experience.

Down after a confidence-rattling 100-67 conference loss to Louisville in January, one of the most lopsided defeats in recent program history.

Down by 13 points to Texas A&M in the Sweet 16, by nine against Oregon in the Elite Eight, by 11 vs. Connecticut in the national semifinals.

And down by 15 points in Sunday’s national championship game during a nightmare second quarter in which Notre Dame managed to put just three points on the board.

Down, but never out.

Of course it ended this way: nothing easily won, no breathing room, nothing decided until the final second, and then the great release of victory.

A riveting women’s Final Four ended on Sunday for Notre Dame just as the semifinals had on Friday, with guard Arike Ogunbowale hitting a late, rescuing jump shot, this time giving the Irish their second N.C.A.A. basketball title with a 61-58 victory over Mississippi State.

There had been a slew of questions Saturday, the day after Notre Dame and Mississippi State had advanced to the national title game in an instant classic of a Final Four, as to how the two programs planned to top their thrilling semifinal bouts.

In its answer, Notre Dame decided not to mess with perfection.

Indy Star, Laken Litman: ‘She’s just clutch.’ Notre Dame knew Arike Ogunbowale’s shot was good from the start

“I’m speechless,” an ice water bath soaked McGraw said in the locker room. “The way we finished, two games in a row to win at the buzzer, it couldn’t be more exciting. There hasn’t been this much excitement at the Final Four since probably 2001.”
AP Doug on the game (as headline writers across the nation have a field day – “Fling and a Prayer,” “Irish Pluck,” and my fave “Eureka, Arike!” – it’s all the same article): Notre Dame beats Mississippi State on last-second shot for NCAA title

All throughout the postseason, Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said he didn’t have words for how he’d feel when his four seniors, including daughter Blair, had played their last game for the Bulldogs.

He found the right things to say now that it has happened. But they didn’t make him or anyone else on Mississippi State’s side feel any better. Because this loss was crushing. Up as much as 15 points, the Bulldogs fell 61-58 to Notre Dame on Arike Ogunbowale’s last-second 3-pointer in the national championship game Sunday.

Notre Dame’s miracle shot ends State dream

 She hung her head down in front of the microphone just begging not to be called on. Victoria Vivians wanted to be invisible, not talking more about ending her career on a buzzer-beater loss in the national championship.

But she’s Victoria Vivians, and she doesn’t get to be invisible. One last question came, and her head popped up in frustration, her lips clenched so tightly to hold in all emotion.

Then she made eye contact. Then she reset her face. She smiled. She spoke confidently and charmingly about what these seniors meant to her.

SB Nation: The women’s Final Four was everything you could ever want from sports

Watch the NCAA women’s announcers [not all] lose it after Notre Dame’s last-second win

BTW – It’s gonna be a party at the Columbus airport, as a ton of flights have been canceled. Here’s hoping every sports bar has ESPN on and they’re showing replays of the game!

 

Washington Post: After Final Four classics, what will the women’s national championship do for an encore?

Notre Dame and Mississippi State players shuffled into Nationwide Arena at 10 a.m. Saturday, glassy-eyed from a lack of sleep and emotionally hung over, and faced reality.

Friday night had been historic. It was the first women’s Final Four to feature two overtime games. No. 1 seed Notre Dame slew its demon by ending a seven-game losing streak against its longtime rival and the gold standard in women’s basketball, Connecticut, 91-89. No. 1 seed Mississippi State got a chance to face down its demon by defeating Louisville, 73-63, to earn a second shot at a national championship after it lost to South Carolina in last year’s final.

Now comes the hard part, in which the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish must find a way to level out mentally and emotionally before meeting in the championship game Sunday evening.

USA Today: Previewing the Mississippi State-Notre Dame women’s basketball national championship game

247 Sports: Title game preview: No. 1 Irish vs. No. 1 Mississippi State

Game preview: Bulldogs ready for Fighting Irish

Jackson Clarion Ledger: Cowbells vs. Catholics: Mississippi State, Notre Dame don’t share a past, but have the same dreams and What to expect when Mississippi State plays Notre Dame in national championship

Minneapolis Star Tribune: What will Notre Dame and Mississippi State women do for an encore?

Mississippi State women’s basketball in a familiar spot for national championship, hoping for different result

Commercial Dispatch: MSU seniors look to put ring on their legacy and Bulldogs ready for one more try at national title and Danberry provides spark off bench for Bulldogs and McCowan provides dominating presence underneath

Bulldogs have unfinished business in national title game

ESPN: Young joins Notre Dame lore with epic semifinal

ESPN: Can Mississippi State defense slow down Notre Dame offense?

ESPN: Stopping Bulldogs’ McCowan a tall order for Irish

Vic Schaefer and his Mississippi State Bulldogs carry a constant reminder of how far they went in the women’s NCAA Tournament last year, and what must still be done.

It’s right there, engraved on the side of their runner-up rings: “ONE MORE.”

Victoria Vivians ready to write final chapter with Mississippi State

It wasn’t that Victoria Vivians was afraid to leave her home state of Mississippi. It was more that there was every reason not to leave.

The 6-foot-1 senior guard leads Mississippi State (37-1) against Notre Dame (34-3) on Sunday (ESPN, 6 p.m. ET) in the women’s basketball national championship game, the Bulldogs’ second straight appearance in the final. To win an NCAA title has been a dream of hers for a long time, and one Vivians believed she could achieve at Mississippi State.

Never mind that the Bulldogs had never advanced further than the Sweet 16, and had done that only once. Or that under coach Vic Schaefer, who took over for the 2012-13 season, Mississippi State had gone a combined 10-22 in the SEC in the two years before Vivians arrived.

Deadspin:Teaira McCowan Is The Most Undeniable Player In Women’s College Basketball

When Teaira McCowan grabbed her 23rd rebound of Mississippi State’s semifinal win over Louisville on Friday night, she just kept coming down with it—all the way to the floor. That’s a long way down for McCowan, who stands a muscular 6’7″, but she wasn’t going to let this rebound get away. That board helped send her Bulldogs back to a championship game they’ve been focused on winning ever since they came up one game short last season. McCowan had a big smile on her face when she hit the ground, and the ball grasped securely in her two large hands.

“I didn’t want them to get it and get a bucket,” McCowan said Friday night, sitting in front of her locker with an eye on the second semifinal. “So I just held onto it. And even though they called a travel, I was still glad that I didn’t give them the ball so they can get a easy bucket.” One way or another, there are no easy buckets against Teaira McCowan.

Notre Dame women’s basketball’s Jessica Shepard could be the difference-maker in the national championship game

After every game, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw says, the Irish raise a toast to the state of Nebraska and Jessica Shepard.

It’s a joke. Probably.

But McGraw’s message comes through seriously.

Check out the coverage from the local paper, the Columbus Dispatch

In other news…

Champeeeens! Indiana wins first WNIT title as Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill end careers

But even as UConn began to consider how to reverse two years of disappointment, the NCAA and ESPN were acting to prevent a recurrence in the future.

“Today we are announcing a new format for next’s years Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament,” said Rhonda Bennett, the chair of the NCAA’s Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, at a press conference late Saturday night. “This new format, developed in cooperation with our great partners at ESPN, will help to sustain excitement as we work our way to the national championship.”

In the new format, 65 teams will be chosen for the tournament, 32 conference champions and 33 at large teams. The Women’s Basketball Committee will choose and seed the tournament as it does today, except that it will choose a national overall number one seed and four additional number one seeds – the teams ranked from second to fifth by the committee. All teams other than the overall number one seed will play a standard tournament, culminating in the Final Four, but instead of crowning a champion, the Final Four will select a team to challenge the overall number one seed in the national championship game.

From (newly re-named) High Post Hoops: The perpetual greatness of women’s basketball, on display

The Hall of Fame women’s basketball writer, Mel Greenberg, didn’t have to ponder much when asked if Friday, March 30, 2018 was the greatest night in the history of what is a rich, often hidden history of women’s basketball.

Sure, there was that night back in 2005 when Baylor and Michigan State roared back from steep deficits to upset Sylvia Fowles’ LSU and Kim Mulkey’s Baylor took down Tennessee, but the sheer magnitude of basketball, the punches and counter punches, well, Greenberg had it on his scorecard as the very top.

Michelle Smith: Women’s Final Four: On historic night, history repeats as UConn falls on OT buzzer-beater, this time to Notre Dame

It was a testament to talent and toughness and a rebuttal, all at the same time. It was the most heart-pounding night in the history of a sport, good for “the game” down to the last shot.

For the first time ever, two overtime games decided who will play for the NCAA Women’s Championship on Easter Sunday in Nationwide Arena.

Mississippi State punched its ticket with a 73-63 overtime win over Louisville in the opener, a game that looked like it couldn’t possibly be topped after Tierra McCowan finished with a Final Four record 25 rebounds in a game that featured 15 lead changes, four ties and a 3-pointer by fifth-year senior Roshunda Johnson with seven seconds to go in regulation to send the game into OT.

And then came Notre Dame.

GAME ON TOMORROW!

Everything you need to know about the NCAA title game

Final Four Q&A: Jessica Shepard is both veteran and newcomer for the Irish

GAME ON TODAY! 

Possible record crowd could witness WNIT title and future of IU women’s basketball

If you are a follower of Indiana University basketball, you have seen Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill more often than … well, more often than anyone else in the women’s game. Buss, with 1,439 minutes played, and Cahill, with 1,367, rank Nos. 1-2 in the NCAA this season.

But when a possible record crowd gathers Saturday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, fans will be anticipating more than a WNIT championship. They will glimpse the future of the Hoosiers, who will be far from destitute once Buss and Cahill sign off.

Hoop Hall mates: Katie Smith, Tina Thompson Announced as Members of Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Speaking of history, at the Nationwide Arena tonight, Brian Agler, Katie Smith and those ABL kids.

DZolRQiW4AACIYT.jpg-large.jpeg

Always got time for history: Flying Queens’ success, style was a game changer for women’s basketball

The trip from Kingfisher County took five hours by car, across Oklahoma and down the Texas panhandle.

A basketball star in high school, Kaye Garms had heard about a Baptist college near Lubbock that had a women’s team. She and another player wanted to try out.

“The local banker’s wife drove us,” Garms recalls. “She had a nice car.”

It was the mid-1950s, well before Title IX, and girls were still being told that basketball was too rough and tumble, that it might prevent them from having babies later in life.

Movin’ on : UMaine women’s basketball sharpshooter plans to transfer

Thinking ahead: Five questions for South Carolina women’s basketball heading into the offseason

How ’bout in 2020? GOLDSTEIN: Marquette will be great next year, but what about after that?

This sounds bad: Former NCCU women’s basketball players call foul

What North Carolina Central did with its players was within the rules — the days of a full four-year scholarship are over. While schools can provide multiyear deals, many offer one-year scholarships that are renewable each year.

Several North Carolina Central players said a December letter sent to parents from Stafford-Odom stated that some scholarships would not be renewed.

Yet, 10 players essentially being cut in one day — that number is shocking.

The Undefeated made several telephone and email requests to interview Stafford-Odom and North Carolina Central athletic director Ingrid Wicker McCree for this story, but neither was made available to comment.

Guess that’s what happens when the top four teams reach the Final Four, huh?

What a joy it was to be in the arena last night. How SMART we are to be fans of the women’s game. And LOOK at those kids. LOOK at those coaches!!! LOOK at those fans. Wowza. Thank goodness we have a day to recover. Bunch of us need to send out for a new voice…. because…

Women’s Final Four produced many bananas statistics and the following incomplete sentences

Mississippi State over Louisville, OT.

After a first quarter to forget, all bets were off….

Notre Dame over UConn, OT.

Quick flashback to their first game this season, then the Huskies went on a run, then Notre Dame refused to fold, then player after player after player made plays. YEA BASKETEBALL!!!

And more
Random note to the NCAA, #2: YES to “Greats of the Games” doing free-throw/shooting contests during the game. More please.
Random note to the NCAA, #3: HOW COOL TO HAVE THE “This Award Was Named After Me” folks on the court. MORE OF THAT, PLEASE!!!!
Random note to the NCAA, #4: Remember when the D2/D3 Championships happened at the Final Four. AGAIN!!!
Final note to readers: If you complain about coverage, and haven’t clicked on a ton of these links, hush. If you have, THANK YOU!!! If you feel inspired, drop the writers and editors a quick note of thanks, please do. It helps.
And, as always, check out the Columbus Dispatch coverage. Support local papers.
Now I gotta go grab some throat lozenges and a gallon of coffee. WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!!

Final Four

No one does more to leech the madness out of March than the Connecticut Huskies.

The Final Four trip is practically a timeshare for Geno Auriemma and his team. First weekend in April. Book it and see you there.

But Auriemma, who has made more Final Four trips that any coach in college basketball history (19), would like everyone to know that being a heavy favorite also comes with a sometimes soul-crushing weight of expectations.

Final Four Talking

Columbus Hosting

Mississippi State v. Louisville

UConn v. Notre Dame

Awards? We got awards! 

News Conference: WBCA Coaches’ All-American Announcement

Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw wins AP Coach of the Year after tough road to Final Four

Best in the country! A’ja Wilson named National Player of the Year twice in one day

WBCA Defensive Player of the Year is Nurse

Championship on the line! Saturday, March 31 Virginia Tech at Indiana, 3 p.m. ET CBS Sports Network

Emery Scores 13 in Fourth to Push Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball into WNIT Final

Tyra Buss leads IU to WNIT final: ‘Our ultimate goal, you know, is to hang that banner’ (btw: Fourth-largest crowd in @IndianaWBB history watched the Hoosiers advance)

Job opening

SC State Will Not Renew The Contract of Women’s Basketball Coach Doug Robertson, Jr.

Wanna help?

Mercedes Russell’s mom launches GoFundMe to join daughter for WNBA Draft

Hey, History Buffs!!! 

fans, 36 years ago today and won the last AIAW championship. A bunch of us old guys with help are working on a documentary to make sure they’re not forgotten. Here’s the trailer, more coming.

More history with a FIBA flashback as Paul asks: What happened to the USA players who won the first ever FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2010? (Steward, Loyd, Tuck, Williams, Graves, Stafford, Massengale, Lewis, Laney, Burdick, Adams, Smith)

If the front page article at the Washington Post (She coached her team to the NCAA tournament. Then she quit, for her daughter.) wasn’t enough to convince you, how about Vic Dorr.

Joanne Boyle, who retired Tuesday after seven seasons at the helm of the University of Virginia’s women’s basketball program, likely will never become a hall of fame coach. But that’s OK. To me she is — and always will be — a hall of fame human being.

Here’s why: In October of 2002, Boyle was very nearly late for her first practice as the new head coach at the University of Richmond. As she drove toward the Robins Center, she saw an elderly man in distress on the shoulder of College Road. He had slipped on loose gravel and fallen. He could not climb to his feet. Boyle stopped to assist. She helped the man into her car and drove him to his home. He asked to be taken into the TV room. Once there, he asked that the television be tuned to NBC for that afternoon’s Notre Dame football game. Boyle did as the man requested. She made certain that he was comfortable and calm before leaving for practice.

Then she did something remarkable. She returned after practice to not only check on the man but also to watch some of the football game with him. I know this because I knew the man. He was my father.

Good luck and Godspeed, Joanne. You’re something special.