Sunday, July 31, 2016

U.S. sweeps pre-Olympic exhibition series

The USA beat Australia, 104-89, in the final tune up before heading to the Rio Games. Diana Taurasi lead them with 20 points.

Box score.


Will the U.S. and Australia meet again at the Olympics?

Canada also won their final tuneup game, beating France, 71-63.

Olympic player news:

Tina Charles continues to add layers to her game.

General Olympics news:

Australia suffers thefts and fire in the latest drama at the Olympic Village.

Tomorrow from the AP: promises that Rio's water would be clean by Olympics time didn't come true.

FIBA news:

FIBA is addressing the high dropout rate in European youth basketball among girls.

Just a quickie before tonight's Team USA game

Olympic team news:

Why Team USA will have another golden moment in Rio.

Six days to the Games: the team is hot for another gold medal.

Olympic player news:

Georgia's own Maya Moore is looking for another gold this summer.

Q&A with Angel McCoughtry.

Diana Taurasi still has a bond with Olympic coach Geno Auriemma.

Other Olympic news:

Canada/UConn star Kia Nurse is still shaking off the rust after surgery.

WNBA player news:

Skylar Diggins' sand workout is no joke.

Celebrating anniversaries!

Eight years ago today, I started this blog. I was inspired by my passion and love for the game since 1982, and "Hoopism" became more successful than I imagined.

Last year on this date I launched the website It's been a great year, and we are looking forward to continued growth.

We strive to bring you the stories about the people who make women's basketball happen. Bench players, stars, assistant coaches, head coaches; everyone is crucial to the success of the game.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 29, 2016

U.S. domination continues

Defense is the story:

USA whooped Canada tonight, 83-43.

Box score.

Also tonight, Australia beat France, 76-67.

Team USA news:

The U.S. Team is going for its sixth gold medal.

The team were guests on Good Morning America today.

Brittney Griner's skill set can make her first Olympic experience successful. She is ready to represent this country.

Q&A with Elena Delle Donne.

Following in the footsteps of Tamika Catchings, Delle Donne is starting her own charitable foundation.

Maya Moore is courting success.

Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart bring timelessness and exuberance to the U.S. team.

Classic Olympic news:

An oral history of the first U.S. Olympic women's basketball team.

Gold, sweat and tears: a Nike retrospective.

Other Olympic teams news:

Is Rio ready for the Games?

See Team USA's opening ceremonies uniforms here.

Natalie Burton is a game-changer for Australia.

WNBA team news:

New York Liberty director of player development trains and eyes local hoopers.

The Sun would like to keep their momentum following the break.

WNBA player news:

The rise and rise of Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike.

The Sky's Tamera Young continues her work on and off the court.

Liberty guard Sugar Rodgers has set a new goal.

Black Lives Matter:

Team USA members reflected on their own personal experiences after a Monday town hall meeting with NBA star Carmelo Anthony.

Seimone Augustus is proud of WNBA player activism.

College coach news:

Pat Summitt's house, now for sale, was "peaceful and private."

The Olympic break is giving new Vanderbilt coach Stephanie White a chance to focus on the team.

Florida State coach Sue Semrau relishes how far the program has come.

New Wright State coach Katrina Merriweather is excited for the season.

Curtis Loyd is LSU Shreveport's new head coach.

Monday, July 25, 2016

USA escapes Select Team

Fascinating box score from tonight's exhibition game, as the USA edged the Select Team, 88-84.

More on everything

Olympics news:

Catch tonight's Team USA exhibition game here. It's at 7 p.m. Pacific, 10 p.m. Eastern.

The team has compressed preparation.

Twenty-five things you didn't know about Sue Bird.

Olympic gold medalist Carla McGhee is part of the USA's basketball legacy.

Natalie Achonwa is leading Canada's hoop dreams in Rio.

Notes and quotes from Team Canada.

Australian Rachel Jarry relishes her second Olympics.

Australia said over the weekend that their athletes wouldn't move into the Olympic Village for safety concerns. Now "fantastic progress has been made," and the nation's team will move in on Wednesday.

WNBA general:

Summing up the season so far.

WNBA player news:

Rookie report.

Nneka Ogwumike and Tina Charles are the WNBA players of the week.

WNBA protests:

The break will give the WNBA and its players a chance to talk.

The league rescinded fines because it wanted to show its support for players, president Lisa Borders explains.

Players speak out about the situation.

Tamika Catchings says WNBA players are passionate about Black Lives Matter.

Swin Cash discusses the protests, the fines and their withdrawl.

Now that the WNBA has a do-over, it must work with players on how to use their platform.

The protests have set a new standard for sports activism.

Punished by the league, WNBA players fight back.

College coach news:

First Rio, then a rugged non-conference schedule for South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

The trend favors more men coaching women's teams, and not vice versa.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

WNBA matches NBA for first 20 years

WNBA news:

The WNBA is right on pace with the NBA through the first 20 years.

WNBA team news:

The Mystics are limping into month-long break with seven straight losses.

Olympics news:

The quest for a sixth straight gold begins now.

Lindsay Whalen and Lynx players are ready for Olympic play.

College coach news:

Sharon Rissmiller has been named interim assistant coach at Oregon State, filling the shoes of the departed Mandy Close.

Bryanna Mueller is Idaho State's new assistant coach.

Jennifer Leedham is a new assistant coach at Wagner.

Norfolk State has two new assistant coaches.

WNBA drops player fines; president wishes activism was off court

A short time ago, the WNBA released this statement:



NEW YORK, July 23, 2016—WNBA President Lisa Borders released the following statement regarding the recent team and player uniform violation fines:

“All of us at the WNBA have the utmost respect and appreciation for our players expressing themselves on matters important to them. While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues. Given that the league will now be suspending play until August 26th for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public and we have informed the players that we are rescinding the recently-imposed fines."

Earlier today, this piece came out:

WNBA president Lisa Borders lauds player activism, but wishes it would be kept off court.

I'm really glad the fines have been lifted.

So what do you think, fans?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Big performances to go into the break; Black Lives Matter protest updates

Today's results:

The Sparks routed the Mystics, 95-75, to go 21-3 before the break. Nneka Ogwumike had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Candace Parker, 18 points and six assists to lead LA.

The Dream held off the Wings, 93-88. Reshanda Gray had a career high 22 points and 10 rebounds in leading Atlanta.

The Lynx downed the Storm, 79-72, behind the efforts of Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles.

The Sun edged the Sky, 94-89, with five players in double figures on each side.

And now we're on Olympic break until Aug. 26:

I don't think the league has needed a break this bad in its life, for many reasons.

More on the WNBA fines:

The Washington Mystics have joined the Black Lives Matter protest.

So has Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm.

Tamika Catchings explains the decision to hold a media blackout.

Liberty center Tina Charles said players will keep using their platform.

Welcome to the suddenly apolitical WNBA.

The gulf between the WNBA and its players has widened in the wake of the protests.

Why black T-shirts matter.

The WNBA and NBA diverge at a political crossroads.

One analysis of the situation.

Player news:

Dream forward Elizabeth Williams has won the June WNBA Community Assist Award.

Lisa Borders Q@A:

Interesting timing.

Olympics news:

Here's the Canadian Olympic basketball roster. They are eyeing a medal at the Games.

Australia's path to the podium.

Australia's Marianna Tolo is focused on gold.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Former WBCA head Beth Bass takes reins at Adidas women

Adidas Announces Beth Bass as U.S. Director of Women’s Sports Marketing

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 18, 2016) – Adidas today announced Beth Bass, former Women’s Basketball Coaches Association CEO, as U.S. Director, Women’s Sports Marketing. As the voice of the Adidas female athlete in America, Bass will be responsible for extending the Adidas brand message at all levels of sports, from youth to collegiate to professional, across all Adidas sport categories in the United States.

Bass will initially engage in all marketing activity within the Women’s Basketball spectrum, driving business in key categories of the adidas Team Sports Division and its NCAA Team Services group. Her responsibilities will also include strengthening the adidas brand in women’s volleyball and softball, among others.

“Beth’s experience creating winning programs, her solid relationships at every level of Women’s Sports and her driving passion will be crucial to our efforts to be best in class in terms of service, product and activation,” said Mark Daniels, adidas Global Vice President of Team Sports/Services. “Beth will be a key player in our college and team services groups and we look forward to her leading our Women’s initiatives.”

Bass led the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as Chief Executive Officer for 14 years. During her tenure, she initiated the development and marketing of the Wade Trophy, the top individual player award in women’s NCAA Division I basketball, simultaneously establishing a long-standing relationship with ESPN. She launched the Pink Zone program, now known as Play 4Kay, the highly successful, national, grassroots, cancer awareness program.

“Taking the Adidas brand message to female athletes at all levels of sport is not only important for the company – I truly believe it is crucial for the athletes themselves,” said Bass. “I’m beyond thrilled to be part of the Adidas team and the timing has never been better for women to create their own destinies through sport.”

Bass established the WBCA Revenue Committee, crafting a first-ever marketing relationship with the NCAA. She is a co-founder of Columbia University’s “Center for Coaching Excellence,” the first-of-its-kind leadership training program for women’s collegiate basketball coaches. In addition, Bass served as official liaison to organizations such as the NCAA, WNBA, NAIA, AAU, the Naismith Hall of Fame, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and USA Basketball.

“Beth brings a rare combination of passion and knowledge to play for Adidas. Intercollegiate Sports and, indeed, the Industry, are part of her DNA,” said Patti Phillips, CEO of NACWAA (National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators).

Bass is a cum laude graduate of East Tennessee State University, lettering in basketball all four years. She earned her Master’s degree and was a graduate assistant in marketing and promotion at the University of Tennessee, working under legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt. She began her professional career at Converse, moving up the ranks from promotional specialist to National Women’s Sports Director, and served as Women’s Basketball Marketing Manager at Nike before joining the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as Executive Director. Most recently, she was President of the Sports Division of Knight Energy’s Sports Division, providing energy solutions for major sporting venues and organizations nationwide.

Adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to make all athletes better. Adidas is the official uniform, footwear and apparel provider for more than 100 collegiate programs including Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Texas A&M and UCLA. Adidas has marketing agreements with the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS).

News from the WNBA

Various news items right from the league:

LEAVING A LEGACY: Tamika Catchings has not disappointed during her 15th and final season in a WNBA uniform. The Indiana Fever legend, who celebrates her 37th birthday today, leads Indiana in scoring (13.7 ppg) and steals (2.0 spg) and ranks second in rebounding (4.5 rpg). Her stellar play has helped Indiana win five of its last six games, including consecutive victories over the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Sparks and the Eastern Conference-leading New York Liberty. She grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in Thursday’s 82-70 road victory over New York, raising her career total to 3,260 and putting her 48 boards from passing Lisa Leslie (3,307) for the most in WNBA history. (Catchings needs to average 4.8 rebounds in the Fever’s final 10 games of the season to overtake Leslie.) The 10-time All-Star and five-time Defensive Player of the Year recently spoke at length with VICE Sports about her career highlights, the influence of Pat Summitt and her pursuit of a fourth Olympic gold medal this summer.

RACE TO THE TOP: With about 30 percent of the regular-season schedule left, the race for the No. 1 playoff seed is heating up. The Sparks (20-3) and defending champion Minnesota Lynx (20-4) are separated by a half game, and the Liberty (18-8) sits 3½ games behind L.A. (Under the new playoff structure, the eight teams with the highest winning percentages regardless of conference qualify for the postseason and are seeded based on their record.) The jockeying for position is important because the top two seeds receive a bye to the semifinals (third round) and the third and fourth seeds receive a bye to the second round. Los Angeles and Minnesota finish the pre-Olympic break portion of the schedule on Friday, July 22 when the Sparks visit the Washington Mystics (7 p.m. ET, WNBA LEAGUE PASS) and the Lynx plays host to the Seattle Storm (8 p.m. ET, WNBA LEAGUE PASS).

Stats and stuff:

The Sparks and Lynx have a combined winning percentage of .851 (40-7). The highest combined winning percentage for the top two teams in a WNBA season is .859 (55-9) by the 2000 Sparks (28-4) and Comets (27-5).

In a video for The Players’ Tribune, Minnesota’s Maya Moore mentors an aspiring WNBA player, Georgia high school standout Janee Knorr.

The Chicago Sky has won three consecutive games and four of five behind reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne, who ranks second in the WNBA in scoring (21.3 ppg) and is shooting a career-high 48.6 percent from the field. Chicago wraps up its pre-Olympic schedule on Friday against the visiting Connecticut Sun at 8:30 p.m. ET on WNBA LEAGUE PASS.

Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike set career highs of 26 points, seven blocked shots and four steals and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds in Wednesday’s 89-78 win over the Dallas Wings. Ogwumike has recorded three consecutive point-rebound double-doubles and is averaging 18.7 points (on 64.1 percent shooting) and 9.7 rebounds in her last six games.

Connecticut has won four of seven games since a 3-13 start. The 4-3 stretch includes an overtime win over Minnesota and an overtime loss to Los Angeles.

Storm rookie forward Breanna Stewart has blocked five shots in each of her last two games. She ranks third in the WNBA with 2.2 blocks per game.

Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner is averaging 22.3 points in her last four games. She has made four three-pointers in each of her last two games.

New York finished with a WNBA-record 69 bench points in Wednesday’s 88-81 victory over Washington.

The Arizona Republic profiled Storm center Krystal Thomas, a Grand Canyon women’s basketball assistant coach who rejoined the WNBA recently after a two-year break.

Wings forward-center Plenette Pierson (3,980 points) on Wednesday passed WNBA Top 20@20 selection Deanna Nolan (3,971) for 28th place on the all-time scoring list.

Dream forward Angel McCoughtry needs 87 points to pass Sheryl Swoopes for 18th place on the WNBA’s career scoring list.

Indiana forward Lynetta Kizer has scored in double figures in a career-high six consecutive games, averaging 15.5 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field. The former third-round pick scored a career-high 21 points against the Liberty today.

One more day

Today's result:

The Fever closed out their pre-Olympics schedule on a high note, beating the Liberty, 82-70.

Tomorrow's final games before Olympic break:

Sparks at Mystics

Wings at Dream

Storm at Lynx

Sun at Sky

Team news:

The Lynx will play the 2017 season at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul while Target Center is renovated.

Player news:

Minnesota's Maya Moore discusses the Olympic break, and how the team can maintain their focus.

Kelsey Bone is excited to play with her childhood idols for the Mercury.

More on WNBA fines over protest shirts:

Now that they've been fined, WNBA players can take their strongest stand.

The NBA's Carmelo Anthony blasted the WNBA for suppressing player protests.

The Mercury's Mistie Bass' reactions.

More from the Indy Star.

Olympics news:

Jewell Loyd will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics.

College team news:

Missouri is expected to return fierce and prepared.

College player news:

Lili Thompson will skip her senior season at Stanford, and it's a mysterious departure, as she'll stay at the school to complete her degree.

College coach news:

With coaching in her DNA, Kate Achter is eager to rebuild the Loyola Chicago program.

Players fume about WNBA fines, and the debate rages on: what is right?

As reported last night, the WNBA fined the New York Liberty, the Indiana Fever and the Phoenix Mercury and their players for wearing black warm up shirts this week. Each team was fined $5,000, and each player, $500.

Athletes are angry.

Many took to social media to express their displeasure. Check the Fever's team photo on Devereaux Peters' Instagram on that link.

Other reactions from Chiney Ogwumike, Natalie Achonwa, Tina Charles, Tamika Catchings, and Alysha Clark.

Liberty players staged a Black Lives Matter-only post-game blackout after today's match up with Indiana.

Charles wore her warm up shirt inside-out before the game.

Some players feel the league is giving them mixed messages.

As per ESPN, the WNBPA issued a statement about the fines:

"We are extremely disappointed the league chose to punish our players for bringing attention to an issue that continues to impact families and communities across the country," WNBPA director of operations Terri Jackson said. "The league's behavior has been inconsistent.

"Our players sought only to demonstrate in a constructive way that was consistent with reactions to social issues by NBA players, and with earlier league initiatives, including the recent tragedy affecting the LGBTQ community in Orlando. The league's decision to try and suppress our players' desire to express themselves is shortsighted and arbitrary, and we hope they will reconsider."

In my interview with the WNBA representative last night, who confirmed the league's actions, I was told that teams were given memos over the weekend reminding them that the uniform policy must comply with the sponsorship agreement with Adidas.

ESPN's Mechelle Voepel makes the same point that I would, that technically, the league warned players and was within their rights to fine them:

Some observers will say that from a protocol standpoint, the league simply followed its rules. And that the players were seeking to bend the rules, which -- if that went unpunished -- might result in future controversies involving other displays on WNBA uniforms or alterations to them.

(Briann) January acknowledges that the league was "within their rights" to fine the players. She just wishes the WNBA would have worked more with the players instead of seeming to -- from the players' perspective -- duck away from the issue.

But athletes and fans alike don't understand why there was WNBA support for the Orlando shooting victims and families but not Black Lives Matter. The Mercury's Mistie Bass, who began tweeting about the fines yesterday, said the WNBPA brought up the issue with the league in a call earlier this month, asking that teams be allowed to take a stand on the issue. Bass said:

"They were really reluctant. They said, 'We have already made a statement and released something with the NBA.' But they said they were open to having a conversation about maybe doing something more. But that was the end of it."

January said players will continue to speak up and to make their voices heard, while working within the rules.

Good for them. This dialogue NEEDS TO CONTINUE, as unacknowledged racism and discrimination in the United States continues to rot the foundation of this nation. Anything players want to say, I will publish it; no question.

With regard to the fines, I can truly see both sides of the issue.

Yes, the WNBA has to adhere to the uniform policy to control player appearances, maintain sponsorships and to be professional. Yes, they reminded teams about the policy prior to fining them. And I do believe that the league sees this as a business issue, and they didn't take into account how it might seem like they were delivering mixed messages.

And yes, WNBA personnel and their team representatives can be very hard to get hold of sometimes. They can be cryptic; player injuries aren't even disclosed right away most times. There are mis-communications, non-communications, non-responses. It was only two years ago that the league began truly acknowledging their LGBT fan base.

I hope the WNBA and their amazing players can find ways to work together on this and other issues. It may be a small league, but it means an awful lot to people.

One thing I have a major issue with is the fines. I could see perhaps fining teams, but individual players? That seems, as teenagers like to say these days, "extra." To an NBA player, $500 is petty cash. To an WNBA player, that's a salary hit - and for what? No one committed a crime. Individual fines just seem mean.

As we enter this Olympic break, and beyond that, may the peaceful and progressive dialogue on racial issues continue. It is long overdue. And I sincerely appreciate the willingness of WNBA players to step up to that plate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WNBA fines teams and players for protest shirts

Yep, I scooped everyone.

Big game results, big news before Olympic break

Today's results:

The Liberty outscored the Mystics, 88-81, and the New York bench had a league record 69 of those points.

The Lynx routed the Dream, 83-65, to win their fifth straight and come within a half game behind the league-leading Sparks. Minnesota also clinched a playoff spot with their 20th win.

Guess who's back? Chiney Ogwumike, who lead the Sun past the Wings, 89-78, with a great stat line: 26 points, four steals and seven blocked shots.

The Storm pulled away from the Stars in the fourth for an 83-69 win.

Team news:

The Fever are wore shirts to support Black Lives Matter.

The Wings' latest loss leaves them at a crossroads one game before the Olympic break.

Player news:

In case you missed it last night, Brittney Griner was ejected from the Sky at Mercury game for pushing Cappie Pondexter in the face. Pondexter was also tossed. It was Griner's second ejection of the month.

Tamika Catchings discusses her final year in the WNBA after an all-star career.

Reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne is making it a scorching July for the Sky.

Maya Moore's winning lifestyle makes her Minnesota's greatest athlete.

The stellar play of Lynx forward Seimone Augustus has her team rolling again.

Q&A with Dallas guard Skylar Diggins.

Dream guard Meighan Simmons never let getting cut deter her.

College coach news:

Jasmine Lister is Washington's new assistant coach.

NCAA gift:

The NCAA has made a $50,000 memorial gift to the Pat Summitt Fund.

Flashback 20 years ago......

The 1996 Olympic basketball team had sponsors, media attention and the promise of a new pro league.

Why did we take steps backwards??

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Historic number of overtime games this WNBA season

As we all suspected, the number of overtime games in the WNBA this season so far have been significant: 14 percent. The previous high was 11.3 in 2009. And we almost had another one tonight........

Today's results:

The Fever knocked off the league-leading Sparks, 92-82. Indiana coach Stephanie White had the team do the scouting report. Seems to have worked for them.

Box score.

1. Tamika Catchings, two days shy of her 37th birthday, had 16 points in the first half and lead her team in scoring at the end of the game. She also went to the floor for a loose ball - the only player to do so on the night.

Please don't retire.

2. What an odd box score. Fever deficient in rebounds but causing enough turnovers for the Sparks to make the difference. Not to mention the lights-out shooting.

3. Los Angeles fans shouldn't panic. Remember, teams are tired at this point in the year - especially those who have 20 wins. Last weekend is usually all-star weekend in a non-Olympic year, and this season began earlier than usual. Players and teams haven't had a break yet.

4. Ana Dabovic is apparently with the Serbian National Team for the Olympics, but I've not seen a formal announcement yet. She wasn't getting any playing time with the Sparks anyway, and why, I have no idea. She was crucial for the team last year.

If tonight's loss exposed anything, it's that Los Angeles has no bench. I've said it many times, but if they hope to go deep into the playoffs, they need to trade or cut some of the athletes who are never played and get some who will. The starters will be exhausted by October.

Post-game notes and quotes.


The Sky edged the Mercury, 79-77, with a Jessica Breland put back in the game's final second.

Box score.

If anyone finds Brittney Griner's game, please return it to her. Mercury fans are stressing out.

Chicago's win means Los Angeles has clinched a playoff spot.

Team news:

The Lynx are limiting starters minutes to keep them fresh.

The Mystics have limped home to mend their playoff hopes.

The Sun are improving, despite a lack of wins.

Player news:

Liberty forward Rebecca Allen is the latest in a long list of Australians to play in the WNBA.

Ramu Tokashiki will miss two Storm games to get ready to represent Japan at the Olympics.

Lady Vols in the WNBA update.

Mercury guard Alex Harden is savoring her role in the WNBA and her upcoming visit home.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Liberty at Mystics preview.

Sun at Wings preview.

Dream at Lynx preview.

The Storm look to improve their standing tomorrow as they take on the Stars.

Olympics news:

Why athletes and fans aren't likely to catch the Zika virus.

College news:

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell says she focuses on her purpose, not her problems.

Kate Atcher replaces Sheryl Swoopes at Loyola Chicago's new coach.

Melanie Balcomb is happy to be back at work, at South Carolina.

Josh Carrier is a new assistant coach at Northern Kentucky.

Even in girls club ball, male coaches outnumber women

In interviewing many sources across the country for this story, many talked about how some club ball coaches are just in it to make money. Many don't have the skills or the desire to take time to teach kids the basics of the game.

Be careful whom you sign your kids up with.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Big Sunday game action

Today's results:

The Dream ran past the Sparks, 91-74, snapping their road win streak and ending their quest for a WNBA best season start record.

The Lynx needed an OT to scrape by the Wings, 98-97.

The Storm rallied from 24 down, but lost to the Sky in the last second, 91-88. Elena Delle Donne had 35 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, including the game winner. She also notched her 2,000th career point tonight, despite missing a large chunk of 2014 with Lyme Disease flare ups.

The Liberty used a balanced attack to defeat the Sun, 83-76.


- I know I've said this before, but the Sparks should upgrade some of those bench players.

- It is driving Lynx fans crazy how well Los Angeles is doing this year.

- The Storm are looking promising, and tonight's 24-point comeback should give them some more confidence. Really cool that Betty Lennox was at Key Arena to take in the action tonight.

Team news:

The Sun are playing better, but wins are hard to come by.

Minnesota has signed Nneka Enemkpali to a seven-day contract.

Player news:

Dream forward Sancho Lyttle will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot bone.

Sky centers Erika de Souza and Clarissa Dos Santos will miss the next three games as they fulfill duties for the Brazil National Team.

Brittney Griner is now eleventh on the league's all-time blocks list after last night's game.

Lauren Jackson is greatness personified.

U18 team:

USA routed Canada, 109-62, to claim the gold medal.

Odds and ends to start the day

About last night:

The Mercury routed the Stars, 83-64, behind DeWanna Bonner's 33 points.


WNBA players feel an obligation to stand up and be heard on racial matters.

Stick to sports or speak up? Lynx players talk risk and power.

Bravo to Storm rookie Breanna Stewart for taking a stand for women.

College team news:

The Lady Vols' offseason has been far from routine due to Pat Summitt's death.

Olympics news:

Wintrust supports Chicago native Olympians, including Candace Parker.

U18 team:

The USA smashed Puerto Rico, 104-36, to reach the gold medal game.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just a quiet summer Saturday

Team news:

The Mercury are without Diana Taurasi (suspension) and Penny Taylor (injury) tonight against the Stars.

Chiney Ogwumike talks about how the Sun changed their identity with positive early returns.

Player news:

Sky forward and reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne talks sexism in athletics.

Mercury coaches and players are liking Marta Xargay's solid play.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Sun at Liberty

Game preview

Sparks at Dream

Game preview

Lynx at Wings

Game preview

Sky at Storm

Game preview

Lauren Jackson jersey retirement ceremony:

Last night's ceremony to retire the number 15 jersey for retired Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson was epic. The Storm are a classy organization. Check out the full event.

Her career highlights.

Pat Summitt memorial service:

Tamika Catchings blogs on her experience Thursday.

College news:

Former Lady Vols trust Holly Warlick to move the program forward.

March Madness in July: club ball teams gear for fantastic finish

Not too long ago, high school club ball was still pretty innocent. Teams from across the country would participate in various summer tournaments to try and get looks from college coaches. FILA Nationals in Suwanee, Georgia at the end of July was one of the bigger tournaments.

Then Nike came long in 2013 and created the Nike Nationals tournament, with its lead-up tourneys. non-affiliated tournaments, including FILA, have since fallen by the wayside. Adidas joined the race two summers ago.

Here's how the structure breaks down now.

Friday, July 15, 2016

20-1 Sparks set and tie records, while Storm retire Lauren Jackson's jersey

Big night for two West Coast WNBA franchises:

The Sparks beat the Sun in overtime, 98-92, to go 20-1 and tie the 1998 Houston Comets' record for best season start. Los Angeles has won nine in a row, and are 9-0 on the road to start the season - a league best.

Four Sparks and five Sun players were in double figures including the Ogwumikes. Nneka posted 22 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Chiney had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Connecticut.

The Storm crushed the Mystics, 80-51, behind Jewell Loyd's 26 points.

Right now, Lauren Jackson's jersey retirement ceremony is underway, and for the second night in a row, I'm choked up. She's got video love from all her former Storm coaches: Lin Dunn, Anne Donovan and Brian Agler. Ticha Penicheiro and Tina Thompson also sent some. Longtime general manager Karen Bryant said some amazing things. Jackson's been watching the game in a Sue Bird jersey.

And I'm sitting here thinking of a lot of memories, as I lived in Seattle when the Storm drafted Jackson.

Can't wait to see the video of this ceremony.

Other games:

The Fever grabbed a big win over the Dream, 78-72.

Seimone Augustus returned to the Lynx lineup, and they routed the Liberty, 88-70. Augustus put up 20 points. The win was gritty for Minnesota.

The Sky stopped the Wings, 84-77, behind Elena Delle Donne's 24 points.

More on Lauren Jackson:

The three-time MVP reflects on her career and her return to Seattle for tonight's jersey retirement.

Sue Bird on Lauren Jackson.


The Wings will wear #DallasStrong warm up shirts prior to Sunday's game.

With the support of the league, players are making their voices heard.

Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson: "the important thing is, we're talking about it."

The differences have been "resolved," and Minneapolis Police are back to work at Lynx games.

Liberty forward Swin Cash says Minneapolis Police must better understand WNBA teams' motives.

WNBA business:

Avison Young has entered a sponsorship initiative with the Chicago Sky.

Olympics news:

The USA is the heavy favorite in Rio.

In seeking her fourth gold medal, it's winning or nothing for Diana Taurasi.

More on Pat Summitt's Celebration of Life Service:

Mel Greenberg observes and reflects.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The solution for unfairness: going forth in giving

Pat Summitt's passing was unfair, but we can go forth in a positive way by giving.

The WNBA paused today

.....because the Pat Summitt Celebration of Life was enough for the entire day.

Tomorrow's WNBA schedule:

Sparks at Sun

Dream at Fever

Liberty at Lynx

Wings at Sky

Mystics at Storm

WNBA player news:

Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot is fighting through ankle injuries.

Grand Canyon coach Krystal Thomas is enjoying her new role with the Phoenix Mercury.

There will never be another Lauren Jackson.

Protest fall out:

The Minneapolis Police have returned to Target Center after walking out last Saturday.

The Lynx are winning games while discussing race issues.

The Liberty's Black Lives Matter shirts have lost their hashtags.

Former college player news:

Former Wake Forest stand out LaChina Robinson lives to inspire.

Former Baylor star Chelsea Whitaker is now a Dallas police officer.

College coach news:

UMBC coach Phil Stern's contract has been extended.

Justin Jones is a new assistant coach at Houston Baptist.

U18 Championships:

The USA women routed Brazil, 80-59, in round two.

"No pity party": Pat Summitt celebration of life a beautiful thing

In Thompson-Boling Arena, that holds the floor which bears her name, about 7,000 turned out today for the Pat Summitt Celebration of Life.

It was no pity party.

She was remembered for her achievements on and off the court.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick discusses the event.

UT students painted "the rock" on campus in her honor.

Here are the speeches from the celebration.

My heart aches for her mother, Hazel Head.

I loved how the stool sat on the stage during the service. I took a picture of that stool when Pat brought her Lady Vols to play UCLA in 2007.

Coaches and former coaches in attendance included Tara VanDerveer, Lin Dunn, Gail Goestenkors, Jody Conradt, Lin Dunn, Carol Ross, Jim Foster, Nell Fortner, and Geno Auriemma.

It looked like every one of her Lady Vols who are still with us were also in the house. The part where Tamika Catchings had them stand, and the audience gave them a standing ovation, made me tear up.

Here's the full service.

Beautiful indeed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Enough news to make your head explode

Breanna Stewart won best female athlete at the ESPY Awards a short time ago. And she used her thank you speech to call for more respect for female athletes.

Check the video.

Today's WNBA results:

19-1 is the Sparks record in taking down the Sky, 77-67.

The Liberty ran past the Dream, 86-62.

The Sun routed the Fever, 86-64.

The Mercury snapped a losing streak in edging the Mystics, 78-74. But Diana Taurasi picked up her seventh technical, and she'll be suspended for Phoenix's Saturday game.

The WNBA game:

Players attribute the scoring surge in the WNBA to the evolution of the game.

WNBA protests:

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is in favor of players speaking out in both the WNBA and NBA, but says it's a "slippery slope."

The Liberty's Swin Cash and Tina Charles talk about the Minnesota Police/Lynx debacle.

Cash calls for discussion and not jabs at the Lynx.

Player news:

The news about Glory Johnson's broken toe is finally out. You heard it here first.

At 34, Diana Taurasi is still consumed by the game.

Renee Montgomery and Jia Perkins are thriving as role players for the Lynx.

Pat Summitt:

Pat Summitt was honored posthumously at tonight's ESPY Awards.

Awesome tribute video (grab tissues before watching).

Billie Jean King pays tribute to the legend.

U18 World Championships:

The USA routed Guatemala in the first round, 117-32.

Pat Summitt celebration of life tomorrow

Here's what you need to know about tomorrow's Pat Summitt celebration of life service, whether you're there in person or streaming.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick is ready to talk about the fun times with Pat Summitt.

The SEC Commissioner praised Summitt Monday, at football media day.

Download a poster of the coaching legend here.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sports, politics, sports, politics

Stances by Lynx and Liberty:

Minneapolis police walked out of Target Center Saturday after the Lynx unveiled warm up shirts supporting shooting victims last week. That included both citizens and police.

Lt. Bob Kroll took a childish pot shot at the Lynx, saying their attendance was "a pathetic draw." Are these really adults, or what? They are the pathetic ones.

Both the Lynx and Liberty took a stand this weekend.

Something I expressed via twitter Saturday: men in sports could learn from WNBA players in taking a stand.

In the meantime, the Sparks put "All Lives Matter" on their marquee before yesterday's game, which generated some online backlash.

So now the apparent USA-wide propensity to get offended and pop off is growing to the tenth power. Oh, goody.

Player news:

The Fever's Erlana Larkins is hot under the radar.

At 34, Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen is improving with age.

The Eastern and Western Conference players of the week are Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore.

Tomorrow's game:

Lynx at Stars

Pat Summitt celebration of life:

....will be broadcast on ESPN2 and the SEC Network this Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Michelle Marciniak's eulogy from Summitt's funeral two weeks ago.

College player news:

Baylor center Justis Szczepanski has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules.

College coach news:

Former Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb is the new director of coach offensive analytics at South Carolina.

Tiffany Sardin is Clemson's new assistant coach.

Olympics news:

The Australian Olympic team was named today, and Lauren Jackson said one important player was left off the roster.

Suzy Batkovic, meet Candace Parker.

USA Select Team raises more questions

The USA Select Team was announced a short time ago. It includes:

Kelsey Bone
Kahleah Copper
Stefanie Dolson
Natasha Howard
Jewell Loyd
Tiffany Mitchell
Aerial Powers
Sugar Rodgers
Odyssey Sims
Kiah Stokes
Elizabeth Williams

Here's the explanation:

The USA Select Team, comprised of young USA National Team members and future USA National Team hopefuls, will train alongside the 2016 USA Women’s National Team July 23-24 in Los Angeles before tipping-off the USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon in an exhibition game July 25 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.


Why only 11?

Why leave out Skylar Diggins?

Why leave out Chiney Ogwumike?

I still don't understand USA Basketball.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

As the basketball world tosses and turns

Rough night for Dallas, as Plenette Pierson is still out with a concussion and Glory Johnson is reported to have broken a toe in Thursday's Atlanta game, which will keep her out 4-6 weeks. Minnesota was already gunning for a recoup win, and they got one......Lynx 93, Wings 56.


Minnesota did it without Seimone Augustus, who sat out her second consecutive game with knee soreness.

Uh oh.

Before the game, the Lynx announced they would wear warm up T-shirts supporting this week's shooting victims. The front reads: "Change Starts with Us. Justice & Accountability." The names of the victims are on the backs of the shirts.

Why am I not surprised that WNBA players are the first pro ballers to take a political stand in this nightmarish time?

Still wondering why the league continues to be secretive about injuries.

Tomorrow's schedule is a big one:

Dream at Sun

Stars at Liberty

Mercury at Sky

Mystics at Sparks

Fever at Storm

Player news:

Tamika Catchings: the final season.

She's got sole: the state of sneakers in the WNBA, featuring Lynx All-Star Maya Moore.

Dream guard Layshia Clarendon is carrying the torch in the WNBA as an outspoken activist.

Point guard controversy? Not with the Chicago Sky.

Former South Florida guard Courtney Williams is making an early impact with the Sun.

Former Princeton star Blake Dietrick is enjoying her time in the WNBA.

College news:

Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell is always looking to improve.

Nebraska's Jessica Shepard is feeling good and ready for a fresh start.

New Husker coach Amy Williams is looking to add to her roster.

Olympics news:

The Olympics loom for Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen.

Canada's Nirra Fields is embracing change in her hoops pursuit.