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a fool’s errand… BUT, I do want to take a moment to point out this:

Jacki Gemelos’ Chicago Sky WNBA box score: 16 minutes, 4-7, +24. Honestly, who would have ever thunk that?

Nike announces signings of the top four WNBA draft picks (photos)

More love and respect for Katie Douglas: Retiring Douglas set example for area girls basketball players

Katie Douglas was a 6-foot-1 girls high school basketball player running the point long before such God-given backcourt leverage was fashionable.

The 1997 Perry Meridian graduate helped usher out single-class hoops while at the same time forcing observers of the girls game to think differently.

“With Katie there was no good way to defend her,” said longtime Franklin Community High School girls basketball coach Walt Raines, whose Grizzly Cubs have long staged battles against the Falcons.

Storm star Sue Bird presented with Moyer Foundation award

A little follow up from NPR: What Anti-Domestic Violence Advocates Are Saying About The WNBA Suspensions

More not-so-happy-news for the Lib: Prince to miss beginning of WNBA season to play for Russia

Speaking of the Lib – where’s Taj? Post hires former WNBA All-Star as head coach

From Swish Appeal: Key questions each WNBA Western Conference team faces heading into the 2015 season and Key questions for each WNBA Eastern Conference team faces in the 2015 season

From the Daily Courier: Kobritz Column: What the WNBA needs to learn from the NFL: “While the NFL is trying to ban one of its marque players over a tempest in a teapot, the WNBA is about to embrace a sleaze ball. Go figure.”

From the Huffington Post: Should Those Who Spoke Out Against Donald Sterling do the Same With Isiah Thomas?

In NCAA news:

Oklahoma women’s basketball: Sherri Coale talks potential rule changes, playing four quarters

Seven families protest handling of Illinois women’s basketball probe: report

The letter the newspaper obtained said the families “most strongly object to the manner in which the ‘internal investigation’ of mistreatment and abuses by the coaching staff was handled and is currently being handled by your office. We find this protocol unacceptable as well as completely disrespectful to the student athletes and their families affected by the coaches and coaching staff involved in these patterns of abuse.”

The seven families are writing in behalf of former players Taylor Tuck, Sarah Livingston, Amarah Coleman, Taylor Gleason, Alexis Smith, Nia Oden and Jacqui Grant.

David Teel at the Daily Press: Removing graduate transfer rule would be height of hypocrisy for NCAA

“If you’re transferring to be in a graduate program, the NCAA wants you to be working in earnest toward that degree rather than just using up your last year of eligibility,” Kevin Lennon, the association’s vice president of Division I governance, told the Associated Press.

Really? The NCAA wants Utopia? Well, then let’s have Mark Emmert solve the budget deficit, immigration reform and Middle East conflicts.

Were the 14 freshmen who declared for next month’s NBA draft “working in earnest” toward an undergraduate degree? The 15 sophomores?

The NCAA has no business attempting to police or discern an athlete’s motives. No one should care if a graduate transfer cares about getting a master’s.

Something for the twit who hate-tweeted me about this Liberty/Thomas fiasco from the New York Times: Any Publicity Is Good? Isiah Thomas and WNBA to Find Out

The Liberty will kick off a new W.N.B.A. season with their annual media day Thursday. This year’s event will probably be the best-attended one in franchise history. The reason? Isiah Thomas, the team’s new president, will be on hand alongside the players to face reporters.

From the Daily News’ Linda Stasi: It’s not just Isiah Thomas! There’s plenty of jobs available for all the other pervy, misogynistic male celebs out there

It’s about damned time that we all stopped harassing sexual harasser Isiah Thomas for becoming president and part owner of the New York Liberty women’s basketball team, pending board approval.

So listen up, disgruntled female hoopsters! Let us not think of the sexist pig’s rise to the heights of your sport as the height of absurdity/insanity/disrespect. Let us instead think of it as the height of female liberation!

After all, we women have finally reached true equality. If the man who cost Madison Square Garden $11.5 million in a sexual harassment suit can still get the top gig in women’s sports, just think of the possibilities. No, not for you. For them.

Add this: Adam Silver Needs to Step in on the Isiah Thomas Hiring

And (fingers crossed) WNBA BOG Reportedly Could Reject Effort To Make Isiah Part-Owner Of Liberty

At the other end of the spectrum: Flat Rock basketball team honored for record breaking success

Success came in leaps and bounds for the Flat Rock Rams this year.

Both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams won District championships, with the girls adding in a Regional championship.

The regional crown was the first in school history.

For their efforts the girls were honored at a recent City Council meeting.

“They had a great season this year,” Recreation Director Rodney Wade said. “They were Huron League champions, District champions and Regional champions.”

The girls that are seniors on this team are the first group to have went through the Flat Rock Recreation League program from first grade through High School.

Shawnee basketball’s Freeman to be inducted into OGBCA Hall of Fame

For a man who didn’t even play basketball in high school, let alone college, Steve Freeman has had a one-of-a-kind career coaching the sport.

The long-time coach, who has been an assistant with the girls basketball team at Shawnee High School, will be honored for a storied career when he is inducted into the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame on May 30.

“It’s a really nice honor, very exciting,” Freeman said. “It’s also very humbling, because so much about winning is being in the right place at the right time with the right kids. I’ve been fortunate that I have, a lot of the time, been in the right place at the right time. There are a bunch of very good coaches who have never were lucky enough to be in that right situation. I feel really privileged, really blessed.”

From Billy Watkins at the Clarion Ledger: Who was first? ‘Reportedly’ Sue Dabbs

“Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, tennis. Oh … and I love volleyball,” she said. “I try not to miss anything. This is a dream come true for me. My mama told me I became an Ole Miss fan at the age of 6. I don’t remember it. But I can’t remember not being one, so it had to be early.”

Dabbs said she enjoyed the column about Beth, who lives in North Carolina and is an ordained Episcopal priest and a cancer survivor.

“Beth deserved having a story written about her,” Dabbs said. “She’s done a lot with her life and did a lot for females in the sports writing business.”

And that is true. She did.

From Virginia: What Cosby girls basketball team does for classmate with autism will warm your heart

From L.A.: Japanese American basketball leagues help girls progress at prep level

Standing just 5 feet 3, Lauren Saiki was sometimes the smallest player on the basketball court. But her signature thread-the-needle passes and heady ball-handling propelled the point guard and her teams from Alhambra Mark Keppel High to four consecutive playoff appearances, capped by last season’s run to the Division II state championship game, a first for the school.

Saiki, 18, has earned a basketball scholarship to West Virginia.

For all this, she can credit the fundamentals she learned while playing for more than a decade in a Japanese American basketball league.

“That helped build my foundation,” Saiki said. “. . . I really fell in love with basketball.”

What’s cool is this continues the long history of women’s Japanese-American basketball on the West Coast.

Before, during, and after World War II, Nisei youth clubs offered hundreds of city girls like Ide a place of camaraderie and belonging where they could play basketball and baseball, socialize with boys, develop leadership skills, participate in community service, and forge lifelong friendships. In an era when Japanese-Americans faced racial barriers to social acceptance, these clubs enabled urban teenagers to claim American identity and enjoy the pleasures of popular culture.

Which connects to this from Jayda: Ramu Tokashiki looking to catch on with Storm

A half-dozen journalists attended the second day of Storm training camp Monday. All were interested in one player: Ramu Tokashiki.

A 6-foot-3 forward, Tokashiki stands out in the basketball world in Japan. Nicknamed “Taku” (pronounced TOCK), Japanese slang for strong, she signed with the Storm to be challenged by WNBA players.

“I understand she has no competition, per se, within the Japanese basketball system,” said journalist Misa Seely of American Sports Access. “There’s nobody as tall as she is and nobody as quick as she is. Her size and strength and ability to score is what makes her a superstar.”
Tokashiki is expected to make Seattle’s regular-season roster. It would make her the third Japanese player to compete in the WNBA.

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One of the hardest working, toughest-lucking players we’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. Remember this from 2001? Even Adversity Couldn’t Stop Douglas’s March to Final

Last Monday, Katie Douglas scored only 2 points in the first half of Purdue’s Mideast Regional final against Xavier. But Douglas did score 17 points in the second half, helping the Boilermakers advance to the Final Four. That was just Katie, most of her teammates thought with reverence, rebounding again. 

But Kelly Komara, a junior guard, knew the real reason. So did Pam Stackhouse, a Purdue assistant. They saw Douglas’s gray-blue eyes reflect the many memories that were shaking her game. March 26 would have been her mother’s 54th birthday. 

”She was a little emotional, and maybe she went out and played a little too hard,” Stackhouse said. 

Douglas’s mother, Karen, died last April 28 of breast cancer. Her father, Ken, had died three years earlier of pancreatic cancer. A teammate, Tiffany Young, was killed by a drunken driver in July 1999, the month before Douglas learned of her mother’s diagnosis.

From David Woods at the Indy Star:

She became the greatest female pro basketball player to come out of Indiana. But fans will no longer be entertained by her fiery persona, left-handed 3-pointers, slashes to the rim or clever steals.

Katie Douglas, who turns 36 Thursday, announced her retirement Friday after a 14-year WNBA career. The Indianapolis native had intended to play for the Connecticut Sun this summer but cited lingering back problems for her decision.

A hint (pre-retirement) of her future from Nathan Baird at the Lafayette Journal & Courier

“I would love to coach,” Douglas said. “I love the business side of basketball. I love the (general manager) perspective. I love creating a roster and seeing the development of that. I love various aspects and love being involved in the game. There are various things I need to kind of pursue and test and see what I’m passionate about.”

Viva Las Vegas! Bruno and USA Basketball Women’s National Team in Las Vegas

Speaking of US National Team members, did you catch this piece by Maya: (In)visibility:

After four years and two national championships, I went No. 1 in the 2011 WNBA Draft. That’s when I felt the drop.

There’s this unnatural break in exposure for the highest level of women’s basketball in the world. Wait, what happened here? That’s a question we as WNBA players ask ourselves. We go from amazing AAU experiences to high school All-American games to the excitement and significant platform of the collegiate level to … this. All of that visibility to … this. Less coverage. Empty seats. Fewer eyeballs. In college, your coaches tell you to stay focused on your team and the game — not the media attention. But you know you’re on national television. You know people are following you. You can feel the excitement. And then as a professional, all of that momentum, all of that passion, all of that support — the ball of momentum is deflating before my eyes

I went No. 1 in the 2011 WNBA Draft. That’s when I felt the drop.

Gone.

 Speaking of Minnesota – does the oft-injured Big Syl wanna go there?

“Prepare for the worst and hope for the best” is an age-old management strategy, but not exactly the mindset a team wants to have going into a season. The Chicago Sky, though, have had to operate in this mode since last fall in regard to center Sylvia Fowles.

And now it’s getting closer to the time to drop the “hoping for the best” part. Fowles doesn’t appear to have a future with the Sky, who drafted her No. 2 overall in 2008 out of LSU, unless there is a big turn of events.

The Sky have been readying for some time to move on without Fowles, even though that’s not what they would prefer. Fowles declined a contract offer last September, and negotiations — if you want to call them that — continued sporadically.

Speaking of the upcoming season: Dishin & Swishin 4/30/15 Podcast: Tulsa looks to Shock the Western Conference in 2015

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in the MOOOOOOORRRRNing!

At least when I get up Friday AM, it will be to catch a 6am flight to Omaha to present at a conference and work with some of the fine folks at the Omaha Community Playhouse. But 50% of the players who got up bright and early yesterday morning for afternoon Kid Camp days got a loss for their trouble.

The Mystics ended a four-game skid by taking down San Antonio AT San Antonio, 81-70. Nice to see Dolson fight through a knee sprain and Meesseman and McBride back filling up their stat lines.

Tired Storm legs meant tired Storm shooting. LA managed to defend home court against Seattle, though they almost let their third quarter doom’em again. Sue over at Full Court says the Sparks are collectively dealing with chemistry, line up issues

“I loved how we won,” Los Angeles coach Carol Ross said. “We were resilient, tough, and battled through fatigue. We finished all the way to the end and kept a positive attitude until the end. We never doubted we would win it.”

The Sparks demonstrated the same play last week in defeating the visiting Tulsa Shock. It was a noticeable difference for a team that has been known to lose momentum during games, and have lackluster showings on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

“This game we were able to correct our problems, and make plays down the stretch and do what works for us,” All-Star forward Candace Parker said.

She’s baaaaack: Minnesota Lynx today announced the team has signed guard Nadirah McKenith

She’s also baaaaack: The New York Liberty signed free agent forward Charde Houston

Deborah Fleck asks: So how’s Irving MacArthur and Baylor graduate Odyssey Sims doing in the WNBA?

Jayda’s got some stuff to say about WNBA Pride & TV. Meanwhile, Rose Scott at NPR says, The WNBA Televises Its Pride With LGBT Campaign

Ned Griffen says the Sun continue to follow Douglas’ lead

Katie Douglas wanted to talk to Connecticut Sun public and community relations manager Bill Tavares at a recent practice, so she walked over and lowered her shoulder into him.

Laughter ensued.

Douglas was asked about her back, which caused her to miss most of last WNBA season. She had lumbar microdiscectomy surgery last October to correct it.

“The back is good,” Douglas said. “How does it look?”

More laughter.

Honestly, ESPN, that’s the best photo you could find?

BTW: Vote early, vote often:WNBA releases first tally for All-Star game, voting ends July 2

In college news:

UNCW women’s basketball team ready to reap rewards of patience

Adell Harris tried not to take it personally when a parade of UNCW women’s basketball players invaded her office in May 2012looking to leave.

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First and foremost, a huge shout out to Barb Stevens and her Bentley University team. Not only did they earn the Division II crown, they went undefeated, AND they came back from 9 down with less than six minutes to go.

With her team down nine points with 51⁄2 minutes left in the NCAA Division 2 championship game, Bentley coach Barbara Stevens allowed herself a moment of consolation.

“I had a fleeting thought looking up at the clock at one point where I said, ‘OK, it’s been a good season,’ ” Stevens said.

It was about to get much, much better.

****

“We looked at each other with six minutes left and knew we had to give it everything we had,” grad student Courtney Finn said. “We had our backs against the wall and really had nothing to lose down nine points. We had six minutes left in our careers and we had to give it everything we had.”

That’s  No. 917 for coach Stevens – and her first national championship.

“I can’t tell you what a tremendous ride this has been for our coaching staff and the Bentley community,” said Stevens. “What a ride for these young ladies and proud of them doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. We’ve gone through so much together and they are truly champions.”

From John Dudley at the Erie-Times News:

The banner above Barbara Stevens in Bentley’s small sea of blue Friday night at Erie Insurance Arena read “Finished Business.”

Some business takes longer to finish.

Stevens, Division II women’s basketball’s winningest coach, finally won a title on her second try 37 seasons into what’s already been a Hall of Fame career.

The last 28 of those seasons have been with the Falcons, with whom she’s been to nine NCAA semifinals, two finals and, now, one mountaintop.

Not such good news for two coaches: Rhode Island is looking for a new leader, as is Minnesota. Rhodie looking of a new boss was not surprising, but for some, Borton’s firing was. Not for those around the program, though.

Jonathan Hawthorne writes: Paul Westhead’s time with Oregon women’s basketball inconsistent but impactful

The team, who was saddened by the news of his departure from Eugene, clearly enjoyed his style of play and mentorship.

“To play for a coach like him, who’s coached NBA players and won championships, it’s probably the highlight of my career because he has taught me so much,” Jillian Alleyne said after the game. “He taught me ultimately to believe in myself, that I can be any kind of player I want to be. So it’s been a great honor and a great pleasure.”

Speaking of coaches in unhappy situations, Kate Fagan dives into the rabbit hole that is the she said/she said of BU’s Kelly Greenberg: Two Distinct Portraits of Greenberg

Kristen Sims, a former Boston University women’s basketball player, remembers how head coach Kelly Greenberg supported her unconditionally before and after her knee surgery, taking Sims to doctor’s appointments and constantly checking in to see whether she needed anything.

Jacy Schulz, another former BU player, remembers the time she entered Greenberg’s office and the coach placed a box of Kleenex on the desk to signal what was to come. “She said I was a waste of life, and that I should never have been born,” Schulz told espnW.com.

Both Sims and Schulz speak with the conviction that comes from personal experience. This is exactly how it happened for me. And according to more than a dozen interviews conducted with former BU players, each of the above interactions reflects the dramatically divergent experiences of the young women who have played for Greenberg over the years.

Joan Venocchi at the Boston Globe writes: A bully, or a booster

Who’s the real Kelly Greenberg?

The two sides to her story sound like parallel worlds of a college hoops universe.

From Allie Grasgreen at Inside Higher Ed: Equal Opportunity Bullying

It’s clear that bullying and emotional abuse by coaches of any gender has deep roots. But several complaints and lawsuits in recent months focused more attention on behavior that people would historically expect to see more from men.

In WNBA news:

You stay put:  Atlanta Dream re-signs All-Star C Erika de Souza after career-best season

You also stay put: Quigley & Warley Re-sign with Chicago and Sun Sign Hightower, Greene

You go back: Katie Douglas leaving Fever as for Sun

You come here: Fever announce signing of Marissa Coleman and Sky sign free-agent forward Breland

Will you come here? Phoenix Mercury today acquired the rights to Polish center Ewelina Kobryn from the Seattle Storm in exchange for forward Charde Houston

And yah, WNBA Makes If Official: 2014 Draft At Mohegan Sun On April 14

WATN? Kelly Mazzante: Mazzante’s return to Hershey for state finals brought back a lot of memories; and not all were good-The former Montoursville High and Penn State star worked the state basketball finals for PCN.

WATN? Keri Chaconas: Former WNBA player settles in Huntersville

Holm grew up in northern Virginia, where she began playing basketball at a young age. Her prowess in the sport as a prep player landed her a scholarship at George Mason, her home school, in 1992.

She took advantage of the opportunity.

While Holm didn’t get a chance to play in an NCAA tournament game during her time with the Patriots, she almost single-handedly vaulted George Mason into a contender for the Colonial Athletic Association title.

Holm’s success as a 3-point shooter – her 218 treys have her tops in school history – helped drive George Mason to the CAA championship game in 1994, where the Patriots fell to powerhouse Old Dominion and their star freshman Ticha Penicheiro, 78-61.

From the AP’s Paul Newberrry: Szabados inspiring but women deserve more

 

But the fact that Szabados’ only real playing option after Canada’s thrilling victory was to sign on with the low-level Southern Professional Hockey League shows just how far women’s sports still lags behind, despite all the progress in the last four decades under Title IX.

At the very least, Szabados and so many other female athletes deserve leagues of their own.

Outside of the WNBA, there’s virtually no conduit for women to make a decent wage in North American team sports after their high school and college careers are over. That’s why Szabados eagerly joined the SPHL for a few games, even though some viewed it as nothing more than a publicity stunt for a team averaging less than 3,000 fans a game. That’s why Jen Welter – all 5-foot-2, 130 pounds of her – is playing in a men’s football league, taking on guys more than twice her size.

They have no choice, their options are limited.

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So, to distract us, Mechelle offers this: Douglas fights way back to Fever

You might wonder whether Katie Douglas perhaps had just a brief moment of regret after Indiana won the WNBA championship last season. After all her years of durability through high school, college and pro ball, how could she have suffered a debilitating ankle injury just before the WNBA Finals that the Fever won? What are the odds of that rotten luck and bad timing?

Then again … if you know much about Douglas, it won’t surprise you that, actually, not a single second of angst crossed her mind in that regard. 

“At no point was I sad at all; I was really at peace that I was finally part of a WNBA championship team,” Douglas said Wednesday, looking ahead to the start of the Fever’s 2013 season May 24. “I helped get them there, and my teammates finished it off. They were great.

Get 24 Seconds with Brittney Griner (BTW she helped tv #s on Draft Day)

Need some preseason previews? Here’s what Full Court has:

D.C: With Thibault, the Mystics have nowhere to go but up

‘sota: The Lynx lose Mama Taj but still will be tough to beat

Texas:Despite setbacks, San Antonio concedes nothing

From News on 6: Shock Poised To Bring Excitement To Tulsa Thanks To Offseason Additions

Summertime in Tulsa normally can’t be considered one of the more exciting times of the year, particularly on the sports front.

The heat is oppressive, the mosquitoes are biting and everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall and football season. However, this summer—and more in the future—an unlikely source could give Tulsans a reason to be excited, a source that has previously been a point of ridicule and even embarrassment.

Yes, the Tulsa Shock could actually be something worth seeing this summer in Tulsa, thanks to progressive improvement over the past two years and the addition of new point guard Skylar Diggins.

In the land of the Vols, a continuation (Pat Summitt still head coach emeritus) and an explanation (Vols cite job performance for firing)

This is cool: Mark Emmert calls for inclusiveness

NCAA president Mark Emmert opened Tuesday’s second Inclusion Forum by urging campus leaders to make school policies more welcoming for women, minorities, disabled athletes and those with different sexual orientations.

While he didn’t cite Collins specifically during his speech or in the subsequent question-and-answer session, Emmert expressed his support for the first openly gay active player in a major American pro sports league. He acknowledged that Collins’ disclosure that he’s gay could have a ripple effect on how college athletic departments treat other players and coaches.

What did he have to say after Griner’s “revelation”? And what is he going to do about universities who have institutionalized homophobia?

Mechelle reflects on the changing roles/responsibilities of journalists: Who should ask? Who should tell?

This wasn’t discussed when I was in journalism school in the 1980s, or even brought up much by editors throughout my career. Nonetheless, there seemed to be an unspoken code: Sports writers not only shouldn’t “out” athletes or coaches but should essentially avoid questions about their personal lives if we thought they might be gay.

If they chose to bring up the topic, that was OK. Otherwise, we usually didn’t ask. And they rarely told.

I’m certainly not suggesting all media have adhered to this “code.” But I have. And many of the reporters I’ve known seem to, as well. Or at the very least, are typically hesitant to broach the topic of whether someone is gay, even in circumstances when writing about their relationship could be deemed journalistically relevant.

After Baylor’s Brittney Griner talked openly about being gay recently, I thought a lot about the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” mindset in sports writing. And I’ve pondered it more since NBA free agent Jason Collins’ announcement this week.

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Congrats to Jeff House, a good guy: Kentucky women hire WNBA assistant to replace Insell

Lady Swish has some other coaching stuff: Getting to know new George Mason coach Nyla Milleson and McGuire takes over at Radford

The Connecticut Sun open training camp Monday, so coach Anne Donovan has had a lot of time to think about what she will tell her team. In the end, though, she tries not to outthink herself.

“The night before camp, there likely will be a lot of thought [about what to say]. But my general feeling is, the best thing I can do is just be myself,” Donovan said. “It has worked for me with a bunch of other teams and a lot of different players. All I know how to do is be myself. That will be my message.”

Katie Douglas is testing her injured ankle in Russia before her 13th WNBA season

Need some more WATN? Here ya go! St. Bernard hires ex-UCLA star Michelle Greco

I’m not sure I get the point of this article from Henry Abbott: Jason Collins is not Brittney Griner as he tries to explain “why Jason Collins’ coming out made bigger waves than Brittney Griner’s.” He missed a big point… Just read some of the comments.

And, on a side note, how many tweets of support did Griner get from WBCA and WNBA coaches?

BTW, this from Jayda: National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Launched

From Mel: Guru Adds to Hall of Fame Collection: Summer League Countdown to Launch

Since the tease at the end of the previous post was written,and for those not connected on twitter @womhoopsguru, facebook or LinkedIn, the Guru was cleared to go public to say that on Oct. 19, though he was never enrolled at the university, he will become a honorary Catholic woman when he becomes part of the second induction class of the Immaculata Athletics Hall of Fame.

The letter cited support of the university and pioneering coverage of women’s basketball.

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and the desk is (almost) clear, I still come to the same conclusion: Indy winning was great for the league on so many levels.

Great: For those of us “old timers” who remember Catch being picked, despite her torn ACL.
Great: For those of us who’ve watched year after year as the Fever just missed having the right personnel around her.
Great: For those of us who watched random injury after random injury derail the Fever’s quest.
Great: For those of us who understand everything good Lin Dunn has done for the women’s professional game.

Great: For those home fans — some who’ve been loyal through thick and thin, some who gleefully jumped on the bandwagon — who got to witness a Championship victory on their home court.
Great: For those random folks who flipped channels and caught the scene of thousands of delirious fans celebrating a women’s basketball fans.
Great: For all those cranky fans who thought the season was “boring” because Minny was a prohibitive favorite to win. Psych!
Great: For a league that really needed this season to end on a bang, not a whimper.

Great: For all the attention Cheryl’s jacket-toss garnered.
Great: For every ounce of heartache and frustration on the Minnesota team — they gave a city that was starving for a Championship a taste. And they went home empty handed. Just think how ferocious they will be next year.
Great: For every “semi-scrub” on the Fever team who figured out how to be a “super sub.”
Great: For anyone who’s followed Katie Douglas’ off-court story.
Great: For Catch, who has been the epitomy of class, class and class. Not only deserved this, she earned every single second of it.

From the wires:

Mechelle: Tamika Catchings wins elusive title – Three-time Olympic gold medalist and former NCAA champ finally nabs WNBA crown

You’ll get no argument from anyone involved in the WNBA that nobody plays harder than Catchings … and yet she’s still beloved league-wide despite her limitlessly aggressive, no-off-switch style.

Which is why after Catchings and the Fever beat defending champion Minnesota 87-78 Sunday to win Game 4 of the WNBA Finals and the series 3-1, even the conquered Lynx paid genuine tribute to the Fever’s franchise icon.

As Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve put it, “There’s not anybody that cannot be happy for Tamika Catchings to finally get a championship.”

Also from Mechelle: Turning disappointment into a title – After getting cut from Australian national team, Erin Phillips focused on Fever

Indiana guard Erin Phillips never had to look far for inspiration when she felt a little weary during the WNBA Finals.

“Anytime something started to hurt, I’d glance at Katie,” Phillips said of teammate Katie Douglas, who was sidelined by an ankle injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Oct. 11. “I knew how much Katie wanted to be out there. You just forget about whatever pain you have. You just go to another level.”

Phillips and her fellow Fever backcourt players did that in a major way over the last five games with Douglas out. And it was an enormous part of Indiana winning the franchise’s first WNBA title Sunday with an 87-78 victory over Minnesota.

From Michelle: Fever share championship moment

While the payoff moment was watching Tamika Catchings grab that WNBA championship trophy and hoist it over her head, tears streaming down her face, it was just that — a single moment.

Championships aren’t built on a single anything. They are a compilation of moments and performances, hardships and triumphs. They are a blessed combination of the efforts of coaches and players and general managers, and even when an athlete as singular as Catchings — one of the most beloved players in the WNBA — gets what she has so obviously deserved by virtue of the Indiana Fever’s 87-78 victory in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday night, there’s so much more to it.

Lana Bandoim of Yahoo Sports has this: Tamika Catchings Discusses the Indiana Fever’s WNBA Championship: Fan View

From the Bleacher Report: WNBA Finals 2012: Catchings and the Indiana Fever Win First Championship

With only a few seconds left in Game 4 of the 2012 WNBA Finals, one of several special moments occurred. Indiana native Katie Douglas, who was sitting out the finals due to injury, trotted out onto the court to a large crowd ovation.

Shortly afterwards, the buzzer sounded and it was official. The Indiana Fever were champions for the first time in franchise history.

From the AP/Sports Illustrated: Fever top Lynx for first WNBA title

“When you come into this league, your goal and dream is to win a WNBA championship,” Catchings said. “Twelve years later … it’s so sweet right now.”

From the Indy Star: Two from Bob Kravitz

This one’s for Tamika Catchings, who finally filled out her trophy case with her first WNBA title to go along with all those Olympic gold medals and overseas championships. Did you catch that snapshot of Catchings standing on the victory podium, holding up the championship and MVP hardware? What a sight.

This one’s for Katie Douglas, the hometown girl who, sadly, didn’t get a chance to play until the final 3.2 seconds of this series but helped bring the Indiana Fever to this heady place with her work in the regular season and earlier in the playoffs.

It only figured that the Fever and Pacers Sports and Entertainment would have to go to a Plan B. It only figured that with rain pouring down, and more rain in the forecast, the team and its parent company would have to move the parade inside to the lobby of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

After all, isn’t that what the WNBA champion Fever have been doing throughout this remarkable run to a title, Indy’s first pro hoops title since the 1973 ABA Pacers?

Something happens, you move on. You find a Plan B. You embrace a Plan C. You roll out a Plan D.

From David Woods: Fever win 87-78, claim franchise’s first championship

“It’s been an amazing journey, the ups and downs,” Catchings said.

Members of the Colts and Pacers were on hand to support the Fever, and congratulations for Catchings came from everywhere. There was this tweet from someone who knows what it’s like to wait for a championship:

“Bout Damn Time!!” LeBron James posted. (Btw, more twitter reaction here)

From Robert King: Indiana Fever fans’ excitement reaches new high in historic win

When Kristina Howard emerged from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday night after following the Indiana Fever since their birth in Indianapolis there was nothing else for her to do except to unleash an immense victory cry.

She wasn’t alone.

Fans, young and old, turned a quiet evening in Downtown Indianapolis into one of civilized revelry — blaring car horns, screams of delight and mugging for the TV cameras looking for something to start their late-night newscasts — as they celebrated the WNBA team’s championship-clinching 87-78 win over the Minnesota Lynx.

From the “What, too soon?” files: Can the Fever do it again next season?

Not to be outdone, Nate asks: Can the Fever repeat as WNBA champions in 2013? and tracks the Fever’s Unexpected Path to a title

The Lynx had a balanced, deep and versatile roster that seemed to be built to win on paper and did little to suggest they wouldn’t finish the task by repeating as champions.

And it’s hard to appreciate just how incredible a feat the Indiana Fever’s 3-1 win over the Minnesota Lynx in the 2012 WNBA Finals was without taking into account the entirety of that narrative.

Finally, from Richard: Catchings and Fever complete richly deserved Finals victory

Unlikely as it may have seemed at the start of the series, this was a richly deserved win for Indiana. In fact, it was all the sweeter for the fight they had to show to reach the summit. They lost their opening game of the playoffs at home, made two changes to their starting lineup, and came back to knock off Atlanta. They went 1-0 down to Connecticut, then lost Douglas in the opening minutes of the decider, before playing the Sun off their own floor. And then they outplayed the strongly favoured Lynx for the significant majority of the WNBA Finals, to earn their rings. It was a championship built on defense, heart, hustle and hard work, plus pure desire to keep fighting that little bit harder than their opponents.

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THIS close.

And don’t even begin to lie to me and say that you thought Indy, down Katie AND Pohlen, had a chance in youknowwhat. And, even if you were a cock-eyed optimist, there ain’t no way you call the margin of victory. And yet, look what happened.

From the Indy Star, Bob Kravitz wrties: Magical effort has Fever oh so close to WNBA title

They lost Katie Douglas to a sprained ankle. They lost Douglas’ replacement, Jeanette Pohlen, to another injury in Game 2 in Minnesota. They found themselves in a WNBA Finals series against the defending champions, the Minnesota Lynx, a team that is deeper, younger, healthier and more athletic.

“How are you going to match up now without Douglas and Pohlen?’Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn was asked before Game 3 Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

She smiled and laughed.

“Pull a rabbit out of a hat,” she said.

All credit to Indy’s defense, guards stepping up, and Tamika’s top-to-bottom fierceness. Oh, and 18,000-plus Fever fans who were, as Lobo so aptly put it, taken out of the game because Minnesota played so miserably. Auriemma sent Rebecca a morning tweet: @RebeccaLobo surprised u werent up earlier since i heard u and Terry snoring during 3rd quarter last night

Forget jacket tossing — btw, On The Fly: Minnesota Lynx Coach Fined For Throwing Her Coat In Game 2 and, from Jayda: “That Bobby Knight, Lou Piniella, Cheryl Reeve montage of meltdowns was hilarious. Guys in a different bar&I debated same. Knight took prize” — they’re this close to tossing hats in the air.

Says the Star’s David Woods:

This was easy. Or E-Z. Or “E” and “Z” as Lin Dunn put it.

“E” is Erlana Larkins. She has re-introduced herself to the women’s basketball world.

“Z” is Shavonte Zellous. She left her mark on the Minnesota Lynx as the fictional Zorro did on the Spaniards.

They contributed to a dazzling night that had Brad Stevens and Eric Gordon — a couple of Indianapolis’ basketball celebrities — tweeting about it. The Fever crushed the Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Friday, moving within one victory of their first championship.

Writes Michelle:

The look on Cheryl Reeve’s face at the third-quarter timeout expressed more than any flying jacket. It wasn’t passion. Not even anger, really, but unmistakable disgust.

There’s being beaten by an Indiana team having a great night. But being beaten like this?

From Mechelle: Zellous puts Fever on brink of title (yes, Z, Big East fans see — and have seen — you!)

The Indiana Fever had been away from home a long time. They left Oct. 9 after having survived Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals the night before. By the time they returned to Indiana’s capital city on Oct. 18, they had won the East title, lost Katie Douglas and Jeanette Pohlen to injuries, won Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, and lost Game 2.

So the 18,165 fans who filled Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday night really couldn’t know exactly what they’d see from their Fever. And they never would have expected what they got: A flat-out shellacking of the defending WNBA champions.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Plenty of time left on the clock. Anyone wanna lay odds on who wins Sunday?

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it was Minny who actually ended up “down one.”

Catch was Catch, Larkins was on a mission (from Nate: Erlana Larkins’ record-tying rebounding powers Indiana over Minnesota in Game One of WNBA Finals), and Erin was busy showing Australia that, yes, they made a mistake. Says the Indy Star’s Erika D. Smith: With a basketball team this good, it’s time to get the Fever, Indy.

From Mechelle:

The Indiana Fever players sort of kept hoping against hope that Katie Douglas might show up. You know, some kind of medical-miracle thing that could make a sprained, swollen ankle well again. But they certainly weren’t counting on it.

“It wasn’t sounding good, so we continued our preparation without her,” Fever guard Briann January said. “It’s one of those things where we figured out our game plan where if we’d had her, that’s great. But if we don’t, we’re ready.”

Don’t know if Minny actually did end up with their panties in a twist (bless your heart, Lin Dunn!), but they sure were outta sorts. I imagine Coach C has all sorts of interesting things to say to her team, and that Game 2 will be a lesson of sorts. Catch up with WNBAlien’s Mega Preview.

On a side note: If only our college coaches had the courage of Seimone Augustus: Lynx star Augustus chides amendment

Seimone Augustus has always preferred to stay out of the public eye even as her basketball career has taken her to the heights of an Olympic gold medal and a WNBA championship.

With her adopted home state of Minnesota considering a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, the Lynx star is now becoming a vocal proponent of equal rights for gays.

After all, she has her own wedding coming up, to longtime girlfriend LaTaya Varner.

I repeat: Anyone who says *women’s* sports isn’t political isn’t paying attention.

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happy their team lost — but honestly, don’t you think that some are pleased to see Tamika Catchings back in the Finals? Doubt they thought Connecticut would be beaten like a drum, though.

Catch had a lot to do with it — as did a certain former-Australian-Sun. That was particularly important since a certain former-Indianan-Sun went down with a turned ankle. (Can we please have a Finals where EVERYone is healthy?). Another former-Liberty-now-Fever was helpful, too.

Now we got the Old Guard going up against the New Guard. COOL!

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Seimone doesn’t pull that… but there is a question to be answered. And she says it has been: Augustus: Car air freshener incident resolved

From Michelle Smith: Jessica Adair keeps dream alive

Jessica Adair is on the court in Los Angeles, working with a Minnesota Lynx assistant coach on her post moves about 90 minutes before tipoff against the Los Angeles Sparks.

She is wearing full sweats, a long-sleeved Lynx T-shirt and making her way deftly around the floor. Through layups, short jumpers and mid-range shots, she moves with ease and grace — even lightness.

That is not something she could always claim.

From Nate: How Minnesota escaped the Western Conference playoffs and returned to the WNBA Finals and The top five WNBA rookies: Who was snubbed from the 2012 All-Rookie Team. I guess Coach K doesn’t count, huh?

On the game tomorrow:

From the Courant: Katie Douglas Stands In Sun’s Path

From the Indy Star: Win or go home: Fever will put it all on the line in Game 3

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to make a game winning – and season extending – shot huh? Says Mechelle:

Indiana guard Briann January had to admit afterward that the closing sequence was a blur in her mind. This much January knew: She had missed a shot that would have been the game winner, but she wasn’t about to let up then.

“We want this so bad,” January said. “We’re going to give everything we have. That buzzer hadn’t sounded. You play until that thing goes off.”

Indeed, time hadn’t run out on the Fever yet in this game. And because January kept hustling, time hasn’t run out on Indiana’s season, either.

Writes David: Indiana Fever beat the buzzer

In an election year in which sides become polarized, the Indiana Fever have been refreshingly centrist. The left has merit. So does the right.

At crunch time Monday night, the left-handed Katie Douglas scored from the right. The right-handed Tamika Catchings scored from the left.

From Mike Peden: Zellous keeps Fever boiling to force third game with Sun

The Minnesota Lynx will have to wait a few more days to scout their eventual WNBA Finals opponent.

The “blame” can be placed on Indiana Fever guard Shavonte Zellous, who drained a long jumper with 0.5 seconds left in regulation, giving the Fever a 78-76 win Monday night over the Connecticut Sun in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.

From the twittersphere:

Matt Zemek@mzemek

If U caught the end of Game 2 of the WNBA East Finals, congratulations. You saw pure NCAA tournament-style nuttiness. #BANANASInIndianapolis

Matt Zemek@mzemek

Do be sure to catch the final 20 seconds of the Connecticut-Indiana WNBA game on a highlight show, YouTube, or some other video outlet.

@WNBAlien

Holy cow what a finish. What a pass by Catch. What a miss by January. What a save by January. What a shot by Zellous. Wow. #wnba

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The good, the bad & the ugly

Well, maybe just the bad and ugly.

New York took care of Washington, but it wasn’t pretty (and I’m not just talking about the pink uniforms.) Now Chicago has to keep up by taking down the “we love playing at home” Sparks.

On a serious note, and speaking of pink: Players feel close to WNBA’s Breast Cancer Awareness

Basketball has always been Katie Douglas’ refuge.

It’s been the Indiana Fever guard’s “sanctuary” and an “outlet to heal” after losing both her parents to cancer at a young age.

Understandably, tears tend to stream down her face when breast cancer survivors are honored before WNBA games for the league’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Week, which tips off this season on Sept. 16.

Seattle’s 28 turnovers was baaaaad, so the  Bird-less Storm got pulverized by Indiana.

San Antonio righted the ship against Tulsa.

The Sun were Charles-(and still)-Jones-less, but they still had Kara. CT used a strong second half to put the hurt on Dupree-Prahalis-Taurasi-Taylor-less Merc.

Minny’s going to D.C.: On Tuesday, September 18, the Minnesota Lynx will visit the White House and President Barack Obama in recognition of the team’s 2011 WNBA Championship.

The ‘claw doing some important work: Ex-Lady Vol Holdsclaw returns to alma mater, shares story and battles with clinical depression

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and giveth away.

After a game in which the Sun were extremely generous with their turnovers, the rematch in Connecticut found the Liberty post players returning the favor. In spades. Of the 26 TOs NY had, 16 were by post players. So, the team shoots 48% (50% on threes) and CT shoots 47% (27% on threes), but lose to the Sun, 85-74.

Short-handed Seattle (Sue, LJ, Wauters) kept it close, but the Sparks used balanced scoring to get the season sweep of the Storm.

When Sancho doesn’t score, the Dream struggle. When the Fever are seriously hitting their threes, it’s wicked hard to beat’em.

BTW: Richard is back from his Olympic fiesta: WNBA Today, 08/17/2012: They’re baaaaaack!

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Richard fills in the void: Top seeds defend home court in contrasting fashion

With Catchings and Douglas both having mediocre offensive nights, the Fever were fortunate that some of their supporting players decided to show up for this game. Zellous off the bench continued to add her driving and aggressive mentality to the mix, while Tangela Smith was firing away from outside and hitting more than she missed. Early in the game it was McCoughtry leaving her far too open, attracted to the ball when she should’ve stayed home with Smith on the perimeter. Later it was the post players, used to their assignments to close down the paint, and unable to rotate out quickly enough to close down the space and challenge Smith’s shots. It was almost like she was playing the Tina Charles role from the previous series – except Smith wants to be out there, and you need to worry about her beyond the three-point line. Already with 15 points (3-5 from beyond the arc), Smith continued to punish the Dream in the fourth quarter. She hit another three to take the Fever lead to 63-59, and yet another to stretch it to 68-62 with five minutes to play – at some stage, Atlanta were probably going to have to pay some attention to her out there.

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Seattle losing. At home. After running out to an 18pt lead. (Oh, and I wasn’t the only one. From Rebkell: 10:53 EST “it’s a wrap for phx…”)

So, yup, thanks to a Candice Dupree last second tw0-point (and almost in spite of Taurasi’s Increasingly Tempestuous Tantrums) “My Storm lost” (said the MA student I know.) Nate writes: Shock and Awe

Normally after a game that exciting – Storm or otherwise – I have no problem typing something beyond the basic recap. If the words don’t come to mind, I’ve developed all kinds of random tricks and mindgames to start typing. If typing doesn’t work, I go old school and pull out a pen and pad of paper. When all else fails, I hope that the numbers might bring some order to my thoughts.

But responding to a game like that is no time for statistics*.

After going through my progressions, I ultimately sat there staring at a sheet of yellow legal paper searching for a reaction – any reaction (Misery? Living Death by ref? The collapse of civilization as Storm fans know it!) – to what I just saw.

Where do you even begin?

In the early game, Catch played with a vengeance (no surprise she and Nicole got double-Ts. That battle was FIERCE) and Cappie continued her struggles in the face of Katie’s defense. End result, Indy gets to face Atlanta in the Conference Finals. (I don’t envy them)

Writes Mechelle of both winning teams: Unbreakable resolve leads Merc, Fever: Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, Indiana’s Katie Douglas lead the way

Thusly, we give kudos to Indiana’s Katie Douglas and Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, generally regarded as the highly respected “SBs” for their teams. But they were highly successful “BSs” in Tuesday’s two WNBA elimination games, from which the Fever and Mercury moved on to their conference finals.

Wait a second … by “SB,” obviously I meant “second banana.” And by “BS,” of course I meant “big star.” What other terms did you think I was referring to with those abbreviations? Huh? What kind of R-rated column do you think this is?

NEXT!

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almost became part of New York Liberty playoff lore… and then Tamika said, “No you don’t Cappie,” and Erin said, “Check this out, mom and dad!” and the Fever survived to take a 1-0 lead.

Seattle enjoyed home court — and the third quarter — and put the Merc in a 0-1 hole.

NEXT!

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’cause I’ve been, well, busy being a professor type….

So, working back to front:

Mechelle discusses the “Pay for Play” system.because, as she wrote, Title IX a pay-for-play roadblock

Though it is a passage just 37 words long, Title IX has been both credited with and blamed for a lot of things that have happened in college athletics in the past four decades.

In regard to the concept of “pay-for-play,” Title IX is generally seen as a substantial roadblock. But not just because of the gulf between football/men’s basketball and women’s sports, but also because of the gap between those “big two” sports’ profit-producing programs and virtually all other collegiate sports, both male and female.

Fever rise behind dynamic duo

This is the fifth year that Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas have been playing together as Indiana Fever teammates, but they probably wouldn’t call this season “pivotal.” That sounds too heavy, and they don’t want to carry that weight through the summer.

Sure, Douglas turned 32 in May, and Catchings will celebrate her 32nd birthday Thursday when Indiana is host to the Chicago Sky. Wear and tear from typically playing nearly year-round is an unavoidable concern in women’s hoops. Plus, in her career, Catchings has dealt with two of the major injuries — ACL and Achilles tendon tears — that often plague basketball players.

But if the Fever’s dual pillars can stay healthy, or relatively so, through the rest of this season, maybe it will bring them their first WNBA title, which is the biggest goal both have left in their basketball careers.

Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles aiming Sky high

Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles is a native of Florida and graduate of LSU, and a polite Southern hospitality is just an ingrained part of her personality. But don’t mistake that for a propensity to sugarcoat things. Fowles prefers the unvarnished truth.

So when you ask if she’s relatively satisfied with the Sky’s play thus far — going into the week of the All-Star Game, they’re in fourth place in the Eastern Conference — she says it’s not good enough.

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Owee!

Fever’s Douglas day-to-day with back contusion

But really, would any WNBA season be complete without Katie D getting whacked but good?

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you can follow basketball in the US from far, far, FAR away (as in Ethiopia)?

Got some time before I get to serious teaching work and will do a little catching up. (Oh, there’s a pun!)

Catch’s 19 helped make the Liberty’s Newark debut a downer. They went ice cold in the fourth quarter and watched Tamika and the Fever take their revenge on the Lib for giving them their first loss of the season. Writes the ever opinionated and observant Queenie over at Swish Appeal: Defense Fails Liberty in the Clutch

Jessica Breland, go to the damn basket unless you tell me to my face that Whiz is telling you to shoot from the outside. Because I’m sorry, right now you’re one of the biggest people we have and your outside shot is comparable to mine. Maybe it was a bad night, but she didn’t impress me. Alex Montgomery lived up to her number in her one stint, stopping Douglas when no one else had managed to… and then she was buried on the bench, never to be seen again, not even when Douglas warmed back up, Catchings remembered she could occasionally shoot, and Pohlen and January were getting in on the offense. I don’t understand why a defensive coach who needed a defensive stop wouldn’t put in a defensive stopper.

Side note: It will be interesting to track media coverage of the Lib (“Thank you for coming all the way out here,” Cappie told the fans.) Looks like the Star-Ledger is sending Brett LoGiurato. The Times used Vin at the AP (no surprise) and Newsday (which is a Long Island based paper) sent Zach Schonbrun. Lenn Robbins was there from the NY Post: “Memo from Liberty to Madison Garden Square officials: Please expedite transformation on arena; our first game in The Rock was a disaster.”

The Liberty could have been the best story in the WNBA, maybe even on the New York sports scene considering the basketball and hockey teams are done, the NFL teams are in labor strife, the Mets are a woeful bunch and the Yankees can’t beat the Red Sox.

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Riley Blog: Reflecting on 2001

An entire decade has passed since my teammates and I stood huddled up at Notre Dame’s center court, where we reunited this weekend to celebrate our 2001 National Championship.  We had an amazing time from being honored at the women’s game on Friday, to our team dinner that night where we were able to catch up on each other’s lives and joke around about some of the comical experiences we shared, to being honored at the football game on Saturday.

I’m guessin’ she may be buying “Bird at the Buzzer.” Or maybe an “author’s signed edition” as a gift?

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List Time!

From Ben at SlamOnline: Top 20: Katie Douglas, no. 20 – The definitive ranking of the WNBA’s best players.

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Those of us at the first Lib-Indy game had the good sense to breath a sigh of relief when Katie Douglas proved to be a non-factor. We’re not stupid. Catch is a lot to deal with. Catch AND Douglas? Makes us nervous.

Case in point? Last night’s game Katie wasn’t huge, but you could call her the difference maker. Writes Mechelle:  Katie Douglas, Fever force Game 3 – After subpar opener, Indy star’s tough defense, 13 points shine in Game 2

Admittedly, soap operas are going the way of the typewriter. But if you still are or ever were an addict, you know of those weird episodes when a show had to use the thespian equivalent of a pinch hitter.

If the actor who normally played the role was sick or otherwise briefly unable to perform, a replacement actor was used. Typically, the show’s announcer would do a little voice-over — “The part of Susan is being portrayed today by Jane Smith” — but it never stopped seeming strange to see a character who was so familiar to you suddenly look absolutely nothing like herself.

So … who knows? Maybe that’s kind of what happened with Indiana’s Katie Douglas in the Fever’s first-round series opener Thursday at New York. We say “kind of” because in this case, whoever was wearing jersey No. 23 for the Fever that night did bear a remarkable resemblance to the real Katie Douglas. She just didn’t play anything like her.

David Woods sounds downright bouncy: Fever still have plenty of fight – When game gets physical, the hosts overpower Liberty and force a decisive Game 3

With the Indiana Fever in peril of ending their season, they didn’t need additional motivation or agitation. The New York Liberty supplied that anyway.

Tamika Catchings didn’t like the shove from Cappie Pondexter. Didn’t like the look that Essence Carson gave after a halftime buzzer-beater. Didn’t like the bold talk from the Liberty afterward.

“Let’s go, let’s go,” Catchings said her response was. “If this is how we’re going to play, let’s go and have fun.”

Clearly, Catch didn’t suffer and “Post-Award” let down. Congrats to the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year and Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

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Contract extensions for Katie D and Lindsay.

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Connecticut’s Asjha Jones

For Asjha Jones of the Connecticut Sun, resilience is simply in her nature. The nine-year pro has been a staple of consistency during her time in the league and the same mindset has been true off the court. In fact, the vicious nature of cancer has, unfortunately, been a part of her life since early childhood.

“It seems like cancer keeps popping up everywhere,” Jones said. “It’s kind of always been there. My grandmother passed away when I was really young, maybe three or four, my father’s significant other passed away, and one of my mom’s really good friends is battling currently.”

From Michelle Smith at Fanhouse: Katie Douglas Puts Heart, Experience Into Breast Health Awareness Week

…as the WNBA‘s Breast Health Awareness Week winds down Tuesday with the Indiana Fever’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks, Douglas, the Fever guard, said it’s been an “extremely positive and powerful week for me.”

“I would love for my mother to be at my games and it’s been almost 11 years since she died,” Douglas said. “I’m doing everything in my power to make her proud.”

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One forgets that people don’t know: From Anna Kim at the AJC: WNBA’s Katie Douglas fought her way back

But Friday, when Indiana took on the Dream in one of the final games of the WNBA’s Breast Health Awareness week, her thoughts were consumed by another.

She thought about the 10 days she spent in an Indianapolis hospital before her mother died of breast cancer on April 28, 2000.

“I was only 20,” she said. “I told my mom that I was not going to graduate, that I didn’t think it was important. I told her I didn’t know if I would play basketball again. And I’ll always remember the look she gave me when I threw those ideas out there.”

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Former Boilermaker performs double duty

Back in her hometown of Indianapolis playing for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever since 2008, Katie Douglas has never felt better.

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Re: Thursday Chats with Mechelle Voepel, Rebkellian PUMatty posts:

I would recommend everyone here to send in questions. Most of us complain about lack of media coverage, and this is the kind of thing that can demonstrate interest to ESPN without costing any money.

It doesn’t matter if it is a good bad, a question you don’t already know the answer to, or a question that you think she will even bother to answer – I probably send one of each a week. It matters that when ESPN crunches their numbers, they see interest in the chats and the WNBA.

Can I get a, “Hell, yes!”

And no, I don’t know why her chat isn’t linked on the ESPN.com women’s basketball page. Or why it wasn’t twitted. Or why, I swear, Mechelle’s latest piece on Douglas and Catch appeared, disappeared and then reappeared.

Friendship helps Fever stay in sync

After they’d played together with the Indiana Fever for two seasons, Tamika Catchings probably thought she knew Katie Douglas fairly well. But in January, Catchings discovered something that caught her by surprise.

“I told her, ‘Gosh, I didn’t realize how much shorter you were than me,'” Catchings said, laughing.

Catchings is listed at 6-foot-1, Douglas at 6-0. But Catchings is sure there must be more than an inch difference after finding herself wearing “high waters” when she had to borrow some of Douglas’ pants. (Catchings’ luggage was lost for a few days when she went to join Douglas playing in Turkey at the start of 2010, so Douglas shared her wardrobe.)

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the W All-Stars could make it a fun game:

Atlanta Dream teammates Sancho Lyttle and Iziane Castro Marques were added to the WNBA All-Star roster on Tuesday.

The pair are joined by Washington’s Crystal Langhorne, Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, Indiana’s Katie Douglas and Minnesota’s Rebekkah Brunson.

The six supplement the five players selected by the fans last month: Seattle’s Lauren Jackson, as well as San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Jayne Appel, Michelle Snow, and Sophia Young.

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