Monday, April 24, 2017

News on all fronts

WNBA team news:

The Mystics have opened training camp with a revamped roster and elevated expectations.

Five reasons to watch the San Antonio Stars this season.

The Lynx opened training camp hungry for another title and ready to move past last year's Finals loss.

Coach Jenny Boucek was pleased with the Storm's first day of camp.

WNBA player news:

Breanna Stewart embraces the power of the platform that comes with a WNBA spot.

Don't call Skylar Diggins a female athlete.

China's Shao Ting getting acclimated to Lynx and hoping to make roster.

Samantha Prahalis is "95 percent sure" she's retiring.

WNBA coach news:

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve says the WNBA's popularity is about society changing its views on women. BRAVO.

WMLBA news:

The Carolina Stars will fill a pro women's void in the state.

College team news:

The South Carolina Gamecocks will be recognized at the State House tomorrow.

After losing Destiny Slocum, Maryland has landed a four-star point guard recruit.

Ohio State's early season schedule includes Stanford and Connecticut.

College player news:

Former Irish woman Ali Patberg has transferred to Indiana.

College coach news:

Lisa Leslie has high hopes for South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

Longtime DePaul assistant coach Bart Brooks is the new head coach at Belmont.

Kevin Baker is UTEP's new head coach.

USA Basketball:

USA Basketball has put their team selection committees in for 2017-2020, and the list is loaded.

Tamika Catchings has been named to the USA Basketball development committee.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Game Changers: the unsung heroines of sports history


Today I went to the LA Times Festival of Books - my favorite of all festivals. Not only are there many great books for sale, but there are awesome author interviews. And you never know who you might meet.

I stopped by the LA84 booth and started talking to filmmaker Molly Schiot about her book "Game Changers: the unsung heroines of sports history" as I leafed through it. The book features women who were pioneers in all sports over the last 100 years or so: a summary and a picture, and sometimes interviews. It was captivating.

Schiot directed an episode of "30 for 30" for ESPN. She pitched numerous ideas for features on female athletes, and they rejected every one. So she set about to do some research herself. She began at the Los Angeles Public Library and eventually advanced to the LA84 library. She kept going, until she'd compiled enough to make the above beautiful 285-page book.

Basketball greats featured are: Pat Summitt, Kay Yow, the All-American Red Heads, Cathy Rush/Immaculata College, Violet Palmer, the 1984 Cuban National Women's Basketball Team (pictured with Fidel Castro), Molly Bolin Kazmer, Sheryl Swoopes and the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens.

Among other athletes featured are tennis greats Alice Marble, Andrea Jaeger and Althea Gibson, rowing giant Anita DeFrantz, track legend Wilma Rudolph, race car driver Shirley Muldowney, the first female sports journalist, Melissa Ludtke, and many more, including numerous ground-breaking African-American athletes and the first female athletic director of a college (1904). Seeing these women - sometimes in black and white photos - in each decade of the last century inspires wonder, awe and then gratitude. There are well-known names, and obscure ones. Schiot had to come to grips with their anonymity in the sports world, too.

"I don't think I quite understood the absence of women in sports history when I was a kid," she wrote in the introduction. "It's not until I started this project that I, a proud feminist, came to the uncomfortable realization that these names have always been there, but we haven't recognized them; it baffles me that the Wake-Robin Club is less known than the fictional Bad News Bears. With this book, I hope to change that, even if just a little."

Schiot's Instagram.

The stories in the book are just as fascinating as the pictures. Go get it. You'll be glad you did.

Many WNBA training camps starting tomorrow

Training camp rosters:

San Antonio

New York

WNBA team news:

The Lynx have a to-do list for a successful season.

WNBA player news:

The Sun have signed Chiney Ogwumike to a multi-year contract extension despite her Achilles injury.

Connecticut overseas round up.

All-access with Elena Delle Donne.

Devereaux Peters will miss the season after hip surgery, and she and the Fever have reached a contract separation agreement.

Champions corner with Dawn Staley.

Wings center Ruth Hamblin is turning her focus to the Olympics.

WNBA coach news:

Finally, Mystics coach Mike Thibault can start drawing up plays for Elena Delle Donne.

College player news:

Baylor transfer Beatrice Mompremier is interested in the Lady Vols.

Mariya Moore will transfer from Louisville.

College coach news:

Todd Schaefer is following Mike Neighbors to Arkansas as an assistant coach.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Making the right comparisons

There have been two sensationalist stories posted this week on smaller websites lamenting the length of time it's taking USC to find a new coach to replace Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. In both pieces, the same number is floated as being the proposed salary of the new Trojan coach. And in both stories, the writer concludes that this is unjust because it's not equal to some man's salary.

That's not an apt comparison, because female coaches make less than male coaches.

I compared the earnings of all of the Pac-12 coaches in this story about the USC situation. It's more appropriate. And it's freaking me out that the one coach who has won 1,000 career games might make the least amount of money in the conference.

It proves the salary gender gap point quite well.

Future NCAA Championships site selections released

NCAA announces championship sites through 2022.