Where in the World is Coach Stanley?

Currently, seven New York Liberty players are competing overseas with a large amount of success on their foreign squads. Assistant Coach Marianne Stanley recently got her passport stamped all around Europe to catch up with those players. Check out what she had to say about her trip overseas and the players that she had a chance to visit.

Q: What was the purpose of your trip overseas?

MS: “The purpose of the trip was to follow up with our players on their off-season development while competing in Israel and Russia. I also lent coaching support to them in their efforts with their respective teams. I had the opportunity to also see a couple of other American free agents and top international players play in both countries.”

Q: The Liberty have four players competing in Israel, did you get to see them all play?

MS: “My trip started in Israel. I saw Ramat Hasharon, the #1 team in Israel, lose it's first game of the season to DeTrina White's Raanana Hertzliya team. Detrina played an excellent game and led all rebounders. Then later in the week I saw a very exciting well-played game between the 2 biggest rivals in Israel, Ramat Hasharon vs. Elizur Ramla. Crystal Robinson and Shameka Christon are teammates on Elizur Ramla. Ramat would lose for the 2nd time in less than a week as Crystal and Shameka totally dominated the game scoring 27 and 26 points respectively. I was able to do a double header that night and attend a late game featuring K.B. Sharp's Hapoel Tel Aviv vs. Ashdod. KB started the game and played 35 minutes, getting lots of action and contributing 15 points helping to lead her team to 2 point win. For the week the Liberty went 3-0!”

Q: Elena Baranova and Ann Wauters are on two of the most dominate teams in Russia. How was the game between Dynamo and Samara?

MS: “I was in Russia and did see the much anticipated showdown between Elena’s team, Dynamo Moscow and Ann’s team, VBM-SGAU Samara. They did not disappoint. It was a hard fought and high scoring game. Ann Wauters looked very strong and led all scorers with 25 points in a losing effort. Elena Baranova came up big down the stretch nailing 3 3-point shots in the 4th quarter in a come from behind 80-78 victory for Dynamo.”

Q: With the start of the 2005 WNBA season vastly approaching, are the Liberty ready to return?

MS: “I was able to see all of our players competing in big games and also attended at least one practice session for each team. Everyone is excited about our prospects for 2005 and are anxious to return to the states for the start of the new season.”

Q: There are many additional WNBA players who are competing overseas this season, who else did you have the opportunity to see play?

MS: “I had a chance to see a good amount of WNBA players. After the Dynamo vs. Samara game I attended a Euroleague matchup between Samara (Ann Wauters, Maria Stepanova, Sheryl Swoopes, and DeMya Walker) and Dexia-Namur (Nakia Sanford and Rebekkah Brunson). Samara played well from start to finish and overwhelmed the visitors from Belgium by 46 points. My final stop was back in Moscow to see Dynamo (Sue Bird, Kamila Vodichkova, and Mwadi Mabika) again in a key Euroleague matchup vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg (Yolanda Griffith and Izianne Castro Marques). Dynamo never quite got into an offensive rhythm and lost 70-65.”

“Overall, it was an invaluable trip and well worth the time and effort. I had the opportunity to show our support and to evaluate the continuing development of our players especially our younger ones such as DeTrina White, K.B. Sharp and Shameka Christon.”

RELATED LINKS:
Coach Stanley was interviewed by ‘Safsal’ in Israel. Click here to read that recent story.