Job-Finding Skills Clinic
Adopt-A-Team was joined by the Mercury and Suns Vice President of Human Resources, Karen Rausch, for a session on job-finding skills and pointers prior to the September 6 game against San Antonio. Rausch started off by explaining to Central what “HR” really means and why it is so important in the workforce. She then asked everyone in the room what they wanted to do for a living and why. She set up her questions for each individual as if it were a real interview. Rausch explained that an interview is a way to brand yourself to a potential future employer and needs to be done in a short and concise way. After hearing this tip, many of the team members felt more confident in their answers and seemed prepared to join the workforce.
Women of Inspiration
The Phoenix Mercury honored USA Softball legend Lisa Fernandez as the team’s 2013 Woman of Inspiration during its August 31 game against the Connecticut Sun. Central High School had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A with Fernandez prior to the basketball game to hear about her path to Team USA and the importance of higher education for athletes. President & COO of the Mercury, Amber Cox, said, “Her dedication, hard work and success on and off the field make her a positive role model for our youth. She joins an elite group of inspiring women who have gone above and beyond in their careers and in the community, and we are excited to welcome her to our Mercury family.” Fernandez joins an elite group of inspiring women who have been honored by the Mercury, including Robin Roberts (2007), Ali Vincent, the first female Biggest Loser (2008), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (2009), Billie Jean King (2010), Picabo Street (2011) and Hope Solo (2012).
Adopt-A-Team Basketball Clinic
The Phoenix Mercury and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona teamed up to host the “Adopt-A-Team Basketball Clinic” for the 2013 Mercury Adopt-A-Team, Central High School girls’ basketball team. The clinic was held on Thursday, August 29 on the US Airways Center practice court and was led by Mercury guard Alexis Hornbuckle, forward Lynetta Kizer and assistant coaches Anthony Boone and Julie Hairgrove. They began the clinic by introducing themselves to the team and then circled up for stretches before they began drills. The post players were then teamed up with Lynetta Kizer and Anthony Boone and the guards joined Alexis Hornbuckle and Julie Hairgrove. The posts focused on polishing their hook shots and the guards focused on jump shots. The whole team was split in half toward the end of the clinic and had a shooting competition against each other. The losing sides had to either run laps around the court or do push-ups or sit-ups. The Mercury players and coaching staff kept the clinic entertaining and up tempo that by the end of the clinic Central High School never wanted to leave.
Being a Leader
On Friday, August 23, President and COO of the Phoenix Mercury, Amber Cox, spoke with the girls’ basketball teams of Central High School about what it takes for a woman to become a leader in today’s society. Cox started by talking about her own background and the giant steps and big sacrifices she needed to take in order to get in the position where she is today. She explained that giving up days, afternoons, nights and weekends helping her family maintain their greenhouse in their small town in Missouri helped teach her strong work ethic and the determination to succeed. She grew up with the love for basketball and after successful years playing at the collegiate level, wanted to make basketball a lifelong occupation. Cox expressed how she never turned opportunities down, even if it were moving thousands of miles away to Phoenix to start her career with the Mercury. One of the Lady Bobcats asked, “Were there times that you ever wanted to give up and move back home?” Cox responded, “Absolutely, I’m human. I will never give up though, because I always want to do what’s best for the team and organization.” This sent a clear message to the Lady Bobcats to not let their egos get in the way of working as a team, on and off the court.
On Wednesday, August 14, the Central High School girls’ basketball team enjoyed a special presentation from the notMykid organization regarding cyber-bullying and how to stay safe on the web. The main focus of the presentation was how to use social media in a way that will keep you safe and protected from predators. The team learned that one in nine people worldwide have a Facebook and many of these people do not know how to use the privacy settings to their advantage. notMykid shared true stories of how people, particularly women, have been harassed on social media and ways they could have protected themselves if they were more careful. The team was also taught that they should always speak up to protect themselves and others they witness being bullied on the internet.
Partnering with Girls Rule!
The Phoenix Mercury partnered with Girls Rule! for a two-part program discussing “The Four Keys to Making Your Goals and Dreams Become Reality” with the 2013 Adopt-A-Team, Central High School, on Saturday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 6th. During the program, the team was taught significant ways to understand and pursue their dreams. They were trained to have confidence and to surround themselves with people that can help make their goals and dreams become reality. The co-founders of Girls Rule!, Dena Patton and Stephanie Millner, stressed that keeping a negative mindset about your future is too distracting. Instead, they encouraged the Lady Bobcats to stand up and firmly say “I am Brilliant, Beautiful and Bold” to subdue negative thoughts and get back on track.
Central High School Works With 'Impromptu Guru'
The Phoenix Mercury’s Adopt-A-Team, Central High School, participated in their first event of the season with Jill Schiefelbein, owner of Impromptu Guru, who shared interview, media and presentation skills prior to the July 2nd game against the New York Liberty. Jill is an accomplished speaker, author and professor, and is well known around the Mercury organization for having previously given media training to the front office staff, players and coaches. Jill used her own personal stories to explain the importance of having confidence while speaking and giving yourself power while interviewing. One of the most important tips that the team learned was being careful in how they present themselves on all social media platforms, as this is not only a direct reflection on themselves, but their whole team as well.
Central High School Recognized with Pam and Peter Werth at Mercury Game on June 14
The Phoenix Mercury recognized the Central High School girls’ basketball team as the 2013 Adopt-A-Team during a special on-court presentation at halftime of the Mercury-Sparks matchup on Friday, June 14.
As part of the presentation, Adopt-A-Team founding donors Pam and Peter Werth were also recognized for their dedication to the program for the sixth consecutive season. In addition, the Central High School Lady Bobcats received Mercury goodie bags during the presentation.
Adopt-A-Team is a mentorship program designed to enrich the lives of female athletes through various programs, on and off the court. Entering its sixth season, the program not only provides the team with much-needed equipment and uniforms, but also looks to increase the team’s confidence by teaching healthy living and life skills such as resume writing and proper etiquette.
Central High School Selected as Phoenix Mercury's Adopt-A-Team
The Phoenix Mercury has selected Central High School’s girls’ basketball program as the team’s official 2013 Adopt-A-Team!
“The Adopt-A-Team program continues to be an integral part of our community outreach,” said Amber Cox, Mercury President and COO. “Through generous contributions by our partners and the ongoing support of our founding donors Pam and Peter Werth, we are able to provide life-changing lessons and opportunities for students in Arizona for the sixth consecutive year. We are excited to have Central High School as our Adopt-A-Team this season.”
The Adopt-A-Team is selected through an application and interview process. One team is chosen each year based on need and opportunity for positive impact.
End of the Year Banquet: North High School
The Mercury's adopted High School girls basketball team, North High School, celebrated their end of the season basketball banquet on the official Mercury practice court on Wednesday, March 27. Over 100 people attended the event including all three of North's basketball teams (Freshman, JV, Varsity) and the player's parents.
The event featured a video recap of the teams successful 2012 season and special awards were given to every player.
Varsity Head Coach Shabazz ended the event with a special thank you to Pam and Peter Werth for their support of the Mercury's Adopt a Team program. He attributed the success of his teams run in the playoffs to the confidence and moral his players gained from participating in the program and the experiences they received over the past year.
North High School is the 5th school to complete the Adopt a Team program. The Mercury's 2013 Adopt a Team program will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
Blue Cross Blue Shield Clinic
On August 27th, 2012 Mercury coaches and 2 players went down to North HS to put on a clinic for the girls basketball program.
After the clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield provided the girls with a seminar on tips on how to stay healthy.
Financial Advisory Talk
On Sun, August 19th, North HS girls basketball team came down to the US Airways Center prior to Mercury’s 3pm tip-off against the San Antonio Silver Stars for a financial advisory talk with one of New York Life Insurance’s Partners, Nate Sanders. Nate Sanders provided the girls with different information on saving money and where they should be applying it to.
College Prep Talk
Prior to the Mercury’s game vs. Seattle, Sophia Sledge, Arizona State University athletic-academic advisor came down to give North HS girls basketball team a college prep talk.
During the prep talk, the girls envisioned what their definition of success is and learned in order to make these visions of success become real is through
education. A checklist was provided for the girls to track each year in high school and the things they should be doing to prepare for college.
Women of Inspiration Night
The Mercury honored U.S Women’s Soccer goalkeeper, Hope Solo, as the team’s 2012 Woman of Inspiration during the June 23 matchup vs. Los Angeles.
Hope Solo held a Q&A event prior to the game with many local soccer teams along with the 2012 Adopt-a- Team. North HS was able to get a picture with Hope Solo and take part in an on-court recognition to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Title IX.
Celebrating Father’s Day with the Mercury
On Fri., June 15, the Mercury played the defending WNBA Champions the Minnesota Lynx. Not only did North High School girls’ basketball team get to enjoy the game but they were also able to invite their dad’s to celebrate Father’s day!
2012 Adopt-A-Team Announcement
On May 8, the Mercury took on the Japanese National Team in a preseason scrimmage. During the first official timeout, North High School girls’ basketball team came out and was announced as the 2012 Mercury Adopt-A-Team.
The girl’s received Mercury jerseys from Pam and Peter Werth who have continued to support this program allowing young women to grow both on and off the court.
2011 Adopt-A-Team Recap
In 2007, season ticket holders Pam and Peter Werth collaborated with the Mercury to put a development program in place for high school girls’ basketball teams. The Adopt-a-Team program is now in its 4th season and the Werths continue to fund and support the program that allows young women opportunities to grow both on and off the court.
The 2011 Adopt-a-Team from Cesar Chavez High School, along with the Werths, were at the September 11 game against Minnesota where they were able to meet for the first time. The Lady Champions from Cesar Chavez provided the Werths with team T-shirts and gifts as a thank you for the tremendous opportunity and support they have provided. The Werths and Cesar Chavez were recognized at center court during halftime of the game.
The Hip Hop Squad, Scorch, Bridget Pettis and Mercury Chief Operating Office Amber Cox surprised Cesar Chavez on May 16, 2011 with an assembly to announce the girls’ basketball team as the 2001 Phoenix Mercury Adopt-A-Team.
Japanese Relief Efforts
The Lady Champions jumped right in to help with their first service project the week they were named the Adopt-A-Team. The players helped raise money for the Japanese Relief efforts following the tsunami the devastated the country. In the Mercury’s preseason game against the JX Sunflowers from Japan, the girls volunteered to run a 50/50 raffle at the game, raising money for the Japanese Red Cross. The team sold raffle tickets throughout the game and raised more than $800 for the relief fund.
Private Practice and US Airways Center Tour
In June, the players from Cesar Chavez along with students from Elevate Phoenix, sat in on a Mercury practice. The team commented on seeing the professionals run similar drills as they do and were impresses at the speed and precision they perform them at.
Following practice, Suns alum and Vice President of Facility Management Alvan Adams took the team on a tour of US Airways Center. He explained the inner workings on the arena and the man power it takes to prepare the facility for a basketball game to a concert and back to a game in just 72 hours. .
Salvation Army Water Drive
The Mercury held its annual Salvation Army Water Drive to benefit the organization’s Emergency Heat Plan, which is a program that helps the homeless population in Arizona stay hydrated. Cesar Chavez helped collect the cases of water donated by fans at the Mercury game on July 15. They also had a surprise meet & greet with Cheryl Miller, Mercury legend, who was in town to celebrate the team’s 15th anniversary. .
Father’s Day Bridging Ceremony
On June 19, Cesar Chavez got together with Maryvale High School in a suite for the Mercury’s game vs. Indiana. The teams had a chance to talk about the Adopt-A-Team program and Maryvale shared their experiences with everyone. The teams were also able to invite their father’s to the game and celebrate Father’s Day together. .
Grand Canyon University presented a college prep course to the Lady Champions prior to the Mercury’s July 26 game. The presentation included websites they could search scholarships on, how to prepare for the SATs and when to take them. It also reinforced the importance of community service and proper communication skills, which will be important for college applications. .
Safety Course with the Phoenix Police Department
In partnership with two police officers from Phoenix P.D., the Mercury hosted it’s first safety presentation for the Adopt-A-Team. The officers provided tips on how someone can avoid becoming a victim and what to do if found in an unsafe situation. Key tips from the presentation:
- Trust your intuition
- Pay attention to your surrounding
- Make eye contact with strangers let them know you see them
- Walk with confidence
- Be careful with the information given on Facebook. That is one of the easiest places for people to gain information on their targets .
Mercury Host Clinic at Maryvale High School
Phoenix Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines, starting forward/center Tangela Smith and director of basketball operations Bridget Pettis, with the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, ran an hour-long clinic for both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Maryvale High School on Dec. 6.
Maryvale’s girls’ basketball team was selected for the Mercury’s 2010 Adopt-A-Team program earlier this year. With the program, the team is provided learning and development opportunities on and off the court.
Announcing the 2010 Mercury Adopt-A-Team
On May 11, 2010, 2009 WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi and 6th Woman of the Year, DeWanna Bonner surprised the Lady Panthers at Maryvale High School’s annual sports banquet with the announcement that they had been chosen as the 2010 Phoenix Mercury Adopt-A-Team.
Scorch and the Hip Hop Squad were also on hand to entertain students and shower them with official 2010 Adopt-A-Team T-shirts.
Maryvale celebrates Championship Saturday
Through the Adopt-A-Team program, Maryvale’s girls’ basketball team attends every Mercury home game, including the 2010 home opener when the 2009 WNBA Champions were presented with their championship rings and the championship banner was unveiled at US Airways Center.
Maryvale helped rally the Mercury to a 78-77 overtime win against the Los Angeles Sparks.
During the 2010 season, the Mercury honored Billie Jean King as the team’s Woman of Inspiration. As part of the evening, Maryvale was able to take part in an exclusive event with the tennis legend. Mercury President and General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale interviewed Billie Jean on her tennis career, including the legendary Battle of the Sexes where Billie Jean defeated Bobby Riggs in three straight sets.
In May, the Mercury hosted the first bridging event for the former and current Adopt-A-Teams. Carl Hayden (2009) and Maryvale (2010) attended the game on May 28 and had a chance to discuss their experiences with the program, what they hope to take away from it and they also played a few Mercury trivia games for a chance at Mercury items.
Carl Hayden’s Lady Falcons prepared a top ten list of way to make the most of the Adopt-A-Team program, which included:
10. Enjoy all activities
9. Be active
8. Be positive
7. Give back to your community
6. Get to know your team
5. Be committed
4. Time to shine
3. Make memories
2. Be grateful
1. Have fun
Annual Water Drive
The Mercury held its annual Salvation Army Water Drive to benefit the organization’s Emergency Heat Plan, which is a program that helps the homeless population in Arizona stay hydrated. Maryvale participated by collecting more than 4,500 bottles of water, which more than doubled the donation record for the water drive in previous seasons.
The Lady Panthers got a courtside view of a Mercury practice on June 14. Coach Corey Gaines welcomed everyone to the practice, explained what drills he would be running and gave a little background on each of the players. After practice, Maryvale participated in a meet and greet with the team.
Proper etiquette off the court is just as important as a player’s etiquette on the court. That’s why the Mercury participates in Mrs. Hancock’s Etiquette Lunch every year with the Adopt-A-Team. Mrs. Hancock hosts a three-course lunch for the ladies and provides instructions on everything from proper utensil use to appropriate dinner conversations to engage in.
A Day with the Foundation for Senior Living
On July 9, the Adopt-A-Team visited the Foundation for Senior Living facility where they spent time with more than 50 clients and took part in activities planned for the day that included making T-shirts and posters for the Mercury, a cooking station and a basketball station. The team spent two hours with the residents and left eager to return.
A large portion of the Adopt-A-Team program is developed around education. In preparation for the next step in the their education, the Lady Panthers took part in a seminar given by Grand Canyon University on steps to prepare for college, tips for applying for financial aid and scholarships as well as academic guidance tips for a successful education.
Read To Me
The Adopt-A-Team participated in the “Read To Me” program through the UMOM New Day Center. The program is designed to introduce children to the importance of reading outside of the classroom by having adults spend time reading with a child, which helps improve reading comprehension and self-esteem.
On Monday June 28, 2010 the basketball team from Maryvale High School, the Phoenix Mercury’s Adopt-A-team, went to an etiquette class taught by Mrs. Hancock. As a member as the team, I can say that we learned so much just in those couple of hours.
We started by learning how to sit properly and what to do when you sit at a restaurant. Many people would think this would be torture, but it was actually very fun and informational. We also learned about passing dishes and the salt and pepper. We learned proper manners and how to treat a server. Little things like that are what we took away from the lunch. All of us enjoyed it very much and we all learned so much that we will use for the rest of our lives.
We appreciate the Phoenix Mercury setting up this event and look forward to all of the others to come.
Carl Hayden and front office staff from the Phoenix Mercury visited Cedar Sanctuary where sisters Christine Ellis and Shella Michel are serving as a Haiti relief center hub in Arizona. The sisters are natives of Haiti and have family still living in the country that has been devastated by this tragic earthquake.
In an effort to assist the sisters in preparing shipments to Haiti, the Mercury and Carl Hayden Adopt-a-Team donated nearly 500 canned food items.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people in Haiti.
The Carl Hayden Lady Falcons were nothing but focused when Coach Gaines stopped by practice to share a few drills and tips with them. Despite a tough start to their season (0-4), the varsity team ran hard, shot well and soaked up everything Coach Gaines was telling them.
The Carl Hayden Lady Falcons, Mercury’s 2009 Adopt-A-Team, tipped off their season against La Joya High School at home on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Carl Hayden was defeated 29-47 and is now preparing for the next match up against Goldwater High School on Monday, Dec. 9. Visit the Adopt-A-Team page for updated information throughout the Lady Falcons’ season.
On Sunday, Aug 23rd, the girls’ basketball team from Carl Hayden High School participated in the FUNdamentals Golf Program at Shalimar golf Course in Tempe.
The program, which includes etiquette lessons both on and off the course, helps to develop young people into polite, respectful, confident productive and contributing members of our society. With the help of John and Vito from the PGA, the girls received a free set of golf clubs, balls, bags and tees.
By the end of the day, the basketball players were looking like pros out on the driving range!
In 2008, the Phoenix Mercury launched the Adopt-A-Team program as a means to provide learning and development opportunities for young female basketball players both on and off the court. The program seeks to increase confidence, teach life skills and encourage healthy living, as well as provide the team with much-needed equipment, uniforms and more.
After a two-month selection process, Camelback High School was named the 2008 Adopt-A-Team. The team participated in year-round community relations projects as well as attended every Mercury game.
In May 2009, Carl Hayden Community High School was awarded the 2009 Adopt-A-Team honor.
This season, Carl Hayden’s girls’ basketball program has enjoyed lower-level seats to each game at US Airways Center. In June and July, the team received personal development training through two special events; Mrs. Hancock’s Etiquette Luncheon and the Salvation Army Water Drive. The team also participated in a personal meet and greet and private autograph session with the Mercury.
For the remainder of the season, the adopted team will participate in a one-on-one talk with Mercury star Temeka Johnson, a Mercury guards/post clinic, Kaplan Test Prep seminar, a public speaking seminar and nutritional training.
Be sure to check back for information on applying to become a Mercury Adopt-A-Team.
If you are interested in making a donation to support the Adopt-A-Team program, please call 602-514-8370.