Posts Tagged ‘Sophia Young’

Things are getting clearer in the run to the playoffs.

Yes, the Storm are one win away from clinching playoff berth as Tina Thompson continues to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

Thompson, a 17-year league veteran, has willed the Storm into playoff contention. She’s averaging a team-leading 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in August. In a crucial regular-season series clincher against San Antonio on Tuesday, Thompson scored 27 points in the 72-71 road win.

The performance isn’t surprising to Thompson, 38. She recently said she had one of her better offseason training regimens in order to retire this season on a high. Thompson also made it clear when she signed with Seattle in 2012 her intention was to win a fifth WNBA championship.

BUT: If they do make it, they ain’t playing at Key. Next up: Minnesota.

Seattle is chasing Phoenix, but the Merc are twice lucky: they get to play Connecticut, and Candice Dupree has picked up the pace after Russ Pennell’s arrival as coach

Dupree said for her, the current scoring binge is about a “mind-set.”

“In order for me to help make this team better, I have to be aggressive and assert myself against these other teams,” she said. “I just can’t wait for shots to come within our system. When I catch the ball, I look to drive or shoot. If it’s not there, then pass the ball and play out of that.”

Interim coach Russ Pennell has made sure Dupree is featured in more offensive sets.

They almost let it get away, but Catch and Zellous made sure the Fever stayed ahead of the Liberty in the race for 4th. Or 3rd. Or 2nd, if Atlanta doesn’t right their injured ship. (They get a chance against Chicago today)

Chicago gets some love:

David Haugh – Delle Donne doing her (substantial) part to grow WNBA – League’s top rookie and legit MVP candidate will promote game after Sky season

Eric Zorn – Excuse me while I kiss the Sky

Contrasting opinions:

From SlamOnline: Standard Bearer – Ten years into her WNBA career, Diana Taurasi is having one of her best seasons yet.

Coming off of a hip flexor injury that limited her to just eight games last season, she’s come back with a vengeance, currently ranking second in the WNBA in scoring with 21.4 points per game. Ten times this season, she’s scored 26 points or more.

Though she receives less credit for other aspects of her game, she’s also averaging a career-high 6 assists a night, ranking second in the WNBA. That’s up from her average of 3.6 in 2011 (her last full season). She had double-digit assists three times: 10 vs Tulsa (August 20) and New York (July 2) and 11 vs Indiana (August 14). She’s also grabbing 4 rebounds per game.

From Aman Ali at the .com: Race to the MVP: Week Twelve

“Taurasi is one of the fiercest competitors in the league and a perennial favorite for the MVP award. But this season she hasn’t been able to shed her reputation of being an alpha-dog player that likes to shoot way more than she likes to pass. She has so much talent on her team, but how many of them are playing better as a result of Taurasi on the floor? McCoughtry suffered from the same reputation in years past and shed it this season – just ask her teammates Tiffany Hayes and All-Star Erika DeSouza who are playing some of the best basketball of their careers alongside her.”

Rebkellians clear up Ali’s lack of stat comprehension.

Also from SlamOnline: WNBA MVP Rankings – Candace Parker delivers in the clutch, fills the box score.

This past week, #CandaceCan became a mantra, as Candace Parker led the Sparks to a double-overtime comeback victory against Tulsa on Sunday. Slyvia “Big Syl” Fowles continues to spit out double-doubles and rise up the MVP rankings. Third year wing Maya Moore seems to be heating up at the right time as the Lynx look to make a trip back to the finals.

and Unsung Hero- Courtney Vandersloot is thriving at point guard for the Chicago Sky.

Quietly running the point is Courtney Vandersloot. The third-year guard is having her best season as a pro, averaging career highs in points (9) assists (5.5) and rebounds (3.3). Vandersloot is also averaging a career low in turnovers per game (2.5) while ranking fourth overall in the WNBA in assists.

Katie Konsiders Koaching: Katie Smith set to retire from WNBA.

Powell is going to Gonzaga.

Now to some off-court stuff via Nate:

RJ Aguiar of Towleroad has a pretty evenhanded account of the demonstration outside of the San Antonio City Hall yesterday that injured San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young attended yesterday, including links to local news coverage describing why the black and Latino protesters are opposed to an addition to the city’s existing nondiscrimination ordinance (click here from a video of the event from KENS 5). Andy Towle makes a good point in his associated post about Young’s tweets: “Given what she tweeted, however, she seemed to think that the anti-discrimination bill, to be voted on by the San Antonio City Council in early September, would also somehow legalize same-sex marriage.” (Hint: it won’t). (Read more)

I love that Coach Dunn has tweeted her support of Tully and Clarendon… And that Coach Boyle retweeted it. BUT: Where is every single other NCAA and WNBA coach?

Speaking of Coaches: Hall of Fame Inductee Dawn Staley Reflects on her WNBA Career and Community Outreach


Did you catch this from Fagan: SEX SELLS? TREND MAY BE CHANGING

In the Nine for IX film “Branded,” premiering Tuesday on ESPN (8 p.m. ET), filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady tackle the age-old question in women’s sports: Will sex appeal always supersede achievement?

But before we try to answer that, we need to ask ourselves a few more: Does sex really sell now? How do we know for sure? What if I told you it doesn’t?


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Laurel Richie

“Sophia has the right to express her point of view, however, I do not share her view,” WNBA president Laurel Richie said in a statement. “The WNBA supports diversity and we are committed to the equal and fair treatment of all people.”

Of course, she couldn’t ignore it, ’cause the rest of the world ain’t. From The Atlantic Wire: WNBA Star Doesn’t Care What She’s Voting For, She Just Doesn’t Like Gays

The WNBA is actually light years ahead of any other professional American sports league when it comes to progress for gay players and gay fans. While the NFL and NHL are busy talking about the anticipation of a single openly-gay player, the WNBA’s 2012 first draft pick, Brittney Griner, came out of the closet, was signed by Nike and was in a massive spread in ESPN magazine when she was drafted. “I am a strong, black lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better,” Griner said. Griner and Young actually went to the same college. 

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As you may or may not know, the San Antonio Silver Stars player has taken a public stance:

@sophiayoung33: Should San Antonio be a city that allows same sex marriage?? I vote NO.

Of course, if you’re followed the debate — I mean, the ACTUAL debate on the ACTUAL amendment being proposed, you’d know that the vote has nothing to do with same sex marriage. It’s about to ensure that people cannot be discriminated against for any of the following: sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability when it comes to housing or employment.

What Sophia believes about gay marriage is one thing. Folks will disagree with her on that. Folks may even lose respect for her because of her beliefs.

But 1) she’s proving she’s an uneducated voter and 2) by voting “No,” and urging others to follow her, she is voting FOR allowing discrimination.

Not good.

Rebkellians discuss.

From Hoopfeed: Sophia Young steps into equal rights controversy, Silver Stars fan speaks at city council debate

What happens when a WNBA player posts a tweet about a hot button topic while attending a protest on another controversial issue? San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young found out yesterday. The fan favorite since her college days helping lead Baylor to its first national championship in 2005took on two topics in one tweet. She followed up her first tweet with photo evidence of her stances. Young is not playing this season due to a torn ACL she suffered while playing overseas in China. However, she attends home games, interacts with fans and is active in the San Antonio community with charity work and her AAU girl’s basketball team, Sophia Young Elite.

While one can argue that adding protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to San Antonio city’s nondiscrimination code is related to state matrimony laws and gay marriage, legally the distinct issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other. However, Young tweeted that she was against gay marriage while attending a protest at the city council opposing adding LGBT protections to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

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and somewhat disappointing to witness, since I trekked out to Newark in the hope of a real game, not a one-sided blowout. Lib 80-zillion, Merc not-nearly-as-much. Oh, and surprise: another Phoenix player was injured.

The highlight of the game was watching Diana and Cappie chat post-game with their USA Basketball/WNBA coach, Anne Donovan. Said coach of the 2008 gold medal team, “I miss that group.”

On an interesting “behind the scenes” note: President of Madison Square Garden Sports Leaving Post.

O’Neil’s departure comes just as the Knicks are facing a new challenge for fans and corporate dollars in their home market, with the Nets moving to Brooklyn this fall. The need for a strong, creative voice on the business side has perhaps never been greater.

Scott was the gentleman with whom I had a long conversation a year and a half ago about why, after joining up in 1998, I was no longer a NY Liberty season subscriber. He tried to convince me that better times were coming for subscribers — that he was re-vamping from the inside out. I wasn’t convinced then (not sure I’m convinced now), but it’s hard to see his departure as a good thing for the Lib (a team not mentioned in the article).

In Atlanta, looks like Angel is on a bit of a mission after the ruckus: Lindsey Harding, Angel McCoughtry lead Dream past Fever.

Paul Neilsen writes a somewhat overwrought defense of Angel: McCoughtry no angel but public assassination is over the top

A little on Sophia from the Carribbean Journal: From St Vincent to the WNBA

A little somethin’ from Nneka: Life on the Road as a WNBA Star

From Jayda: Aussie to Aussie: Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson speaks with Tulsa’s Liz Cambage

From Michelle: DeWanna Bonner’s game blossoms

From Nate: 2012 WNBA Most Improved Player Rankings: How Much Better Has Kristi Toliver Been This Season?

And yes, I watched as the Sparks faded in the second half against Minnesota. Amelia knows why: Fans give the Lynx an edge – Seats fill fast, and Target Center has become one of the toughest places for visiting teams to play.

Speaking of which, Mechelle chatted today:

Sofia (Durham, NC): SASS has lost 3 straight. LA’s lost 3 straight, too. Which team’s fans should be more concerned? I say LA’s fans should be more concerned because I think SASS has looked ‘better’ in their losses. But I may be over-impressed by that great OT game against the Lynx. What do you think?

Mechelle Voepel: I tend to agree with you that the Sparks fans might be more concerned now. Not specifically because LA has lost three in a row, but because Candace Parker hasn’t seemed a dominating force since she returned from the Olympic break. Some games, her numbers have been “OK,” but not others. Furthermore, she doesn’t look as engaged as she needs to for the rest of the Sparks to build off of her. It seems like the Sparks’ defense is not sharp, and the offense is tilting a little too much to the perimeter, especially for a team with the weapons inside that the Sparks have. Maybe LA will finish the last two games of this road swing stronger and then play well as they finish the regular season at home. But there are reasons now for Sparks fans to be a little worried, I think.

The finals are set at the Paralympics:

A little revenge: Australia edge US to make basketball finals

British women’s basketball team lose to Germany

In other Olympic news:

Bruno’s Olympic Trilogy—Part Two: Memorable Moments Off the Court – DePaul Coach Will Always Remember Emotional Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and Part Three—Personal Reflections

In college news:

From Swish Appeal: NCAA Women’s Basketball Attendance: Winners and Losers for 2012

From Marquette: Five Big East newcomers will present different challenges on women’s side

From Missouri: Q&A with Robin Pingeton and The Rest Of The Story: Pingeton Q&A

From Champaign: Bollant’s up for challenge

From El Paso: Women’s basketball heads into challenging schedule

While there has been a lot of talk about the men’s basketball team – and for good reason, given the talented incoming class and the challenging schedule assembled by coach Tim Floyd – fans should also start getting excited about the women’s basketball campaign.

Head coach Keitha Adams has done a tremendous job of building the program into a consistent winner. UTEP boasts the best winning percentage of all league schools since joining Conference USA seven years ago, has the third-most victories among Division I programs in the state of Texas over the past six years, and has won a trio of C-USA crowns, the 2007-08 regular season and 2012 C-USA regular season and tournament.

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From Mechelle: Pieces fit perfectly for Silver Stars – San Antonio (15-5) picks up right where it left off before Olympic break

Who would have criticized Hammon if she’d taken a little time returning and recovering from the Summer Olympics? A deep Silver Stars team could handle Tulsa and Phoenix without her, couldn’t it?

“I need to come in and be dependable,” Hammon said. “It didn’t even cross my mind to miss a game.”

That statement and her subsequent 15-point, eight-assist performance that night in an 89-79 victory over the Shock could be an appropriately representative freeze-frame of Hammon’s entire career. When your veteran still feels she has to prove her dependability in her 14th season in the league, it’s easy for San Antonio’s youngsters to glean what it means to be a true professional.

No surprise: WNBA Hollinger Power Rankings: Silver Stars #1, Liberty Catching Up To The Sky Fast

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The US 17 is iffish about defense, but loves to score: USA U17 Women Sprint To 131-89 Win Over South Korea To Open Play In 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship

“I remember thinking at halftime it was so unusual to have 70 points and only be up by 20,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas). “I thought Korea really shot the ball well, especially early. They cooled off a little bit in the second half, and I thought our team did a really good job of adjusting after halftime, getting over screens and getting a hand up. It was an unselfishly played game on our part, and everybody was looking for each other. I think their full-court press hurt Korea, but they stayed with it pretty much the entire game, and we were just getting layups on the back end of it. Diamond DeShields, Linnae Harper and Lindsay Allen, they all did such a great job of seeing down the floor and finding their teammates behind the press. It was a nice way to open the tournament for us.”

The U18 team enjoys both sides of the game: USA Women’s U18 Team Remains Perfect With 87-36 Victory Over Colombia, Advances To Medal Semifinals

Alexis Prince (Edgewater / Orlando, Fla.) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team (3-0) to a 87-36 victory over Colombia (1-2) to close out FIBA Americas U18 Championship preliminary play on Friday afternoon in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. The game, which saw all nine available U.S. players contribute no less than four points apiece, advanced the U.S. to the semifinals as the No. 1 seed out of Group A.

From coach Meier:

What do you need to work on heading into the semifinal?
In a perfect world I’d like to not have to call a timeout to make an adjustment. They went on a little run there and cut it to 18 at the start of the second half. We had to call a timeout to make an adjustment. That adjustment led to a 25-0 run. The negative is that we had to call a timeout. The positive is, that was a ridiculously impressive response to that timeout.

They’ll face Canada at 8:15pm EST – streaming available.

Las tres caballeras de Los Lynxs are back in action and wasted no time making mincemeat of the Mystics. (photos) I gotta wonder – is Shelia Johnson’s conscience twitching at all, or has she forgotten the team she’s undermined so totally?

Same ole same ole with San Antonio and Tulsa. The Shock keep it close (Liz ain’t due until the 30th) and San Antonio pulls out their 10th win in a row. And yes, Sophia gets my MVP vote.

Sorry, Pokey, but Prince didn’t help – maybe there are other issues? and Nate ponders: Chicago Sky Turnover Woes Continue In 82-76 Loss To Atlanta Dream

After the Chicago Sky’s loss to the Connecticut Sun on July 13, a friend of mine who was at Allstate Arena texted that Sky center Sylvia Fowles looked like she spent most of the game “hiding” on offense.

It almost sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, even in the world of basketball where people just above average height for human beings look tiny – the 6’6″ All-Star who would later try to dunk in London can’t possibly expect to hide herself with almost all eyes on her, especially without guard Epiphanny Prince to shoulder the burden of offensive focal point.

And yet, sure enough when you look at footage of that game you see a player literally hiding herself in plain sight

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“Don’t leap to conclusions, Fred.”

“Exactly. It’s not exactly as I laid it out, but I know you’ve been watching what’s been going on.”

“Sure have, Fred. I was intrigued to see that some of those teams reduced by injuries to playing, for all intents and purposes, on one leg sure do manage to give the opposition fits.

“Yes, siree, Ethel. Reminds me of my old vaudevillian days when everyone had the flu or the back of the set fell down… doesn’t matter what happens, the show must go on. Take a day off, and someone Young will steal your thunder. I also loved that dance move Miss Whalen pulled. Great footwork.”

“And I’m thinking, Fred, that the Tulsa team is just one player away from moving from “cute” and “feisty” to “a handful of trouble. Not unlike a certain red-head we all know and love. And speaking of loving, how impressed are you with the current competitors in the 2012 Dive for Griner Invitational?”

“SO impressed. I mean, look at the Liberty — they fight back from a 10-point deficit, get the lead at the half, Mini-Mi (aka Floppy Little Bunny) is shooting lights out, and then Cappie, after truly stinking up the joint, fouls out. They can point fingers at the ref AND the fact that Jeckyll-no-Hyde Braxton made an appearance. And I can only shake my head at the 26 turnovers. Their creativity in losing is, well, impressive.”

“True, but how about those Mystics? ‘Winless on the Road,’ sure has a nice ring to it. And it’s doing wonders for their Dive efforts. I guess the biggest question is, ‘Can Trudi pull a Sting?'”

“Right, Ethel. It’s not often that a GM has to fire herself, but if anyone can do it, it’s GM/Coach Lacy. I mean, if ‘Make the players write a letter about why they lost‘ didn’t give her a hint about her next step, I’m not sure what will….Of course, there’s always the possibility that GM/Coach Whiz will beat her to the punch. Honestly, the race to the unemployment line is almost as exciting as the race to the Dive. Can’t wait to see how the week unfolds!”

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Especially if you’re Parker and the LA Sparks, who started on such a high against the Sun, and then boom. They took it to overtime against the Silver Stars, but that was all they wrote.

And especially if you’re Chicago, who saw their star end up on crutches. The Fever took advantage and Indy righted the ship with a nice win over the Sky.

In other news, another Connecticut writer weighs in on the suit v. Auriemma: Hardwick’s story about Auriemma hard to believe.

It’s hard to figure out this mess. I, too, have a hard time believing the accusations. One, I can’t imagine USA Basketball (in the form of Carol Callan) standing for the kind of crap Auriemma is accused of. At USA Basketball, they  take decorum beyond seriously. It’s never about “just getting the best so the US can win.” It’s about getting people who understand that the red, white and blue (and the gold) is IT. You mess with that ethos, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever don the colors again.

Also, while I am in no way “in” in the world of women’s basketball, I know enough to know it’s a small world and there are VERY few secrets. People may know about unethical and immoral behavior and not do anything about it (witness Rene Portland and Penn State), but there’s little that the coaches,  writers and (some) fans don’t know. Across the board it seems people are saying, “Say what?” I keep waiting for the skeletons to appear.

That being said, just because there appears to be no pattern doesn’t mean what is alleged didn’t happen.

Wisest course of action: avoid a rush to judgment and wait for this thing to either play out in court or at the discussion table..

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at Olympism

Recently, St Vincent and the Grenadines found itself at the centre of what is a rather common occurrence in international sport today – the matter of a national seeking to change citizenship to compete for another nation.

Did he anticipate this: Sophia Young Added To 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team

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talks to Geno post-European tour.

Hoopfeed: What are your impressions after coaching for the first time Brittney Griner and Sophia Young?

GA: Obviously coming in you don’t know how they are going to be, but I’m finding both of them great to be around, first of all, as people I’ve really enjoyed them. I think the other things, Sophia has tried really, really hard to get to this point, and get an opportunity to play [with USA Basketball]. I like the fact that she knows exactly where her shots are going to come from and she tries really hard to get those shots. Brittney, is a unique individual. You just don’t see anybody like that. You know you’ve got something that no one in the world has, at both ends of the floor. She just has to be in this situation more often. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, being around both of them, both as people and as players.

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and the US got the win: USA Basketball Women’s National Team Closes Out European Tour On High Note, Eclipses UE Sopron 73-63

“It was the complete opposite of the way we started (the second half) the other night,” said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “There was a much better focus on the defensive end to kind of limit what the other team was doing. Because the defensive stops were there, we were then able to convert that into good offense. I think we took them out of their rhythm. They had a really nice flow offensively in the first half. And then, some defensive things that we did really caused them some problems. We had great ball movement in the third quarter and got open shots. It sounds so simple, but that’s basically what it was.”

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This time it’s the Pan American games being held in Mexico.

Check out the college/high school roster and the schedule (first US game tips off Oct 21).

Don’t forget the Senior Team is hoopin’ it up in Europe. Check out the photos. (Not sure coach Mulkey’ll be happy with that first one.)

Didja catch Cheryl’s piece over at HoopFeed? Sophia Young and Kim Mulkey excited about the San Antonio star’s USA Basketball training camp invitation

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but still disappointing.

The Sun are the Groundhog Day of the WNBA – get a lead and lose it. Go on the road and… lose it.

On the other hand, Atlanta pleased its fans (and new owners) by coming back and using a balanced attack to grab the win and move into the Conference Finals.

“We were down . . . and it doesn’t seem to bother us,” Meadors said. “I’ll tell you what; get us to the fourth quarter and we’re pretty good. It was all about our defense, and it wasn’t anything the coaches were saying.”

Watching the San Antonio/Minny game, the Queen/Bowie song kept running through my head – “Dum da-da-da da da dum dum Pressure!” The SASS vets handled it, the Lynx youngsters not so much.Writes Mechelle

It has been a summer of coming home for Jia Perkins, and one of growing up for Sophia Young.

Those two led the way Sunday as San Antonio beat Minnesota for the first time this season, and in the process avoided elimination in the Western Conference semifinals.

Perkins, who just before this season joined San Antonio via trade from Chicago, led the Silver Stars with 24 points, while Young had 23. After five losses to Minnesota, including a one-point escape by the Lynx on Friday, this time San Antonio found a way to beat the Western Conference’s top seed, 84-75 in San Antonio.


Oh, and if you want to prep for tonight, check out WNBAlien:

Part of me hates these best-of-three playoff series that the WNBA uses for its first two rounds. You play for months to get here, and then everything can be over in the blink of an eye. A slightly shorter regular season allowing longer playoff series would be a better framework in my eyes. But you can’t deny that it makes the postseason instantly exciting. After losing their opening games, New York and Phoenix went into Saturday’s games in do-or-die situations. Win, and they’d have a chance in a deciding game on Monday night; lose, and all the hard work all season long would’ve been for naught.

Me, I love the best of three simply because it demands total focus. Screw up and you’re out. I’ll take that pressure any day over the never-ending NBA playoff-a-looza. Heck, I think men’s tennis would benefit from a best of three — make’em play with a sense of urgency….

And speaking of urgency — the .com urgently needs to get a copy editor.

“Define you’re edge with Lisa Leslie”?

WTF? Its jest knot write!

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From David, the playoff edition of Dishin & Swishin’s Podcast.

First Cheryl Ford talks about the playoffs…the atmosphere…what it’s all about. Then she talks about this year’s participants, her health, her side projects, and playing this winter in Italy.

Then it’s an (Under) Dog Day Afternoon.

Sure Minny and Seattle are favored, but you gotta feel the Silver Stars and Mercury have more than a fighting chance.

I talked to Sophia Young about the Silver Stars’ season and turnaround, plus what they have to do to win this series with the Lynx.

I also talked to Temeka Johnson about the Mercury, what the season has been like, facing Seattle every year, and what they need to do.


You can subscribe on itunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hoopfeed.com-womens-basketball/id460090261

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In Slam’s Top 20

we’re up to: Sophia Young, no. 15 in their definitive ranking of the WNBA’s best players.

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we hear that Wiggins is “in a really good place”

And from HoopFeed we hear that Julia Finlay is no longer in place (at UNCW).

Q offers a Washington preview: What exactly can they build off from last season?

From Dishin & Swishin: Sophia Young & Ketia Swanier Using the Offseason to Help Others


Sophia Young and Ketia Swanier on their teams & seasons, but also on their favorite charitable organizations and events they are coordinating this weekend


Kym Hampton talks about the Liberty season, Blaze leaving/Whiz coming, the move to New Jersey and her current projects off the court


All-American Victoria Dunlap and Head Coach Matthew Mitchell talk about building Kentucky women’s basketball and competing in the SEC and nationally.

www.wstrradio.com after 1 pm ET today! (And archived, I believe)

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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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