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in California: “Berkeley’s girls basketball coach Cheryl Draper took her team off the court with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in a game in a loss to Miramonte-Orinda, claiming she and her players heard racial slurs.”

And now we have this in Pennsylvania: Smear campaign against nation’s top girls basketball team – Philly’s Neumann-Goretti – traced to rival coach (nice job by write Joseph Santoliquito)

It attempted to discredit the NG program, alleging that the African players on the Saints, here legally, are older than their actual age and are in the United States illegally. Contents of the email were posted on comment forums of media websites (since removed) alleging institutional misconduct, and stating that the “FBI” is looking into the matter.

What PhillyVoice has uncovered is that the email Aston received was not just from anyone. It emanated from an email address that is registered to the name and home address of another Philadelphia Catholic League coach, Archbishop Wood girls basketball coach John Gallagher, who through an attorney neither confirms nor denies sending the email to Aston “and others.”

Additionally, Archbishop Wood has known about this — and has taken no action to date. 

And this from Maine: Witnesses: Calais girls basketball teammates exchanged obscenities, one pushed coach during game

An altercation between two Calais High School girls basketball players during a recent game is believed to have sparked a controversy that prompted the superintendent of schools to tender his resignation, after the school board reduced his disciplinary action against the players.

On the flip side: From the Deseret News: Copper Hills reaping the rewards of years of building program

“To be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” said Morley, who spent nine years coaching boys basketball, as well as football. “There was no tradition, no anything. They basically handed me a bunch of deflated balls and old uniforms and said, ‘Hey, turn the program around.’ I knew there would be work, but to be honest, I didn’t quite know how much.” Morley quickly diagnosed a number of issues. First, he was new to girls basketball so he wasn’t even sure if his experience would translate.

Yes, you can call Kansas State over #20 Texas an upset, but a bigger upset was Oakland (10-11, 4-4) over Green Bay (17-4, 7-1)), 70-67. And it was on the Phoenix’s home court.

By ending UWGB’s season-high winning streak of eight games, Oakland became the first team to knock off the Phoenix in Horizon play at the midway point of the league schedule. What’s more, the feisty Grizzlies handed UWGB (17-4 overall, 7-1 conference) its first home loss.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t a little bit of a surprise,” said an elated Jeff Tungate, Oakland’s second-year coach. “But, we’ve had a really good week of practice, and our players have been really determined. I knew we were going to play well coming in. I just didn’t know, is ‘playing well’ going to be enough? Thankfully tonight, it was.”

You may recall that Tungate inherited a program that was a hot mess.

Another big upset: San Jose State (10-11, 4-6 MW) stunned Fresno State (17-4, 9-1), 56-51.

I’m have a funny feeling this group of Mountaineers maybe driving coach Carey bonkers. They take down TCU, 76-71.

Ouch. Albany took out its frustration on New Hampshire, 74-48.

It’s not quite Monday, but it’s never too early to start throwing down gauntlets: Editorial: Greatness awaits USC women’s basketball team

 AS WE WATCHED the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team evolve under the leadership of coach Dawn Staley over the past few years, it was evident that it was on a trajectory toward elite status.

We believe it has crossed that threshold this season, having spent 11 straight weeks at the top of the national rankings. A showdown with No. 2 Connecticut on the road presents a grand opportunity for the Gamecocks to step into rarified air and send a message that not only can it run with the big programs, it can defeat them.

Last season, Kansas State enticed fans to attend a women’s basketball game by offering free bacon.

This season, Georgetown is one-upping those Wildcats with something even better: free kale.

Congrats: Brittany Boyd breaks Cal women’s basketball all-time assist record

Congrats, (but I think the Harvard English professors might want to chat with the headline writer): Fagbenle Reaches Century Mark in Women’s Basketball’s Loss to Penn

Though the Harvard women’s basketball team may have been on the losing end of a back and forth contest against Penn (11-6, 2-1 Ivy) Saturday evening at Lavietes Pavilion, the game was one for the record books.

As the first half came to a close, senior forward Temi Fagbenle sunk a free throw to become the 19th player in Crimson history to score 1,000 points. Fagbenle was Harvard’s leading scorer in the game, earning 19 points to bring her career total to 1,010.

Intersting: Pepperdine Students to Protest Alleged Discrimination Against Lesbian Basketball Players – The women claim their coach told them, ‘Lesbianism isn’t tolerated here.’ 

Some great stuff by Sue on Diana’s decision to sit out the WNBA season:

A Washington Post columnist says Diana Taurasi’s decision to sit out this year’s WNBA season for $1.5 million to play for her Russian team next winter is “a sobering message for the WNBA.”

Nope. It’s business as usual.

It’s a sad situation for Taurasi, the WNBA’s highest-paid player at just less than $107,000 a year, and a problem for the WNBA.

No, this is a sad situation, as is any player who is so worn down after year-round playing that they look tired in WNBA press conferences. And there are lots of those. Taurasi is taking advantage of her skills and her popularity and accepting a great offer that will take care of her financially when she’s older. She’s doing it on her terms, her way. As my source who first told me this news Friday night said, taking the money was “a no-brainer” for Taurasi.

It’s curious that Russian teams will pay big bucks to American players, but U.S. teams will not.

Again, no. I wrote about the differences between U.S. and European/Asian salaries in 2012:

Women’s professional basketball in Europe and Asia is directly effected by the worldwide recession because teams there are sponsored by businesses and governments. When faced with keeping their enterprises alive, companies cut the extras, like their team sponsorships. Ditto, governments. And as up to 100 percent of a team’s budget can come from sponsors, some franchises are forced to fold……

Nice piece on the NCAA’s Champion Magazine on FGCU’s Kaneisha Atwater:

Ninety-eight percent of teen moms do not graduate college before they turn 30. Kaneisha, though, is on the cusp of being counted among the other 2 percent. She is on pace to receive a degree in criminal justice from Florida Gulf Coast University in May 2016, thanks to a basketball scholarship.

For decades, a birth often marked the death of a college career. News reports told stories of scholarships that weren’t renewed, of free paths to a degree blockaded, of pregnant athletes whose fear of losing their place on a team steered them to abortions. Those accounts spurred culture change: In 2008, Division I adopted legislation preventing athletes from losing their scholarships for medical reasons the year they became pregnant. Seven years later, schools like Florida Gulf Coast are willing to make accommodations so athletes like Kaneisha can juggle diapers and textbooks and basketballs.

Having a flashback to Yolanda Griffith’s experience at Palm Beach Community College under coach Sally Smith.

The door she opened led her to one of the top programs and coaches in the country, Iowa and C. Vivian Stringer. But, not long after enrolling, Griffith discovered she was pregnant. With the father uninterested in raising a child, she left school and returned to Chicago where her family banded around her. The birth of her daughter, Candace, in May of 1989 found Griffith unsure what the future held for her. Realizing she wanted to continue to play basketball, a game plan was laid out: go to a Junior College, graduate, then finish out her career at a four-year college. The first thought was to stay local, but a good friend knew the head coach at Palm Beach Community College, Sally Smith. Interestingly enough, Smith, who had been the first black All-American on the legendary Nashville Business College team, herself had had a daughter when she was 18. “He said,” recalled Griffith, “’This is the best place for you as far as the facilities, getting education, and helping single parents.’”

Wait, isn’t this a recruiting violation for UConn-Notre Dame-Louisville? Mo’ne Davis, Charles, Diggins, Schimmel to Play in Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

 

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Team’s Mission: Beat the Boys (and Maybe Make Them Cry): Central Illinois Xpress Emerge as Unlikely Force in Fifth-Grade League

“We’d walk in, and all the boys would be like, ‘We’re playing girls?’ ” said Anne Rupnik, a point guard. “Then we’d beat them. Some of them cried.”

The players go by nicknames like Koko, Beans and Flash. They try to color-coordinate their socks. And they have gone about the hard business of winning basketball games — as the only team of girls in the league — with the cool, calculated approach of tax auditors.

“I don’t think the other teams expected us to be as tough as we were,” forward Kortnee Walton, 11, said, “and fast and strong and aggressive.

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Feds Creek Girls basketball team inspiring many as they redefine winning

For girls at Feds Creek Elementary being a part of their team means much more than winning ball games.

Coach Shannon Keene says, “They would all stand up for each other at the drop of a hat, especially for Aimee and Lacy.”

5th-grader, Lacy, and 8th-grader, Aimee, are not your typical ball players.

Coach Keene says, “Lacy loves basketball, she understands when I show her something, she pays excellent attention, and that is how we communicate.”

Lacy is deaf and Aimee has Down syndrome, something many say you would never know from the outside looking in.

Beth Taylor, has a daughter on the team and says, “These girls don’t see the disabilities these other two have, they are accepting. Too often in our society kids with disabilities are overlooked.”

Chris Hagy, also has a daughter on the team, “Aimee and Lacy are making a statement when they step foot on the court saying, ‘this is something I want to do like everyone else’ and they are doing it.”

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drop me a note, ‘kay?

I mean, geez:

Spare Parts Seattle (‘ello LJ!) takes down Will This Road Trip Ever End Indiana.

“(Tina’s) play tonight is just inspiring,” Storm coach Brian Agler said. “If you can’t sit there and think about what she’s getting done at her age – the minutes she’s playing, hitting big shots, making big plays and guarding one of the better players in the league in (Tamika) Catchings, it’s hard not to really compete when you’re on the floor with her.”

Spare Parts (2) San Antonio takes down Not Quite New Look Phoenix.

“(Robinson is) just evolving into a player this year with the loss of Becky (Hammon) and Sophia (Young) where we have got to play through her,” Hughes said. “And playing through her takes different forms. It takes scoring, but it also takes her facility to set up people and that arc that she is working on was really important today.”

Coach of the Year Candidate Washington smoosh the This Wasn’t the Season Bill was Hoping For New York.

Hey, at least we held off the collapse until the fourth quarter.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt looked like she heard the scurrilous rumors that her classmates had passed her in the rookie rankings, and was determined to take back her place as the most surprising success of the class of 2013. She shook Katie Smith off her on defense repeatedly to get open jumpers, and she was fighting for rebounds every chance she got. She was very physical, and paid the price for it.. (Katie got in a pretty good hit on her, too. Katie is a Bad Girl, after all.) Kia Vaughn (who actually started the second half) threw her body around like nobody’s business, setting screens and picks and boxing out viciously. We kept throwing her passes. She doesn’t even go here anymore! She was strong on the inside. Tayler Hill played briefly, and it was amusing to watch the young Buckeye going up against the old Buckeye when she was matched with Katie Smith, but amusement value was all she provided. Nadirah McKenith looked solid but unremarkable. Emma Meesseman went hard after the ball, but her judgment was not always the best. She’ll learn. And she’ll be scary when she does.

Lose by a Little Get Revenge by a  Lot Atlanta stomps Can’t Quite Get it Together Connecticut.

Tall Person In the Middle Tulsa trumps Tall Person Missing in the Middle Minnesota. In Minnesota.

Liz Cambage had 27 points and eight rebounds as the Shock broke a 14-game losing streak against the Lynx and posted the biggest franchise win – home or away – since moving to Tulsa in 2010. 

“I think it signifies a real sign of growth for this team,” said guard Candice Wiggins, a five-year Lynx standout before coming to Tulsa in an offseason trade.

Yup, the next few weeks will be miiiiighty interesting. LA is looming (Sue Favor sends this link: Red hot Sparks put away injury-depleted Fever, 94-72), Atlanta is dreaming a Lyttle, and the #3 and #4 spots are up for grabs in both conferences. Read all about it at L’Alien!

A little high school history out of Bradenton, Florida: Southeast’s first girls basketball state champions stand alone

Those Lady Noles were an up-tempo team that epitomized the run-and-gun label and trapped all over the court. In a victory over Bayshore, Southeast scored 106 points. They had speed and athleticism and a big front line.

“We pressed the heck out of people and ran kind of a like a run-and-jump defense,” says Smith, who now works in the medical profession as a salesperson. “Olivia was an amazing person, and our inside force and could move well. Her sister (Christella) came off the bench, and she was big. Loretta was amazingly fast, smart and sassy. She was gifted, and Coach Narbut made us special.”

Sad news out of Georgia: Pat Rivers, the first girls basketball coach to bring a state title to Augusta, died Saturday morning.

“She pushed us a lot. She motivated us. She made us work harder,” said Natasha Reid, captain of the 1997 team who now works as a special education teacher at East Central Regional Hospital.

“I tried to be laid back, but she pushed me to be a leader. I didn’t see that back then. I’m glad she did.”

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Veteran girls basketball coach Charles Knott shot to death

As a native Detroiter, Charles Knott was proud and compassionate about his city and its people.

And, he dedicated his life to the betterment of the young people of Detroit he came in contact with each day, especially as a basketball coach.

But late Tuesday night, the city Knott loved so much fought back.

More: Cody High, fellow coaches shocked at death of basketball coach Charles Knott

We don’t know any details about the situation,” Cody principal Johnathon Matthews said. “Right now we’re just trying to get the students situated. We have grief counselors for the students and staff, and we’re just working with the community and the family. Our students are going through a lot, and our parents have asked us to keep as much of the press away as possible. I can make a simple statement in this respect: He has been within the Cody community for over 20 years. He has impacted several people in this community. He’s not only been involved inside the community at the school level, but also in terms of mentoring in the community and programs in the community.”

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Mike McCabe from the Detroit Free Press: St. Ignace girls basketball inspired by a surprise visit

The initial plan was to get away from the girls tournament as quickly as possible because we just had what appeared to be an official possibly cheating a team out of a spot in the quarterfinals, one girl throw a punch in a state championship game and not be ejected, and a coach come under fire for the public recruitment of an eighth-grader through social media.

Is girls basketball becoming boys basketball?

But then you meet Lisa Syrjala and listen to Sarah Cullip tell you about another Breslin Center, and everything changes.

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The Season Ends, and the Scoreboard Doesn’t Tell the Story

On the first day of practice in October, Lutz asked her players some basic questions. Where is the free-throw line? What is traveling? How many players are on the court at a time?

Most of the girls replied with blank stares.

“Until Christmas, I was teaching them offense versus defense,” Lutz said. “We have a crash course in peewee basketball — dribbling, passing, shooting, defense.”

She knows that her record with a team that always loses may preclude her from coaching elsewhere someday. It gnaws at her. But she musters enthusiasm for the job — doggedly challenging referees, for example, or diving for loose balls in practice to set an example.

“I’m going to coach like we’re going to win a state championship,” Lutz said. “They deserve that.”

Players see her as a stable, trustworthy role model, unlike anyone they know. She is fiery, sassy and confident. She gives them pointers on everything from manners to hairstyles.

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From the New York Times’ John Branch: Carroll Academy Basketball: ‘It Ain’t About the Record’

Carroll Academy is in Huntingdon, about 100 miles east of Memphis and 100 miles west of Nashville in West Tennessee. It is a strictly run day school with about 80 students operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court, filled with teenagers trying to work their way back to their home schools with the velvet-hammered guidance of parole officers and people like Lutz, Hatch and Steele.

Among the nine girls on the Carroll Academy basketball team, only one lives with both her mother and her father. A seventh grader, she lived with her parents and two younger siblings at a grandmother’s house, having been evicted from one trailer and waiting to move into another.

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From the Columbus Dispatch’s Mark Znidar: Regional pits early season question marks

The enrollment is so small at Shekinah Christian, which neighbors Jonathan Alder in Plain City, that 13 of the 20 girls in the school play basketball.

It isn’t as though Yoder has planted magic seeds in the ground and come up with a beanstalk. The Flames were 13-7 last year, and most of the current players won a district volleyball championship this past fall.

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This time, in the world of high school: Girls’ basketball: Santa Monica upsets Long Beach Poly

In a shocking upset, Santa Monica defeated Long Beach Poly, ranked No. 2 in the nation, 57-56, in the Southern Section Division 1AA quarterfinals at Poly on Wednesday.

In a *sad* barometer of how the pressure to win has pushed coaches into making bad decisions, even at the high school level: (Top seeded) Lake Ridge Academy’s girls basketball program banned from playoffs for two years for recruiting violations

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David Lipscomb (TN)  girls coach Ernie Smith collected his 800th career victory.

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Granbury’s Leta Andrews wins record 1,334th game

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in Oregon: 1891 brings basketball, historic buildings to town 1891

The first Salem games were played in the YMCA gym, housed at a three-story building at the northwest corner of Chemeketa and Commercial streets. A girls basketball team was described in the 1905 Wallulah yearbook as “five of the pluckiest girls that ever bloomed forth in bloomers.”

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from Bill Clark at the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune: Basketball star a memorable player

During four years at Clinton High School (1946-49), Ol’ Clark lived in ignorance. I didn’t know high school girls played basketball.

Then I came to Boone County and, in 1955, became a high school basketball official. I quickly discovered high school girls not only played basketball, but, in some communities, the girls drew larger crowds than the boys.

My first girls’ assignments were at Hallsville and Harrisburg. It was at Harrisburg that I met my first female basketball superstar — Dulane Richards. In the old six-girl game, usually a team’s best player became the go-to shooter, often averaging well more than 20 points a game. Dulane was Harrisburg’s go-to girl.

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if college sports are suffering from the economy, so are sports at the high school level.

This article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel lays out the story in Cali: Pay to play: High school athletics hit hard by budget cuts

Like most high school sports teams in Santa Cruz County, the Grizzlies and Wildcatz were forced to slash budgets and come up with new sources of income after the Pajaro Valley Unified School District and Santa Cruz City Schools cut an estimated $420,000 combined in athletics funding last year. Most programs are now entirely self-funded, which means some students’ families pay $150 for their kids to play a sport. Coaches earn far less or work for free while spending half their time fundraising the thousands of dollars it takes to pay for league dues, officials and equipment.

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the HoopGurlz staff: Bayou event fields hot prospects

Because of the unrelenting, humidity-infused heat, there’s a lot that is not really easy about the Big Easy in the summer. Case in point is the Basketball on the Bayou girls’ basketball exposure tournament. Rarely is so much of the area’s talent so concentrated in one place as it is here. Which makes the daytime action fast, furious and, yes, white hot — a perfect prospect preamble to an equally rollicking night in the French Quarter.

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some high school summer ball coverage: Girls basketball program adds to robust scene

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from Kelvin Powell at Hoopgurlz: Fila event draws big performances

Michael T. White’s inaugural Fila Nationals girls’ basketball tournament hosted 149 teams from three age divisions. Here’s a look at some of the standouts.

and from the HG staff: Nike Nationals has impressive showings

Each summer the recruiting trail reveals talent we’ve never seen, talent that’s evolved and progressed, and young talent on which it’s worth keeping a watchful eye. While Nike Nationals annually offers up some of the best teams and competition, by the end of the month most of the promising athletes on their rosters have been evaluated. This year’s edition offered some stepped-up performances by several known players as well as many impressive showings in the first-year junior division. Here are just a few who were still taking their game to another level at the close of the evaluation period.

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From Kelvin Powell at HoopGurlz:

The ESPN Wide World of Sports served as the host for this year’s AAU Girls Basketball National Championships in multiple age groups. This year’s version included over 200 teams in three divisions each looking to capture one of the most coveted prizes in all of summer basketball — the AAU National Championship.

The field included teams from as far as the state of Washington and as close as the hosting Sunshine State. The action was competitive and intense with each team eyeing the gold basketball trophies that have come to symbolize excellence in amateur athletics.

We were there and so were these notable standouts.

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from the HoopGurlz staff: Talent out of national team’s shadow

While several of the first-half NCAA exposure tournaments seemed to suffer a bit from the absence of elite prospects pursuing a gold medal in France, the Nike Summer Showcase is so centrally located, it instead served to feature many recruits who might have been otherwise overlooked. The sprawling, 288-team event especially revealed some of the risers in the 2011 class.

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‘ cause it’s always good to keep an eye on the competition:

Belgium vs Mali

Canada vs Turkey

Australia vs Spain

Russia vs Japan

China vs Argentina

Oh, yes, and US vs. France

Group Standings http://france2010.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/10/fu17wc/women/p/group-standing.html

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Lindsay Schnell writes: Teams honor Jackson with great play

On April 12, DFW and all of high school girls basketball lost a giant in the game when Jackson, the founder of DFW, died suddenly of a heart attack at age 46. Heartbroken, his top teams pulled out of the Boo Williams Invitational in Virginia to mourn the loss of the man everyone called “Coach Mud.”

Three months later, riding on emotion and memories of Jackson’s famous pregame talks, DFW TJack went back and forth for 32 minutes with Midwest Elite in the final of the Nike Summer Showcase, clawing to a 61-53 win. It was a gritty, gutsy win for TJack, which advanced to the championship after a double overtime win over their sister program, DFW Elite Washington. In true dominant DFW fashion, they also had DFW Gold, a 2012-heavy bunch, playing in the other semifinal.

From Glenn Nelson at HoopGurlz

If Samantha Logic had her own team, its logo would be a bruise.

It would be deep, too, like some of her shots. The ones she takes. And the ones she delivers.

“They’ll know it later that they played against Samantha,” her Midwest Elite coach, Ralph Gesualdo, said of the bruising point guard from Racine, Wis.

They know it already, even before the onset of the contusions.

Anyone else have a flashback to the Miami Sol fan’s “Black and Blue” stat keeper of Debbie Black?

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Washington High School.

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As the U-17 team practices, there are some reporters on site. From Jim Fuller at the New Haven Register.

The chance to meet up with an old friend brought me to the D.C. area earlier this week and while I was there, I decided to make my way over the Flint Hill School for Monday’s evening and Tuesday’s morning U.S. Under-17 national team practice.

I’ll save most of the good stuff – especially regarding recruiting – for the three stories I wrote on the train ride back from D.C. yesterday but thought I would at least provide a scouting report on what I saw. It should be noted that the majority of the drills were spent focusing on defense and how to best utilize playing off screens so it is probably not the most accurate gauge of the offensive potential of the players I saw but I will proceed anyways. Naturally my attention was focused on the eight players on UConn’s recruiting radar so the other four players will not be included in my report.

If I may be permitted an observation and leap to a conclusion that may be incorrect.

It’s interesting that Mr. Fuller wrote, “The chance to meet up with an old friend brought me to the D.C. area earlier this week and while I was there…”

Considering the current state of the media industry, the coverage of women’s basketball and the passion of some who love the game, I wonder if Mr. Fuller is on vacation. If the paper paid for his travel, food and housing. Or one of the three. Or none of the three. Or if he timed his trip to coordinate with the Trials.

I have no information that answers any of the questions or ponderings I’m making about Mr. Fuller’s time in D.C. Heck, he may have taken advantage of the trip to visit with his friend. (Sorta like when I volunteered to attend a conference in Atlanta and *shock* the Lib were playing the Dream!)

But I ask because. if you talk to writers these days, it’s amazing what they will do so they can cover the game and those who play it for the fans who love it.

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From the Orlando Sentinel: If you go to the AAU girls basketball tournaments = The AAU Girls Basketball National Championships and Super Showcase Series will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney through July 15.

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Elite girls basketball players showcased in “End of the Trail” tourney

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From “They’re Playing Basketball”

The biggest club ball tournament west of the Mississippi had its exhibition games today.

The schedule for tomorrow is set. Makes me drool. I’ve seen a lot of those teams and players.

Not tryin’ to start a fight here, but would like to prompt some pondering. If you clicked on a basketball site and saw the following:

Allah is the greatest, there is no other allah (god) than Allah and Mohamed is his prophet

or

I am neither tempted by the fiction of heaven or any other form of eternal life nor fearful of the fiction of hell.

…how would you react?

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