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From Clay Kallam: The Lynx Can’t Defend? So What? – The Minnesota Lynx won’t have a hard time piling up the points.

At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.

It doesn’t matter if the final is 83-81 or 63-61. It doesn’t matter if one team dives on the floor all the time, or screens out with the fervor of a Catholic arriving at Lourdes. It doesn’t matter if one team is filled with defensive demons, or if the coach is known for her elaborate rotations.

All that matters is who has the most points.

From Sam Riches: New Movie: Off the Rez – Another great hoops documentary from the creator of Through the Fire.

Shoni Schimmel streaks down the left side of the court, her long brown ponytail bouncing in the air behind her. At full speed, she uses her right hand to wrap the ball behind her back and through her legs, before gently laying it off the backboard with her left. Her defenders, now a few steps behind her, never stood a chance.

Schimmel is from the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. Situated a few miles outside of Pendleton and just north of the Blue Mountains; Umatilla is home to around three thousand Native Americans. For Shoni, it is also her proving ground. She plays ‘rez ball,’ a ferocious, attacking style of basketball, fueled by passion, creativity and relentless aggressiveness. It is this flare and fearlessness that has resulted in many declaring Schimmel the second coming of Pistol Pete Maravich. A comparison that, while initially seeming improbable, is startlingly accurate

Other articles/reviews: New York Times and New York Post.

From Candice Wiggins: A WNBA Woman – The 15th year celebration of the WNBA comes at no better time.

When I was 6 years old, I was not even close to being good at basketball. I only scored 2 points the whole season (although my first rec team went undefeated and won the championship). Even though I was playing up against girls that were three and four years older than me (I was 5 turning 6, they were 8 and 9), I still wanted to be the best. But I wasn’t. That was when I first contracted what I now call my “competition sickness”. I had to be good, by any means necessary. Then, something ridiculous and partially unexplainable happened. I got GOOD the next season. Really good, to the point that I can still remember the moment I thought to myself as an 8 year old, “I’m good!” I believe that for me and for all great players “getting good” starts with having goals and then applying yourself. It took me countless hours of practice but I was dedicated. It was then a little hard for me to understand how good I truly wanted to be…I was at times even getting bored as a 9 and 10 year old, with high aspirations to be an Olympian like my ’96 Atlanta girls, but nothing really motivated me for the next four years, outside of college women’s basketball. Then suddenly my mom ran into my room and told me to turn on the TV.

“Look Candi, look who’s got next?!!!” It was 1997. The WNBA was launching.

From Delisha Milton-Jones: On Gratitude – The WNBA All-Star talks about the importance of giving back.


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Glenn Nelson’s ESPN story on Shoni Shimmel a while back (2008): Innovative Schimmel unafraid of new moves

She conjures visions of Pistol Pete — that’s what everyone says about Shoni Schimmel. Just watch her come cold off the Hermiston High School bench, spin off the dribble and cause a pair of defenders to tumble like bowling pins. Then, with the defenders sprawling, watch Schimmel raise up, five feet beyond the 3-point line, and bury a jumper.
Pistol, all right. Pistol with a ponytail.

Still, Pete Maravich has been dead five years longer than Schimmel has been alive. And invoking his name only underscores the ever widening generational gap between the player and those who seek to categorize her.

And1 mix tapes?

Check.

“I get a lot of stuff from those,” says the super sophomore out of Mission, Ore., the tribal headquarters of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla), over on the eastern part of the Columbia River.

Or this video from ESPN for women’s history month: Her Story

Now, from the Portland Tribune’s Stephen Alexander we have: Shoni’s big screen shot – Portland’s basketball star shines on and off the court in ‘Off the Rez’

The Red Lake Massacre was just another dark moment for Native Americans, whose history has been littered with tragedy. But, through the hottest fires of hell can come the most precious pieces of gold.

The event set into motion the making of the documentary film “Off the Rez,” which premieres April 26 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The movie follows Oregon basketball prodigy Shoni Schimmel and her family, who left the Umatilla Indian Reservation and moved to Portland and Franklin High for Shoni’s last two years of high school.

“I’d like to think that there’s kind of some good in any dark cloud,” says Nelson Hernandez, “Off the Rez” producer.

Oh, and you might have missed the news that Shoni’s sister, Jude, is joining the Cards next year.

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Point guards lead the way in Sweet 16

We may be living in the year of the quarterback, but March will always be the month of the point guard.

When the Sweet 16 gets under way on Saturday afternoon, some of the biggest stars on the court will be the smallest players on the court. From eight standout seniors looking to play at least one more game to four freshmen who appear ready to battle for bragging rights for years to come, the weekend’s most intriguing subplots may come from duels between players who do considerably more than merely bring the ball up the floor.

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