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No rest for the weary over at USA Basketball:

USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team Roster Features Five USA Basketball Gold Medalists

The 12-member roster for the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team, which was announced following three days of trials that featured 51 athletes at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, features five USA Basketball gold medalists, including Jordin Canada(UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Diamond DeShields (Tennessee/Norcross, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell(Duke/Owensboro, Ky.); Erica McCall (Stanford/Bakersfield, Calif.); and Mercedes Russell(Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.).

Playing on their first USA Basketball team will be: Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.); Chanise Jenkins(DePaul/Chicago, Ill.); Brionna Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.); Aerial Powers (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); Courtney Range (California/Manteca, Calif.); Sydney Wiese (Oregon State/Phoenix, Ariz.); and Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.).

Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown will lead the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team, and he will be assisted by Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.

Nneka Ogwumike Has Memories And Aspirations From The 2011 World University Games

During the competition, often alongside her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka observed many other sports, some of which she had never seen before, as a way to support the USA and her alma mater, Stanford University, which had several athletes competing in various events.

“I was lucky in that my sister and I met up with 10 other Stanford athletes. We saw a lot of our classmates. We actually watched them compete in their sporting events, which was really cool. I was really excited to watch our men’s volleyball team, because we had three Stanford athletes on that team. The games were super exciting.”

In addition to meeting up with classmates, Ogwumike made new friends in the village, which is something she advises the participants of the 2015 World University Games to do.

Roster Named For U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team

Following three days of trials that featured 51 athletes at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 12-member roster for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team today was announced and features seven players who have won at least one gold medal with USA Basketball.

The retuning gold medalists include: Linnae Harper (Kentucky/Chicago, Ill.); Moriah Jefferson(Connecticut/Glenn Heights, Texas); Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina/Brownsburg, Ind.); Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina/Charlotte, N.C.); Kelsey Plum (Washington/Poway, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Notre Dame/Fishers, Ind.);and Breanna Stewart (Connecticut/North Syracuse, N.Y.).

Playing on their first USA Basketball team will be: Sophie Brunner (Arizona State/Freeport, Ill.);Alaina Coates (South Carolina/Irmo, S.C.);Caroline Coyer (Villanova/Oak Hill, Va.); Shatori Walker-Kimbrough(Maryland/Aliquippa, Pa.); and Courtney Williams (Texas A&M/Houston, Texas).

The University of Iowa’s Lisa Bluder will lead the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team, along with assistant coaches Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky University and Scott Rueck of Oregon State University.

Some nice “Catching up with…videos on their site.

In the crossover world of NCAA and USA sits Doug Bruno, who reflects on 29 years and looks to future

From Georgia: Retirement looks good on Andy Landers. Casual is his color.

Andy Landers, former Georgia women’s basketball coach and current caretaker of cows, announced his retirement in mid-March, leaving Georgia women’s basketball not only in search of a new leader but also a new identity.

“When you have been as good as they have been for so many years, you become synonymous with your school and it’s really hard to differentiate Georgia from Andy,” University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said. “If you were talking about Georgia basketball, the conversation always started with Andy. He was unique. In the women’s basketball circles, there just weren’t many guys like him.”

Landers spent 36 seasons developing a program, players and personal relationships with everyone he encountered. He was the Lady Dogs.

Yikes. This is sounding ugly: Illinois women’s basketball assistant coach leaves program under storm of accusations

The Daily Illini obtained letters addressed to Chancellor Wise that were sent by the families of Jacqui Grant, Taylor Tuck and Taylor Gleason, which detailed verbal and emotional abuse on the part of Bollant and Divilbiss.
**
One of the claims made by the letters, which was echoed by Lydia Tuck and LaKeisha Coleman — Amarah Coleman’s mother — was that Bollant and Divilbiss enforced what was called the “Dog Pound.” The “Dog Pound” was the team’s group of nonstarters, and was required to go to extra practices.

“I told him the dog pound is where strays go,” Lydia Tuck said. “It would be different if Illinois’ mascot was Huskies or Wolves.”

Lydia Tuck’s other daughter, Morgan, was a starter for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, which won the 2015 National Championship. Lydia said Morgan’s time at UConn has been “night and day different” from what Taylor has experienced at Illinois.

The Hartford Courant has All The News You Need To Get Ready For WNBA Season

From Jayda: Jenny Boucek in ‘natural spot’ as Storm’s coach

Jenny Boucek loves redemption stories.

She can relax on the couch with a glass of wine and freely ride the emotions of a favorite flick such as “Dirty Dancing.” But before you characterize Boucek’s return to head coaching in the WNBA as redeeming, know this is not that. (WHB history note: Remember this and this from Mechelle back in ’09?)

 “It’s not about me at all,” she said of being named the Storm’s fourth coach in the franchise’s 15-year history. Boucek was an assistant in Seattle from 2003-05 and the past five seasons under previous coach Brian Agler.
“People are feeling it is right for me to be here right now, and I feel it’s right, so I’m here,” she said.

Mixed news for the W’s Shock: Glory Johnson absent from Shock training camp, but Riquna Williams back from injury

From the Republican American: Being best takes on new meaning for Taurasi

Shortly after her college career ended, she was selected first overall in the WNBA Draft by the Mercury. That first season she not only won Rookie of the Year honors but was also named to the All-WNBA first team, and then she finished up 2004 by winning an Olympic gold medal and an ESPY for being the best female athlete in the world.

Her career hasn’t slowed down since then. She’s won three WNBA championships (2007, 2009, 2014), two more Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012) and five EuroLeague titles (four with Spartak Moscow, 2007-10; one with EMMC Ekaterinburg, 2013).

“It may sound corny, but from the day I graduated I said, ‘I am going to totally give myself to this, and I want to make sure that at home and around the world everyone knows how good I am,'” Taurasi said. “There was no way I was going to be part-time. I am a full-time basketball player and have been the 10-11 years. I always believed that if you are not playing basketball, you are not getting better.”

Ddd you catch Diana on Grantland?

Cool: Schimmels, McCoughtry part of seminar panel

Former University of Louisville women’s basketball players Angel McCoughtry, Shoni Schimmel and Jude Schimmel will be among the speakers at next Thursday’s Inspiring Women ENERGY Seminar Series at the KFC Yum! Center. The event is hosted by the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream – McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel’s team.

The luncheon, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is being held in advance of the May 23 WNBA preseason doubleheader at the arena. The topic for the luncheon will be “The Future of Women in Sports Leadership”

Not so cool, as the beat(down) goes on, this time from the Boston Globe: Isiah Thomas, WNBA a disturbing match

Now, the WNBA Board of Governors will decide whether Thomas is ownership material. Asked about the approval process, WNBA president Laurel Richie said the league would “collect background information” on Thomas, but she declined to discuss whether that would include a reexamination of the sexual harassment case. Richie emphasized that she had “great respect for the process and great respect for our Board” and anticipated thoughtful discussions.

That’s the restrained and responsible thing to say. But even with the process barely under way, the right and responsible thing to do is clear: Keep Thomas out of the ownership ranks. 

Arizona Central: Boivin: Just say no to Isiah Thomas, WNBA

No. No. No.

Approval would send a horrible message to young girls who look up to a league that has been groundbreaking in terms of giving female athletes opportunities.

Sexual harassment should be punished.

Not rewarded.

Fox Sports says Phil Jackson reportedly ‘not happy’ with Isiah Thomas’ hiring by Liberty (Though I have a funny feeling it’s more about PHIL’s future, not the message the hiring sends)

I wish some of these “non-ESPN folks” articles would mention the elephant in the room. Blocking Dolan’s idiotic wishes will likely cost the league the New York Liberty…

On the opposite side of the spectrum: Thank you: Retirement awaits for longtime girls sports advocate Marie Sugiyama

As a young woman, Marie Sugiyama would take any game.

Pickup softball? Sure. Field hockey? Yup. Even that weird thing they called girls basketball that wasn’t really basketball? That game with 12 players on the court and rules about who could and who could not cross the half-court line?

Sure, Sugiyama said yes to those offers, too, but that version of basketball had to rankle. Sugiyama, 79, never did like people telling her or other women where they can go, what they can do, what line they can cross.

Sugiyama, who next month will retire as the commissioner of the North Bay League after 42 years on the job, started her journey as a tomboy who liked to play whatever sport was out there. But she finished as a local hall of fame coach, athlete, administrator, teacher and champion for all young athletes, but especially female athletes.

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The Liberty players have an “open” dialogue with Thomas and Dolan and all’s good.

Cash said Thomas and Dolan’s comments to the team included “letting us know how things were going to be. Why they made the decisions that they made. And that’s all you can ask for as an employee, as a professional athlete, is to understand why decisions were made, how you got to this point and understanding what the goal is moving forward.”

Hmm… I see a monologue basically saying: We made a (very poor) decision, you have no voice (so be quiet), fall in (and don’t say boo) and you’ll still have a job (unless, as history has shown, Thomas has anything to do with the team)…

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You know, how, after they do something stupid, insulting or insensitive (hello, Cleveland Cavaliers), they say stuff like, “I’m sorry you were insulted.” Basically, avoiding responsibility for what they did.

Sorta like what Dolan and Thomas are trying to do.

Anucha is havin’ no of it. Anucha Browne Sanders irked by Isiah Thomas’ ‘attempt to rewrite history’

“In an attempt to rewrite history, the Garden has issued a statement about Anucha Browne Sanders’ lawsuit against MSG, [MSG chairman James] Dolan and Thomas that is, at best, misleading and, at worst, a fabrication,” read the statement, which was released by Browne Sanders’ attorney, Anne Vladeck, and first reported by the New York Daily News.

In 2007, when Thomas was coaching the Knicks, Browne Sanders alleged that he sexually harassed her. Although Thomas maintained his innocence, a jury found that MSG, owner of the team, improperly fired her for complaining about the unwanted advances. The jury also ruled that Browne Sanders was entitled to $11.6 million in damages from MSG and Dolan.

A portion of the money ($6 million) was awarded for the hostile work environment created by Thomas. The rest of the money was awarded because Browne Sanders was found to have been fired for complaining about the environment.

Brown gets some support from Deadspin (!) with their piece:Listen To Sexual Harasser Isiah Thomas Lie About His Sexual Harassment

“When the jury had an opportunity to fine,” Thomas began. “They fined Madison Square Garden. I was not liable or personally held for anything. The jury found no findings.”

“Anyone who’s vetted this,” he went on, “has looked at it, has come out and found that—as the jury found—that there were no findings in terms of Isiah Thomas.”

Here is a thing that actually, inarguably happened. On October 6, 2007, a jury found that Isiah Thomas sexually harassed a New York Knicks executive, who was fired when she told Madison Square Garden, the organization that owns the Knicks, that Isiah Thomas sexually harassed her.

The “home town” Detroit Free Press chimes in:

That was awkward.

Isiah Thomas made the TV/radio rounds this morning and couldn’t understand why people didn’t want to talk about women’s basketball instead of asking about the irony of a guy once accused of sexual harassment being named president of a WNBA team, the New York Liberty.

Or why his buddy, Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan, would rehire the guy many think wrecked his New York Knicks. Not to mention that Dolan and his company were hit with the tab for that harassment lawsuit, too.

When he first saw the news, Dan Patrick started his phone interview with Thomas, the Detroit Pistons legend, Patrick said he was shocked and thought it was a joke.

While the WNBA top brass ponder going up against megalomaniac Dolan (and, I’m thinking, ponder a world without the NY Liberty if they do), Christine Brennan adds to the all-but-universal chorus of “wtf” reaction: There’s no place for Isiah Thomas in WNBA

Mr. Dolan, with no evidence to back his claim (IsiahThomas doesn’t even understand how bad a Knicks GM he was), would beg to differ: Jim Dolan: Isiah Thomas can build a winner. Meanwhile, Slate says, Suspend James Dolan – The Knicks owner just hired sexual harasser Isiah Thomas as president of a WNBA team. Will the NBA do the right thing?

As it happens, the NBA has this week been given the chance to demonstrate that its decisions regarding league figures’ conduct are motivated by principles of decency rather than headlines and PR opportunism. 

That chance has been provided by the blundering insensitivity and arrogance of New York Knicks owner James Dolan and his longtime ally, former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas. In 2007, a jury found that Thomas, at the time employed as the Knicks’ coach and team president, had sexually harassed a Knicks executive (and accomplished former basketball player) named Anucha Browne Sanders. Browne Sanders had been terminated after complaining internally about Thomas, and the jury awarded her $11.6 million in punitive damages for the harassment and her firing. Dolan and the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the Knicks and is controlled by Dolan, were found culpable in Browne Sanders’ mistreatment for firing her. MSG did not appeal the jury’s decision and subsequently settled its legal dispute with Browne Sanders for $11.5 million ahead of a scheduled hearing regarding compensatory damages. Thomas was relieved of his duties in 2008.

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It’s stunning how universally (with one notable exception) the dismay has been in reaction to Dolan hiring Thomas. More from the New York Times: James Dolan Gives an Executive Another Shot, Deserved or Not

Who among us does not believe in repentance and second chances? I called to ask the Garden about Thomas and the boss.

Have the two men repented? Do they have second thoughts? Or have they rethought their first thoughts?

This email statement arrived in my inbox:

Several problems arise here. The facts of the Browne harassment case are no longer “allegations.” A jury verdict is not a friendly tap on your shoulder or advice whispered in your ear. You appeal a verdict or accept it, at which point, like freshly poured concrete, it quickly hardens into accepted fact.

After the verdict, Dolan and Thomas made a show of suggesting that the jury was gullible and that they would appeal. “I’m very innocent,” Thomas said immediately afterward, tapping his chest for emphasis. “I will appeal.”

He did not.

I have no idea if the WNBA has the spine to resist the peevish oligarch that is Dolan – nor what the possible consequences might be (no more Lib). But, in the court of public and published opinion, they sure have a solid base from which to make a stand.

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