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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.”

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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!”