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|You asked for it, so here it is... the Official WNBA.com Blog. "In Other News..." will be your one-stop source for all WNBA-related info and activities taking place throughout the offseason. From news off the court to player appearances, free agency and trade rumors and college prospect tracking and anything else that falls through the net, the Blog will be updated regularly with news, links and photos. All you have to do is keep coming back to get your fill and stay in the loop. | NBA.com Blog Squad|
Many box scores and ten years ago, our forefathers and foremothers brought forth on this continent, a new league, conceived the Sparks, Monarchs and Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all women deserve a professional basketball league in the United States with an equal right to fame and prominence.
And so the WNBA was born. Ten years later, it continues to be a source of marvel and entertainment for fans all over the world.
So another calendar year comes to an end as we take a pause to celebrate another great season and a fantastic year in the WNBA. 2006 really had it all, from a year-long anniversary celebration to veteran stars proving they are still in their prime to younger stars challenging those veterans for league supremacy. We've spent a great deal of time and space here honoring those and many more accomplishments, but the time has come to look forward to 2007.
League and team personnel have already been preparing for next year. The schedule will be revealed shortly and matchups will be anticipated. The Draft plans are already in the works, as are plans for a great All-Star Weekend in July. Coaches are traveling the country scouting the top college players and you know the players are doing their part, keeping busy and staying in shape by playing all around the world.
New stars will shine, more records will fall and new fans will find something they love. Personally, I can't wait. I know you can't, either. So in the meantime, have a Happy New Year and get excited because the 2007 WNBA season is closer than it ever has been before!
In Other News: Thanks for dinner, Coach Graf.
While the EuroCup opening round has finished and the matchups are set for the next round, the EuroLeague was back in action this week, the final batch of games before going on a three-week hiatus for the holidays. This was Week Eight of the 10-game preliminary round and action resumes on January 10.
Spartak continued its dominance over Group A and improved its record to 7-1 with an 85-46 win over the last-place Familia Basket. Agnieszka Bibrzycka led Spartak with 18 points while Taj McWilliams added a double double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. In her first game with the team, Sue Bird finished with seven points and two assists in 16 minutes. TEO Vilnius moved into a second place tie with MKB Euroleasing after defeating them, 65-60. Both teams are now 5-3. Jurgita Streimikyte poured in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Vilnius, who has now won four of its last five games. Ebony Hoffman had another double-double, scoring 13 points and recorded 10 rebounds while Katie Douglas only scored seven points and shot only 3-for-10 from the floor. Wisla Can-Pack evened its record at 4-4 with an 81-70 over USO Mondeville, who drops a game back at 3-5. Dominique Canty had 16 points and Anna DeForge had 14 points for the victors.
sits at the top of Group B after pulling away from reigning Spanish champions
Halcon Avenida en route to a 74-54 victory on Wednesday. Ann Wauters had 19 and
10 while Seattle Storm guard Edwige Lawson had 11 points and six rebounds of her
own. They picked up the slack for DeMya Walker, who scored 10 points on 5-of-12
from the floor. Halcon Avenida got solid production out of its two WNBA stars
as Nicole Powell scored 18 points and Nicole Ohlde had 14 and 12, but it was not
enough to knock off the Russian juggernauts. But Bourges Basket kept pace one
day later, winning 65-60 over Dexia Namur to also improve to 7-1. Emmeline Ndongue
had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the win while Cathrine Kraayeveld tallied six
points and nine rebounds in the loss. In the other game on Thursday, MiZo Pecs
went to USK Praha and earned their fifth EuroLeague win, a 63-56 victory, despite
only two points from Vickie Johnson.
Tan White provided the dramatic flare as she nailed a last-second three-pointer to give Lotos Gdynia their first win in EuroLeague action and give them new life in their hopes of qualifying for the next round. In the 70-68 win over USVO, Tamika Whitmore scored 21 points, hauled in eight rebounds and blocked four shots. White scored 12 points and hit only 2-of-10 from 3-point range. It was the last one that counted. In the lone game on Tuesday, Ekaterinburg rallied from a 16-point first half defecit to eclipse Ros Casares 81-73. Lindsay Whalen led an 11-0 run down the stretch and finished with 20 points. Cheryl Ford led all scorers with 24 points while DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 19 and Margo Dydek had 11 in the loss. Fenerbahce kept pace with Ekaterinburg and improved its record to 6-2 as well after a 75-56 win over Gambrinus in a game where two WNBA stars went head-to-head. Cappie Pondexter scored 21 points and had eight rebounds and her teammate Tammy Sutton-Brown chipped in with 12 and seven for the Turkish club. Deanna Nolan had 21 points and eight rebounds of her own for Gambrinus as Sophia Young contributed seven points on 2-of-9 from the field. US Valenciennes and Lotos Gdynia are each 1-7.
We've been in the same city, just a few blocks apart for all this time, and neither of us knew it! Liberty guard Loree Moore was a first round Draft pick in 2005, but struggled with injuries and did not see the court much as a rookie. In her second season, she started in 29 games and ran the point for the Liberty. I caught up with her on IM while she was home in California visiting her mother.
WurstMattWNBA (3:51:42 PM): hey loree,
it's matt. how's it going?
21LMOORE (3:56:55 PM): what up Matt
21LMOORE (3:57:11 PM): how the heck are you? its been a long time since I talked to you
WurstMattWNBA (3:57:32 PM): i know. i'm not sure if that's my fault or yours. probably mine :-)
21LMOORE (3:57:54 PM): we will say its both of us, hows that?
WurstMattWNBA (3:57:59 PM): so how's california?
21LMOORE (3:58:03 PM): cali is good
21LMOORE (3:58:12 PM): its tryin to get cold down this way a lil bit
WurstMattWNBA (3:58:17 PM): where exactly are you?
21LMOORE (3:58:29 PM): I am in Lakewood, CA
21LMOORE (3:58:38 PM): its where my mom lives
WurstMattWNBA (3:58:47 PM): oh nice. quality time with the fam
21LMOORE (3:58:52 PM): its close to Long Beach City
WurstMattWNBA (3:58:54 PM): like snoop dogg!
WurstMattWNBA (3:59:02 PM): so you there through the holidays?
21LMOORE (3:59:29 PM): no I am just here until the end of the week and I am goin back down to NY
WurstMattWNBA (3:59:49 PM): oh fun. new york is awesome this time of year. a lot of people... tourists... but it's fun.
21LMOORE (3:59:56 PM): how are you doing?
WurstMattWNBA (4:00:20 PM): i'm doing well... getting ready to take a few days off... rest and relaxation
21LMOORE (4:00:40 PM): that is always a great thing
21LMOORE (4:01:02 PM): I am trying to take advantage of that now before I go overseas the 1st of the yr
WurstMattWNBA (4:01:15 PM): where are you heading?
21LMOORE (4:01:29 PM): I am looking to go to Israel
21LMOORE (4:02:01 PM): on the team that barbara turner used to play on
WurstMattWNBA (4:02:33 PM): oh yeah yeah. i think i know it. i do my best to keep up on everyone over there.
WurstMattWNBA (4:02:42 PM): ever been to israel?
21LMOORE (4:03:12 PM): nope it will be my first time
21LMOORE (4:03:33 PM): a lil nervous bcuz the only time I really played overseas was with USA Basketball
WurstMattWNBA (4:03:48 PM): oh you'll get the hang of it in no time
21LMOORE (4:03:53 PM): so it was no more than 2 weeks somewhere
WurstMattWNBA (4:03:55 PM): i was there about 12 years ago... though in israeli time, that's nothing... you'll love it.
WurstMattWNBA (4:03:59 PM): anyone give you any advice on how to pack?
21LMOORE (4:04:08 PM): nope
21LMOORE (4:04:18 PM): I have been trying to figure it out
21LMOORE (4:04:29 PM): some say pack everything
21LMOORE (4:04:38 PM): but I will look into that definitely
WurstMattWNBA (4:04:44 PM): definitely load up on some of your food favorites
WurstMattWNBA (4:04:50 PM): cereal, etc.
21LMOORE (4:04:54 PM): yeah I hear that
WurstMattWNBA (4:05:01 PM): I'm not sure they have Lucky Charms in the holy land
21LMOORE (4:05:11 PM): hahaha, probably not
21LMOORE (4:05:25 PM): they might tho
21LMOORE (4:05:36 PM): I hear Israel is very americanized
WurstMattWNBA (4:05:49 PM): they probably do, actually. it's very westernized. the big cities - tel aviv and jerusalem, are a lot like N.Y.
21LMOORE (4:06:13 PM): cool beans
21LMOORE (4:06:22 PM): well I know it will be an great experience so I am looking forward to it
WurstMattWNBA (4:06:28 PM): so what have you been doing these past few months? you were in N.Y., right?
21LMOORE (4:06:52 PM): yes, I was in NY
21LMOORE (4:07:02 PM): I actually had been down there since after the season
21LMOORE (4:07:28 PM): I have been working out with my coaches and just enjoying NY and what it has to offer
21LMOORE (4:07:45 PM): seeing why soooooo many people come and visit
21LMOORE (4:07:53 PM): I always been doing a lot of appearances/community service for the Liberty as well
WurstMattWNBA (4:08:00 PM): is this the first time you've really gotten to experience NY? probably harder during the season to get out, what with all the travel
21LMOORE (4:08:23 PM): yes, this is the first time
21LMOORE (4:08:29 PM): and I have to say its really a blast
21LMOORE (4:08:36 PM): so much to do out there
21LMOORE (4:08:43 PM): it great, starting to really love it
WurstMattWNBA (4:08:48 PM): have you gotten to the Statue of Liberty yet?
WurstMattWNBA (4:08:54 PM): since it is what your team is named after and all
21LMOORE (4:09:35 PM): well, I've seen the statue of liberty but haven't really took the lil tour that they have of it
WurstMattWNBA (4:10:12 PM): probably too cold. and hard to get to. what neighborhood are you living in?
21LMOORE (4:10:26 PM): the Boogie down Bronx
21LMOORE (4:10:31 PM): hahaha
WurstMattWNBA (4:10:56 PM): near Yankee Stadium?
21LMOORE (4:11:08 PM): yes
21LMOORE (4:12:04 PM): I live closer to the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden
WurstMattWNBA (4:12:16 PM): oh really up there
21LMOORE (4:12:24 PM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (4:12:27 PM): i haven't been to the bronx zoo since i was in elementary school
21LMOORE (4:12:38 PM): I haven't been yet either
21LMOORE (4:12:49 PM): I actually want to go to the zoo and see it
WurstMattWNBA (4:13:05 PM): is it open in the winter? that's like me - i live right near the empire state building and have never been
21LMOORE (4:13:18 PM): hahaha
21LMOORE (4:13:31 PM): I hear yeah tho
WurstMattWNBA (4:13:48 PM): do you get to see any teammates these days? any other Liberty folks in the N.Y. area?
21LMOORE (4:14:25 PM): Meka was but she left for Spain
21LMOORE (4:14:35 PM): Becky is still around off and on
21LMOORE (4:14:44 PM): everyone else is spread out overseas
WurstMattWNBA (4:15:11 PM): do/did they also practice with you?
WurstMattWNBA (4:15:19 PM): probably good for team chemistry and all
21LMOORE (4:15:55 PM): yeah I worked out with both of the individually or we all been to together
21LMOORE (4:16:08 PM): yeah I think its very good for our team chemistry
WurstMattWNBA (4:16:27 PM): so now that you've had some time to think about it, how did the second season compare to the first? you were healthy again and got real playing time.
21LMOORE (4:17:53 PM): well, to me the 2nd season was about proving myself to myself if that makes since
WurstMattWNBA (4:18:11 PM): showing you belong?
21LMOORE (4:18:21 PM): being able to respond to my injury and seeing if I will be able to bounce back
21LMOORE (4:18:37 PM): yes,showing I belong and that I want to stay in NY
21LMOORE (4:19:13 PM): so, I went to work in the offseason and basically started things from scratch
21LMOORE (4:19:31 PM): and made sure I was where I needed to be
WurstMattWNBA (4:19:31 PM): that must be so hard, learning things all over again
21LMOORE (4:19:43 PM): yes it is very hard
WurstMattWNBA (4:19:58 PM): was it challenging, though, since you guys struggled as a team? you couldn't have been used to that at Tenn
21LMOORE (4:20:02 PM): but it was a challenge that I wanted to overcome
21LMOORE (4:20:21 PM): It was a BIG challenge for all of us I think
21LMOORE (4:20:48 PM): I don't think anyone from the management down to the coaches as well as the players have ever lost like that
21LMOORE (4:21:27 PM): so it was a lot of adversity that we had to try and overcome
WurstMattWNBA (4:21:44 PM): did it make things easier for you as a PG knowing that Becky had a lot of those skills having filled in there for a few seasons?
21LMOORE (4:22:23 PM): Yeah it did make it easier
21LMOORE (4:22:41 PM): but at the sametime I wanted to make it easier for Becky as well
WurstMattWNBA (4:22:55 PM): that's what being teammates is all about!
21LMOORE (4:23:03 PM): she is a natural shooting guard to me and I know playing the PG position can be a struggle
21LMOORE (4:23:41 PM): so I just wanted to do everything I need to do to keep her comfortable and to allow her to do what she does and that is Score
WurstMattWNBA (4:24:19 PM): she does like to do that. do you ever feel pressure to score as a PG in the league since there are others who often think to shoot as often as they do pass?
21LMOORE (4:24:51 PM): I don't think I find pressure
21LMOORE (4:28:10 PM): I think that its more so adapting to how the game is now
21LMOORE (4:28:18 PM): most PG's need to be of some threat on the court as a player so that they are guard and respect on the court and not played off of that
WurstMattWNBA (4:28:29 PM): what is sherrill like? you know her from the SEC days, obviously. she seems like she plays at another speed.
21LMOORE (4:28:37 PM): Rill is great
21LMOORE (4:28:43 PM): the girl is FAST
21LMOORE (4:28:48 PM): QUICK
21LMOORE (4:28:56 PM): anything to do with all speeds
21LMOORE (4:29:09 PM): she is just a fun player to play with and watch
21LMOORE (4:29:29 PM): she has a lot to offer and I think she proved that her rookie yr
WurstMattWNBA (4:29:45 PM): definitely fun to watch. and she's a trendsetter... if i had more hair, i might try the side ponytail thing.
21LMOORE (4:30:03 PM): hahahah
21LMOORE (4:30:26 PM): hey that is her gametime hair
21LMOORE (4:30:35 PM): she isn't changing it
WurstMattWNBA (4:30:42 PM): everyone has their gametime routines
21LMOORE (4:31:11 PM): yes they do
WurstMattWNBA (4:32:58 PM): do you take the subway to the Garden?
21LMOORE (4:33:12 PM): yes I do sometimes
21LMOORE (4:33:21 PM): I didn't really during the season
21LMOORE (4:33:29 PM): but lately I have
21LMOORE (4:33:35 PM): I like it
21LMOORE (4:33:41 PM): its easy
WurstMattWNBA (4:33:46 PM): not during rush hour
21LMOORE (4:33:53 PM): I know
21LMOORE (4:34:02 PM): it takes FOREVER!
WurstMattWNBA (4:34:16 PM): i've been teaching myself the bus map
21LMOORE (4:34:23 PM): yeah
21LMOORE (4:34:37 PM): I haven't done that yet
WurstMattWNBA (4:34:42 PM): have you become obsessed with NY pizza yet like everyone else?
21LMOORE (4:34:58 PM): Yes, I love pizza and the NY pizza is great
WurstMattWNBA (4:35:49 PM): grimaldi's in brooklyn is my favorite... everyone has their favorite
21LMOORE (4:36:02 PM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (4:36:15 PM): pizza in israel... not as good, if i recall
21LMOORE (4:36:22 PM): thanks for the heads up
WurstMattWNBA (4:36:31 PM): but they do have a kosher mcdonalds, called mcdavids
21LMOORE (4:36:44 PM): hmmm
WurstMattWNBA (4:36:54 PM): they also have regular mcdonals
WurstMattWNBA (4:36:56 PM): not to worry
21LMOORE (4:37:05 PM): ok
21LMOORE (4:37:24 PM): you did have me a lil worried
WurstMattWNBA (4:37:58 PM): no no, you'll be just fine. and if you need someone to fedex you some treats from home, let me know
21LMOORE (4:38:19 PM): I will keep that in mind
21LMOORE (4:38:46 PM): I like scooby Doo fruit snacks
WurstMattWNBA (4:38:53 PM): they still make those?
21LMOORE (4:38:57 PM): theyre the best
21LMOORE (4:39:03 PM): yes
21LMOORE (4:39:18 PM): not a lot of places have them but they are still floating out there
WurstMattWNBA (4:39:22 PM): Scooby Doo really has stood the test of time
21LMOORE (4:39:26 PM): yes
WurstMattWNBA (4:39:28 PM): still banging out fruit snacks after all these years
21LMOORE (4:39:37 PM): hahaha, yes
21LMOORE (4:39:44 PM): still got a soft spot for them
WurstMattWNBA (4:39:50 PM): i used to have fruit roll ups in my lunches every day
21LMOORE (4:39:54 PM): me too!
WurstMattWNBA (4:41:41 PM): don't you think that the quality of good cartoons these days has dropped significantly. what ever happened to saturday mornings and afterschool cartoons? nowhere to be found!
21LMOORE (4:42:06 PM): I have to agree with you about that
WurstMattWNBA (4:42:11 PM): what's up with the old-school atari IM graphics?
WurstMattWNBA (4:42:15 PM): aren't you too young to remember the old school atari?
21LMOORE (4:42:25 PM): I am a gamer
21LMOORE (4:42:30 PM): I like video games
WurstMattWNBA (4:42:37 PM): which ones?
21LMOORE (4:42:40 PM): I always be like a gameboy person
21LMOORE (4:42:49 PM): Genesis
21LMOORE (4:43:01 PM): sonic
WurstMattWNBA (4:43:54 PM): do you have any of the newer systems?
21LMOORE (4:44:19 PM): I asked santa for a nitendo ds lite
WurstMattWNBA (4:44:35 PM): definitely bring video games with you to israel... a good way to pass the time
21LMOORE (4:44:50 PM): yeah I am going to do that
WurstMattWNBA (4:45:29 PM): alright, well i've kept you long enough. go hang with your mom. it's the holidays! thanks for chatting.
21LMOORE (4:45:46 PM): no prob Matt
21LMOORE (4:45:53 PM): it was a pleasure
WurstMattWNBA (4:46:01 PM): happy holidays and safe travels... see you back in N.Y. in the spring
WurstMattWNBA (4:46:4 PM): and def. keep in touch while you're gone
21LMOORE (4:46:12 PM): thanks and I will do the same since I have your I'M now
WurstMattWNBA (4:46:19 PM): you got it
21LMOORE (4:46:21 PM): wish you happy holidays
WurstMattWNBA (4:46:25 PM): talk soon. bye
21LMOORE (4:46:40 PM): be good
I am often accused of being a University of Connecticut Women's Basketball homer, to which I usually respond in one of three ways: 1. I am not from Connecticut and have never spent any extended time there. 2. I have never been to a UConn game, men's or womens. 3. Who is Homer?
The reason for this is that the league and our site, in particular, often dedicates a decent about of coverage on former Connecticut players and their careers in the WNBA. Why? Because many former Huskies have had stellar pro careers. So it is in that spirit that we congratulate the ten former UConn All-Americans (and coach Geno Auriemma) who will constitute the inaugural class of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor." The formal ceremonies will take place tomorrow night, Thursday, December 21, when Connecticut hosts Colorado State at 7:30 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. Each of these women has deserved all of the credit and commendium they have received, and this latest honor is no different.
How does this pertain to you and I? Well, eight of the ten women have significant WNBA experience. They are Svetlana Abrosimova, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Rebecca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Nykesha Sales, Diana Taurasi and Kara Wolters. Together, they form one of the most impressive and successful groups to come out of one school (if not the best, though Tennessee and U.S.C. have something to say about that). Combined they have won six WNBA titles, made 11 WNBA Finals appearances and 15 WNBA All-Star appearances.
These women comprise some of the most notable names in women's basketball history and they have become synonomous with greatness. Rebecca Lobo (along with Sheryl Swoopes) was the first woman to sign with the WNBA and was one of the original cornerstones of the New York Liberty. Nykesha Sales ranks seventh all-time in total points (3,614) and 3-pointers made (329). Bird ranks fifth all-time in career assists (934) and 11th in 3-pointers made (271). Just this past season, Taurasi set the all-time single-season scoring record (25.3 ppg). Wolters and Rizzotti were each National Players of the Year (along with Lobo, Taurasi and Bird).
Shea Ralph was drafted that summer by the Utah Starzz in 2001 but was unable to compete because of a knee injury. She is currently a coach with the undefeated and No. 22-ranked University of Pittsburgh Panters. Bascom retired from basketball before the WNBA came into existence. She graduated from Connecticut in 1991 and that 1991 team earned a trip to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in the program's history. She concluded her collegiate career as Connecticut's All-time leading scorer with 2,177 points. In 120 career games, Kerry averaged 18.1 pointes per game, 7.6 rebounds, 221 assists and 127 steals. She was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1997.
Bird and Taurasi actually had a EuroLeague game earlier this evening in Moscow and will be flying home tonight through landing tomorrow in New York and going straight to Storrs. Also scheduled to be in attendance are Wolters, Lobo, Cash, Sales, Rizzotti and Bascom. It is unlikely that Abrosimova, who currently plays on the same Russian team as Taurasi and Bird, will be able to make the event. Ralph's Pitt's team has a game and she cannot attend as well. Because of the limited number of available jersey numbers, the school is not retiring their numbers (booo!), but 11 separate four foot-by-five foot panels will be unveiled.
Tomorrow night's event will have a lot of star power and should be a lot of fun for all of us who will be there. It mighth very well be the best assembly of talent in one place until the next WNBA All-Star Game in July. And not to worry... if and when Tennessee has a similar night honoring the likes of Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings, Kara Lawson, Michelle Snow, Michelle Marciniak and Carla McGhee, we'll be there, too!
Only one more week remains before the EuroLeague takes a break for the holidays and many American players get to come home and see their families. The final two games in the preliminary round schedule will be played in mid-January to determine seeding for the elimination round. That said, the two previously-unbeaten teams in EuroLeague group action both lost this week, so things could start to get interesting...
Heading into the week with a perfect record, Spartak lost to Wisla Can Pack, 78-65, on Wednesday evening. The victory moves Wisla up to third place in Group A with a 3-4 record, while Spartak stays on top with a 6-1 record. Anna DeForge hit three 3-pointers and scored 21 points in addition to pulling in nine rebounds. Diana Taurasi had 11 points for Spartak, Ticha Penicheirohad nine points and 13 rebounds and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had eight points and seven rebounds in the losing effort. Spartak shot a dismal 5-for-20 from beyond the arc and had no effective scoring presence inside playing without Tina Thompson. MKB Euroleasing pulled to within a game of Spartak in the standings with an easy 84-62 win over USO Mondeville. Hamchetou Maiga-Ba had 18 points and seven rebounds. Vilnius improved to 4-3 win a 66-46 win over Familia. Jurgita Streimikyte led the way for the Lithuanian club, scoring 21 points, while Katie Douglas scored 11 points and Ebony Hoffman had eight points and eight rebounds. Familia drops to 0-7.
Samara improved to 6-1 in Group B play win as they coasted to a 65-47 win over Dexia Namur. Ann Wauters registered 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way, Edwige Lawson-Wade scored seven points and Sacramento's DeMya Walker finished with only two points in 20 minutes despite getting the win. Dexia Namur falls to 1-6 and is in jeopardy of not qualifying for the next round. MiZo Pecs handed Bourges its first loss of the season on Thursday, which pushed Samara and Bourges into a first place tie. Dalma Ivanyi had four points and nine rebounds in the 61-59 win. Rounding out the group, Perfumerias Avenida improved to 3-4 with a 74-68 win over USK Praha. Nicole Powell scored 16 points to lead the Spanish club. Nicole Ohlde had points. Barb Farris had 14 points in Wednesday's loss.
Ekaterinburg got its fifth win of the EuroLeague season, a 79-66 victory over Lotos Gdynia. Cheryl Ford had another double-double, scoring 15 points and finishing with 13 rebounds. Former Storm players Adia Barnes and Suzy Batkovic had 13 points and 10 points apiece and Lindsay Whalen netted out with eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Fever teammates Tan White and Tamika Whitmore combined to score 16 points for Gdynia. Fenerbahce and Ros Casares won on Thursday to create a four-way tie at 5-2 atop the group standings. That leaves USVO at 1-6 and Lotos Gdynia in last with an 0-7 record.Ros Casares defeated Brno, 73-59. DeLisha Milton registered 25 and 17 rebounds for the Spanish Ros Casares and Deanna Nolan had 20 for Brno. Tammy Sutton-Brown had 18 points and Cappie Pondexter scored 11 in Fenerbahce's 69-61 win in Istanbul.
The preliminary stage of EuroCup action wrapped up this week and the top 32 teams out of the original 48 have advanced to the elimination round, which begins in January. The two top clubs in the 12 groups advance as well as the best eight third-place teams...
A: KK Hemofarm Vrsac visited BC Dynamo Moscow, but fell in a 74-60 contest
as Chasity Melvin scored 15 points and Olympia Scott scored 11 of her own and
grabbed eight rebounds. Anda Ramat Hasharon clinched first place in the group
with an 84-68 win over K.V. Imperial AEL, who were eliminated from the tournament
after going winless. Deanna Jackson had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Anda teammate
Mwadi Mabika scored 15 and eight.
Group B: Besiktas topped Elitzur Ramla, 83-66, to win the group though both clubs will advance. Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds and Sheri Sam had 11 points and eight boards for the 6-0 Besiktas. Plenette Pierson had 20 points and Monique Currie finished with 13 in the loss.
Group C: Botas Spor Adana completed a perfect 6-0 run with an 84-76 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv. Tamicha Jackson had 16 points and Tanisha Wright had 15 in the loss. LaTasha Byears had 17 points and 15 rebounds as PBC CSKA Sofia blew out Apollon, 95-66.
Group D: Laura Summerton scored 12 points in a 78-45 win for Pasta Ambra Taranto over Luxembourg as the Italian club finished atop Group D with a 5-1 record. Tarbes knocked off Leon to claim second place as Ayana Walker totaled 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the 79-75 win.
Group E: Hondarribia-Irun's 75-70 win over guaranteed them first place in Group E with a 5-1 record as well. Murriel Page had 26 points and 15 rebounds and Tamara James had 23 points and four assists in the win. K.B. Sharp also had 26 points, but in a losing effort.
Group F: Montpellier wrapped up group play with an 87-56 win over Gran Canaria and clinched first place in the group. Coco and Kelly Miller had seven points apiece. Kaayla Chones had 12 points and Ashley Battle had eight in the loss. Lavezzini Parma also advances after finishing in second place after a 117-58 victory over winless Haukar. Sun forward Meghan Mahoney led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Group G: Faenza and Barcelona tied for first place in the group with matching 5-1 records. Faenza topped Novia Munalux, 86-52 and Barca defeated TSV Wasserburg, 86-62. Kelly Schumacher finished with 15 points and eight rebounds and teammate Kendra Wecker chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds of her own in Barcelona's win.
Group H: Villeneuve d'Ascq's 81-62 win over BG Dorsten ensured them first place in the group while everyone's favorite Welsh team, the Rhondda Rebels, were eliminated after failing to register a win. Megan Duffy scored 20 points in an 89-76 loss to Trogylos Priolo. Tari Phillips had 13 points and Sabrina Palie had 11 for the victors.
I: Dynamo Moscow's 91-64 win at Kara Trutnov capped off a 6-0 group run while
K Cero Kosice finished second in the group with an 85-81 win at Arvi Marijampole.
Notable performances included Natasha Vodopyanova's 22-point game for Dynamo and
Kelly Mazzante's 28 points and Janel McCarville's 19-point, 12-rebound game for
Group K: Vologda-Chevakata won its group and finished with a perfect record of 6-0, but was tested in a 95-89 overtime win over Szeviep. Lisa Willis had 19 points in the win.
On our way back from covering the big news in Los Angeles last week and Chicago this week, we had some time to kill, and what better way to stay sharp at 33,000 feet than by answering fan questions sent in to the editor. Hey, what's that blaze of light in the distance there in the night sky... Could it be a sleigh being led by eight flying elk? No, those aren't elk. Are they deer? Anyway, this will be the last "Ask the Editor" of 2006, so I hope you made your questions count...
How does someone who is not currently playing with a college team or is playing
overseas have a walk on opportunity with any WNBA team????
-Bonita, Broadview, IL
Where and when are the tryout camps?
-Ange, Williamstown, NJ
A. The best advice I can give you is to contact your local team in the spring. Send videos of yourself to the coaches and keep checking the team web sites to see if and when they are holding local tryouts. Just know this... walk-ons are rare at any level. In the WNBA, it's even rarer. Think long and hard about whether you can really compete with WNBA athletes because they are the best in the world.
Q. Where is Candace Parker? Wow, does the WNBA need
her! Attendance seems to be down everywhere at the Pro and College Level, besides
Connecticut, North Carolina, and maybe a few others. Why is Candace still a slave
to the College Game just because she is a woman? What Liberators?
A. Where is Candace right this very second? Let me check my Parker Tracker... She is currently in Knoxville, TN. Candace is currently a junior in school, though there are rumors circulating that she is on pace to graduate early. That said, she is still in college and we cannot and will not speculate about her future. She is a gifted player who will make a big splash in the WNBA whenever she joins the WNBA.
Q. Dear Matt, Donna's Blogs are awesome. Can she keep writing
all through the season? I cannot think of another top league exec who blogs for
fans. TEll her she's the best!
-Marla, Cape Cod, MA
A. You bet. Even though she is busy running the WNBA, she takes the time to interact with fans and share her personal thoughts and feelings. Pretty cool, indeed.
Is wearing a head scarf allowed in the WNBA?
-???, Ontario, Canada
A. I'm not sure players in the WNBA would want to wear scarves. They get so warm just running around that it wouldn't make sense to me. They can, however, wear league-issued headbands.
Q. Dear Ed, I am the Media Manager at Basketball
Australia and one of my writers at the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL)has
written a story on Jackie Stiles' plan to return to the WNBA that you may be interested
You can find it at: http://www.wnbl.com.au/powered_by_INTERFUSE/fs_newsitem.asp?id=2103
Regards, -Bill, Sydney, Australia
A. Who's Ed? My name is Matt. Maybe it's an Australian thing. Anyhow, thanks for the link. We've been keeping tabs on Jackie's play, as I'm sure many WNBA teams are as well. The WNBA season is still several months away, so we'll see how she looks over that time and cross that bridge when we get to it.
Q. Hi my name is Caitlin and I was writing because I
was concerned about my future. People are always telling me that in the future
we will not have a wnba team, because they are losing fans. And I was worried
because it is my dream to one day become a wnba player and it would hurt if we
didn't have one. Well I hope you write me back and I would do anything to help.
-Caitlin, Bradley, AR
A. We aren't going anywhere, Caitlin, so don't you worry. Keep playing, keep working, keep dreaming and we'll be here when you're ready to take your game to the WNBA. That's a promise.
Dear Santa, This year I want a new Nintendo Wii, a Fuzion Asphalt Ultimate Carving
Scooter, the new Cingular Blackjack, a chocolate fondue fountain, season five
of "24," a new Weber Grill and a Thomas and Friends Ultimate Train Set.
Thanks! See you in a few weeks!
-Matt, New York, N.Y.
A. How'd that get in here?
Q. What ever happened to Kim Williams? Who started her
WNBA career playing for the Utah Stars then was later playing for L.A.Sparks?
-Hanna, Rockford, IL
A. Kim Williams was the 1995-96 Conference USA Player of the Year at DePaul before starting her WNBA career. She was then selected by Utah in the fourth round (28th overall) in the 1997 WNBA Draft. She then went to the Minnesota Lynx in the 1999 Minnesota Lynx. As for what she's doing now... well I'm not really sure. If you are reading this, Kim, drop a line and let us know what you've been up to!
Q. Who is the person on the WNBA LOGO?
-Andre, Baltimore, MD
A. The beauty of Logo Woman is that it represents Every Woman. Unlike the NBA Logo Man, which is said to be modeled after Jerry West, the WNBA logo was not modeled after anyone. Frankly, it reminds me of old-school Carol Blazejowski.
Q. Do you have a spot on your website that lists
WNBA prospects that are in the class of 2008 or is that too far down the road?
-Diane, Washington, DC
A. Nope. We don't look that far away. Seniors only...
Q. Could you please let me know where the 2007 All Star game
will be played. I also will need to know when.
-Janice, Brooklyn, CT
Q. Two quickies: Where is the 2007 All Star Game? and
When will individual tickets go on sale?
-John, Lenoir City, TN
A. The location and date of the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game have not yet been announced. The date will be announced shortly and the location will be announced soon thereafter. Maybe Diane from the previous question has some inside scoop...
If I aspire to get a job in the sports field, how would I go about doing so?
-Jen, San Jose, CA
A. Here is some advice from the NBA. As for my own personal thoughts... The sports field is much like the rest of the working world in that there are a number of different types of jobs within the umbrella of sports. College internships or volunteer jobs are a good way to get in the door. Visit team and league web sites to see what jobs are open or consult a career counselor. Of course, jobs are hard to come by because working in sports is so glamorous. That said, if you want to run WNBA.com and have relevant experience, click here.
Q. I read in an Arkansas newspaper that they were getting
a WNBA team but I don't see anything about it on this site. Is it true or not?
-Lisa, Sapulpa, OK
A. Nothing has been announced one way or the other. That said, potential ownership groups continue to meet with the league to look into expansion and growth is inevitable. How's that for not really answering your question?
Why do you only write about only a hand full of players in the wnba, the same
ones over and over, no new faces,the same 10 or 12 players. I like Christi Thomas,
who has been in the WNBA for a few years, and yet I have never seen a story, about
her of any kind, and last year she have a nice year.
-Brooke, Winston Salem, N.C.
A. In all honesty, we do our best to cover as many players as possible. Some are just around and easier to access, but we're doing our best to spread the love. Look for even more coverage diversity as we interview and interact with a number of players in the weeks and months to come. Just last week we talked with Ebony Hoffman in Lithuania and Sophia Young in the Czech Republic. Of course, many players are overseas and are harder to get in touch with. If you have any requests for who you would specifically like to hear from, we can track them down. As for Christi Thomas, well... we'll see what we can do.
That is a good one to end on, but let this serve as an open call to WNBA players who are reading this. You know who you are... Your fans want to hear from you, so if you have a few minutes, hit me up and we can talk. Call Bonnie or email me. That means you, Janel McCarville, Penny Taylor, Sherrill Baker, Dominique Canty and Lauren Jackson!
With the sixth week of EuroLeague action taking place this week, FIBA also launched its balloting for the 2007 EuroLeague All-Star Game, to be held March 8 in Valencia, Spain. Vote for your favorites. As for the WNBA players in action...
Spartak continued its dominance this week, and may have gotten even better as top stars continue to arrive in Moscow. Tina Thompson scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 27 minutes, going 3-for-3 from on 3-point range and shooting 5-9 from the floor as Spartak easily slipped past TEO Vilnius 77-46 in Lithuania. Svetlana Abrosimova had 15 points, Taj McWilliams-Franklin chipped in with eight points, Ticha Penicheiro had six of her own and Diana Taurasi made her debut with Spartak, scoring five points in limited action. Indiana's Anna DeForge led the way with 20 points as Wisla Can-Pack knocked off MKB Euroleasing Sopron 78-66 on Wednesday. Dominique Canty continues her rehab and scored 10 points for Wisla. Hamchetou Maiga-Ba had 13 points in USO Mondeville's 84-68 win over, Famila Schio. Rafaella Masciadri has 20 points and former Liberty playoff hero Bethany Donaphin had seven points in the loss for the Italian squad. Familia has yet to win a game in the young EuroLeague season,
Emmeline Ndongue had six points in undefeated Bourges Basket's 65-62 win over Perfumerias Avenida. Despite 21 points from Nicole Powell and 18 points from Nicole Ohlde, Halcon Avenida dropped to 2-4 in the standings while Bourges sits atop the group at a perfect 6-0. CSKA Volgaburmash stayed just one game behind Bourges, improving to 5-1 with a 71-60 win over USK Prague. Ann Wauters led all scorers with 25 points while DeMya Walker had a double-double, scoring 17 points and finishing with 10 rebounds. In the final game of the week, Dexia Namur earned its first EuroLeague victory, topping MiZo Pecs, 66-58. Cathrine Kraayeveld finished with nine points and 11 rebounds in the victory while Vickie Johnson led all scorers with 16 points in the loss.
Gambrinus Brno sits atop Group C after a 64-45 win over UMMC Ekaterinburg. Deanna Nolan and Sophia Young each scored 10 points and Young led all players with eight rebounds. Ros Casares handed US Valenciennes a 76-69 loss thanks, in large part, to a 26-point and 10-rebound game. Allison Feaster had seven points and eight assists and Marg Dydek scored 13 points and had five rebounds. The Spanish club is one of three teams in Group C with a 4-2 record. Fenerbahce also improved to 4-2 with a 68-64 win over Lotos Gdynia. Cappie Pondexter had another stellar game, pouring in 26 points and dishing out four assists. Indiana's Linda Frohlich had eight points and six rebounds while Tammy Sutton-Brown finished with 10 points and five assists. Lotos Gdynia narrowly missed out on winning its first game of the EuroLEague season behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from Tamika Whitmore.
Four weeks remain in this round of competition. The top 16 teams will advance and begin the Eighth-Final Playoffs on January 20.
Mwadi Mabika socred 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Deanna Jackson had 10 points and five rebounds in Anda Ramat Hasharon's 62-59 over Dynamo Moscow. Olympia Scott had 12 points and 12 boards while Chasity Melvin had seven points and nine rebounds in a losing effort. .
In Group B, Besitakas rolled to their fifth straight victory with an 89-64 win over Kastoria. Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert had a double-double for Besitkas with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Sheri Sam added 18 points. Besitkas is at the top of group B with a 5-0 record. Ramla got 20 points and seven rebounds out of Monique Currie and a monster 26-point, 12-rebounds game from Plenette Pierson in their 82-71 win over Romania's Olympia out of Bucharest. Besiktas is 5-0 while Ramla is currently 3-2.
Hapoel Tel Aviv traveled to CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria only to lose, 85-64. Tiffani Johnson had another stellar game, posting 17 points and 16 rebounds. Her teammate LaTasha Byears also put up some hefty numbers, 15 points and 18 rebounds. Tamicha Jackson had 15 points and Tanisha Wright had 14 points in the loss.
KB Sharp had 17 points and dished out six assists to help Aix-en-Provence defeat CAB Madeira 85-82. Aix-en-Provence is tied for second in Group E with a 3-2 record. Hondaribbia-Irun defeated Pallacanestro Ribera 86-68. Tamara James led Hondaribbia with 16 points, along with four rebounds. Hondaribbia is at the top of the group standings with a 4-1 record.
Kelly and Coco Miller combined to score 24 points as Montpellier nearly doubled up on Haukar, 104-57. The French team sits atop the group at 4-1. In other action, Asley Battle scored 20 points and Kaayla Chones had 10 rebounds, but Gran Canaria fell to Parma's Lavezzini Basket, 77-63.
In Group G, Faenza defeated Barcelona 71-65, leaving both teams tied at the top of the group standings with 4-1 records. Kelly Schumacher and Kendra Wecker each had 15 points for Barcelona. Zane Teilane grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for Barcelona.
Megan Duffy scored 20 points, but the host Rhondda Rebels fell again, dropping to 0-5 after a 72-66 loss to ESB Lille Metropole (Villeneuve d'Ascq).
Rebekkah Brunson and team Dynamo remain unbeaten (5-0) in the EuroCup after defeating K Cero Vods, 66-59, on Thursday. Brunson, who shot 54% (6-of-11) from the floor, totaled 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded one steal in the win. DeMya Walker's team CSKA improved to 5-1 in the EuroLeague after a 71-60 victory over USK Prague. Walker posted a double-double, 17 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 66% (6-of-9) for the game.
Gospic went to TTT Riga and won, 78-72, despite 19 points from Iziane Castro Marques.
One game remains for this Saturday in Group J -- Gustino Zepter at Dynamo Kursk. One week remains in this round of competition, at which point the Sixteenth-Finals are set. Those two rounds of competition will feature the best 32 clubs and begins on January 11.
In the next of the ongoing Instant Messaging chats with WNBA players currently overseas, we check in with Indiana Fever forward Ebony Hoffman. Hoffman is currently playing with TEO Vilnius in Lithuania. Her team plays in Group A of the EuroLeague (she is averaging 8.6 ppg and 6.1 rpg in EuroLeague action thus far) and hosts undefeated Spartak (Moscow) later this week. As always, what you see is what you get in the recap.
(3:32:56 PM): hey matt you there??
WurstMattWNBA (3:33:25 PM): i sure am... and a good evening to you... what is it, like 10:30 there? 11:30?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:33:57 PM): yeah its 10:30 there is only a few hours of daylight
WurstMattWNBA (3:34:32 PM): wow. i didn't realize how far north you are. you're in lithuania, right?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:35:04 PM): yeah its a great little country, or at least where I stay
WurstMattWNBA (3:35:38 PM): are you actually in Vilnius, the city itself, or in a suburb.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:36:05 PM): i'm in Vilnius, so it makes it alot easier to adjust
WurstMattWNBA (3:36:55 PM): so what's the town like? i'm sure very different from los angeles. but is it very different from indy?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:39:12 PM): the town is alot more lively than Indiana.They never sleep here its almost like Vegas without all he lights but with the casinos in every corner
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:40:12 PM): and besides there is only 1 LA
WurstMattWNBA (3:40:20 PM): sounds like a fun scene...
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:40:25 PM): it is
WurstMattWNBA (3:40:30 PM): do you have a lot of free time to get out and actually explore it at all? like restaurants or shops, etc
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:42:28 PM): I haven't really had the chance to explore yet but it is definitely one of the things on my agenda to do. Of course, we have eaten at most of the restaurants already, but being in the main city means that there are alot of restaurants that we haven't got to yet
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:43:13 PM): the shopping is actually really nice they pretty much have the same stores that we have in the states with there little twist of course
WurstMattWNBA (3:43:35 PM): any language issues? how are you managing? is there a lithuanian language or do they speak russian?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:45:16 PM): ahhhhhhh man everywhere we go we pretty much have to use sign language to accomplish what we neeed to do. But you do have some places that speak very good english which is most of the restaurants and some of the shopping stores
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:45:32 PM): the problem is that lithuanina became independent about 10-13 years ago so most of the older people speak both Russian and Lithuanian , but the younger generation speaks lithuanian and english
WurstMattWNBA (3:46:19 PM): i remember... i still picture everyone is tie-dyed shirts like from the old 1992 lithaunian men's basketball team that was sponsored by the Greatful Dead
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:46:27 PM): ha thats funny I'm pretty sure they have changed from that style
WurstMattWNBA (3:46:43 PM): hope you're not offending anyone :)
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:47:08 PM): haha I try not to, but you do get frustrated sometimes
WurstMattWNBA (3:48:47 PM): Are there any other WNBA folks or Americans over there with you?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:49:25 PM): I play on the same squad as Kate Douglas thats pretty much it for Americans
WurstMattWNBA (3:49:53 PM): oh really? she knows that country pretty well, i think. she's been there for a few seasons.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:50:52 PM): yeah thats my road dogg. She knows the country or the city rather very well
WurstMattWNBA (3:51:21 PM): what are some of the cool places you've gotten to see? EuroLeague really takes you places, huh?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:51:49 PM): Does it ever!!! I have beeen to Iceland, France, Russia, Italy, Latvia, Brazil, Czch Its absolutely crazy I love it
WurstMattWNBA (3:52:28 PM): i bet you bump into people in lots of cities...
WurstMattWNBA (3:52:38 PM): or play against them, at least
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:54:34 PM): You know i bump into everybody. You never know who you might see
WurstMattWNBA (3:55:03 PM): Is it easy to keep in touch with people from back home? With phone and internet, it's hard to get lonely
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:56:51 PM): The best invention ever made has to be SKYPE. you can pretty much call home in the states or wherever you like for FREE!! the catch is that the only part thats free is compuiter to computer but mostly everybody is on the computer anyway
WurstMattWNBA (3:57:32 PM): so you mean we could actually be talking now? gotta love technology.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (3:57:46 PM): exactly they broke the mold with this one i'm wondering what's next
WurstMattWNBA (3:57:57 PM): you could have even watched the USC-UCLA football game this past weekend... if you were awake
WurstMattWNBA (3:58:08 PM): or should i not bring that up to you :)
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:01:01 PM): I'm so upset ,but my boys played hard every week and thats all you can ask for. besides we have been there alot in the last few years
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:01:14 PM): it broke my heart to hear that UCLA won
WurstMattWNBA (4:01:33 PM): well as a michigan fan, it didn't work out for me either... that's why college basketball is so much better. there is never any second-guessing... one big tournament settles all
WurstMattWNBA (4:01:59 PM): so any big plans for the holidays?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:03:02 PM): I'm going home to Cali for Christmas for 5 days and then back home to Indy to get some R&R
WurstMattWNBA (4:03:37 PM): oh that's nice.
WurstMattWNBA (4:03:43 PM): something to look forward to
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:04:43 PM): I cant wait. Now is the easy part, it's after Christmas when it gets really hard
WurstMattWNBA (4:04:59 PM): are you heading back overseas after the new year then or taking time off?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:05:31 PM): I'm coming back here
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:05:45 PM): gotta make that money
WurstMattWNBA (4:06:57 PM): you know what i always wondered... who pays your bills for you are out of the country for so long?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:08:12 PM): well my boyfriend pays the bills for me back at home. Nut I dont know how some do it i could only imagine that it would be hectic
WurstMattWNBA (4:09:19 PM): totally. you might come home and have no electricity or phone service. good that he helps out though.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:09:41 PM): yeah well we live together in Indiana so its really convenient
WurstMattWNBA (4:09:59 PM): has he come to visit you over there at all?
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:10:28 PM): He is actually over here now along wih my father so i am on cloud 9 right now
WurstMattWNBA (4:10:47 PM): oh that's great.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:10:59 PM): tell me about it
WurstMattWNBA (4:11:19 PM): well i don't want to to keep you from them since your time with them is precious
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:11:31 PM): oh thats ok. anytime.
WurstMattWNBA (4:11:44 PM): thanks for taking the time, though
WurstMattWNBA (4:11:59 PM): stay warm and enjoy your trip
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:12:02 PM): no prob let me know if you need anything else
WurstMattWNBA (4:12:10 PM): i sure will. safe travels and happy holidays.
EbonyHoffmanBBALLER (4:12:42 PM): i will definitely keep the heater on blast. thanx a lot.
This weekend, USAToday.com and MSNBC.com launched their 2006 United States Sports Academy Athlete of the Year balloting for the top male and female athletes. Both Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade are up for the honors. Votes will be collected online from December 1-25.
Now we rarely get involved in the politics of telling you who to vote for in anything, but in this case, we have no problem with it. Vote for Lisa and Dwyane.
The Academy Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in any sport around the globe. The Academy’s Athlete of the Month is selected by an international voting committee comprised of former athletes, media, sports organizations and governing bodies.
Dwyane Wade's resume speaks for itself - the All-World superstar put the Miami Heat on his back and delivered the first-ever championship for the franchise.
Lisa was the 2006 WNBA Most Valuable Player, winning the award for the third time. Her Sparks lost in the Western Conference Finals, but the All-Star scored 20.0 ppg for the first time in her career. She also became the first player in WNBA to reach 5,000 points mark and was named to the WNBA All-Decade Team. In 2006, she ranked first in total defensive rebounds and double-doubles, and was also named to the WNBA All-Defensive Team. She is a 14-time Player of the Week.
Her competition? Well, the list includes Belgium tennis player Justine Henin-Hardenne, Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen, French swimming star Laure Manaudou, French tennis player Amelie Mauresmo, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, American sprinter Sanya Richards, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, Russian figure skater Irina Slutskaya, LPGA player Karrie Webb, Chinese gymnast Nan Zhang and college hoopster Laura Harper. All great athletes. But this is Lisa, we're talking about. Of course, if you are reading this, you probably don't need to be convinced. However, my advice to you would be pick two of the lesser-known athletes for second and third place so you're not indirectly helping the competition. Sneaky, huh?
As in years past, the male or female athlete receiving the most votes will be named the Academy’s Athlete of the Year. Past winners include Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods. In addition to the overall winner, a Female Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year will be named. These two awards will go to the athlete who receives the most votes, outside of the overall winner, in each of the respective categories.
Last year, as the leading overall vote-getter in the combined male and female categories, tennis sensation Roger Federer won the 2005 Outstanding Athlete of the Year and was presented his award on center court at the NASDAQ 100 in Miami. IndyCar Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick received the most votes in the women's category to earn the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year honor. Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who single-handedly revitalized the greatest race in cycling, won the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year award. The ballot attracted nearly half a million votes from sports fans around the globe.
Round 4 of EuroCup and Round 5 of EuroLeague action completed Thursday with many great performances from current WNBA players. Here's how WNBA players and their teams fared this week...
Katie Douglas' 13 points and game-high seven assists led TEO Vilnius past Wisla Can-Pack, 75-72, on Wednesday. TEO Vilnius center Ebony Hoffman scored 11 points and grabbed five boards while Wisla Can-Pack forward Dominique Canty poured in a game-high 23 points.
Spartak Moscow Region remained undefeated with a 75-61 victory over USO Mondeville. Spartak guard Agnieszka Bibrzycka scored a game-high 23 points and recorded a game-high five steals. Tina Thompson grabbed a game-high 13 boards and Ticha Penicheiro dished out seven assists.
Emmeline Ndongue's 15 points guided Bourges Basket to a 63-61 win over CSKA Samara. Ann Wauters recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.
Nicole Powell's 22 points and nine rebounds weren't enough to prevent Halcon Avenida from falling to MiZo Pécs, 65-57. MiZo Pécs guard Vickie Johnson scored 16 points and handed out four assists in the win.
Janell Burse scored eight points and recorded seven rebounds to help lead ZVVZ USK Prague to a 62-53 win over Dexia Namur. Dexia Namur center Cathrine Kraayeveld recorded six points, six rebounds and a game-high five turnovers.
Deanna Nolan and Sophia Young each scored 15 points apiece to guide Gambrinus to a 66-43 victory over Lotos Gdynia. Tan White scored a team-high 11 points for Lotos Gdynia in the loss.
Cappie Pondexter poured in 22 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown grabbed nine rebounds as Fenerbahce SK edged Ros Casares, 71-66, despite a big game from Margo Dydek. The Ros Casares center scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in the losing effort.
Chasity Melvin grabbed an incredible 18 rebounds (10 offensive) as BC Dynamo Moscow Region cruised to an 88-62 win over K.V. Imperial AEL. Melvin's teammate Olympia Scott added 18 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Besiktas Colaturka to an impressive 104-56 win against Olympia Club WB.
Elitzur Ramla defeated Kastoria CAC, 65-56, on Thursday. Elitzur Ramla forwards Monique Currie (game-high 19 points) and Plenette Pierson (game-high 16 rebounds) starred in the win.
Tanisha Wright scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds to lead Hapoel Tel Aviv past Apollon Ptolemaida, 74-70. Apollon center Latoya Davis, a free agent who went undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2006, recorded a remarkable 34 points and 20 rebounds in the loss.
Botas Spor Adana defeated PBC CSKA, 57-52. PBC CSKA's Tiffani Johnson (11 pts, 13 rebs) and Latasha Byears (10 pts, 11 rebs) each recorded double-doubles in the loss.
Amber Jacobs scored 23 points and recorded eight rebounds to lead Pallacanestro Ribera past Pays D´Aix, 77-69.
Tamara James scored 25 to lead Hondarribia-Irun to an 81-44 win over CAB Madeira.
Kelly Miller had a good all around game (12 pts, 5 asts, 6 stl) while she helped pace Lattes Montpellier to a 90-85 victory over Lavezzini Basket.
Megan Duffy's 14 points weren't enough to prevent the Rhondda Rebels from getting blown out by BG Dorsten, 83-61.
Seimone Augustus scored 25 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 17 as they led Dynamo Moscow to a 92-85 win over Arvi Marijampole.
Janel McCarville was three assists away from a triple-double as she posted 11 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists to lead K Cero VODS by Kara Trutnov, 92-54. K Cero VODS Kosice forward Kelly Mazzante scored a game-high 22 points.
TTT Riga forward Iziane Castro Marques scored 31 as her team lost 86-63 to MBK Ruzomberok.
Throughout the offseason, we will check in with various WNBA players who are either blogging themselves or via Instant Messenger. First up is Silver Stars forward Sophia Young, who is in the Czech Republic this winter, playing with Gambrinus in the Czech and EuroLeague. Of course, you have to be down with some of the IM lingo to follow along...
WurstMattWNBA (10:56:39 AM): hey sophia, it's
matt. how are you?
S33Young (10:57:05 AM): wahts up
WurstMattWNBA (10:57:40 AM): how's everything going in the Czech Republic?
S33Young (10:58:15 AM): its goin ok
S33Young (10:58:25 AM): im ready to come back to the states tho
WurstMattWNBA (10:58:46 AM): How long have you been gone? And when do you get back...
S33Young (10:59:21 AM): i left oct 4 and we should be back dec 21.
S33Young (10:59:29 AM): its a really cool place
WurstMattWNBA (10:59:31 AM): just in time for the holidays!
S33Young (10:59:37 AM): yeah
S33Young (10:59:48 AM): i cant wait to see my friends and fam
WurstMattWNBA (11:00:00 AM): i'm sure. has anyone come to visit you?
S33Young (11:00:32 AM): not yet
S33Young (11:00:43 AM): one of my friends is comin on sun
S33Young (11:00:51 AM): so im super excited
WurstMattWNBA (11:01:06 AM): you get to be a tour guide, i'm sure. have you gotten to see the city and all the sites?
S33Young (11:01:25 AM): ive seen some of the sites
S33Young (11:01:28 AM): not all
S33Young (11:01:46 AM): but im sure when she gets here we are gonna do alot of theat stuff
S33Young (11:01:54 AM): so it should be fun
WurstMattWNBA (11:02:02 AM): how's the food over there?
S33Young (11:02:22 AM): actually the food is really good
S33Young (11:02:41 AM): they dont eat anything to weird
WurstMattWNBA (11:02:49 AM): sounds like you're adventurous. good attitude to have. can you get all the same stuff that you'd get here?
S33Young (11:02:53 AM): plus im not that picky anyway
S33Young (11:03:00 AM): so i eat anything
S33Young (11:03:07 AM): no not all
S33Young (11:03:14 AM): but things that u can survive on
WurstMattWNBA (11:03:28 AM): well it makes for a good story.
S33Young (11:03:34 AM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (11:03:36 AM): so what other places have you gotten to see?
WurstMattWNBA (11:03:43 AM): you guys are in euroleague, right?
S33Young (11:03:47 AM): yeah, we went to russia and turkey
S33Young (11:03:58 AM): and we are goin to spain soon
WurstMattWNBA (11:04:08 AM): lots of stamps on the passport!
S33Young (11:04:18 AM): i cant wait to go to spain
S33Young (11:04:24 AM): i hear it's mad pretty
WurstMattWNBA (11:04:32 AM): is this your first time in europle?
S33Young (11:04:35 AM): i love travellin
S33Young (11:04:40 AM): yes
WurstMattWNBA (11:05:06 AM): anyone else on your team from back home?
WurstMattWNBA (11:05:18 AM): i know it's mostly czechs, of course
WurstMattWNBA (11:05:33 AM): Lots of "-ova's"
S33Young (11:05:45 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:05:51 AM): deanna nolan is on my team
WurstMattWNBA (11:06:02 AM): oh that's good. hows it playing with her?
S33Young (11:06:33 AM): i obsolutely love it
S33Young (11:06:49 AM): she is an extremely cool person
WurstMattWNBA (11:07:30 AM): that's what i always think is coolest about these teams - you get to play with other people you wouldn't normally get to know
S33Young (11:08:01 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:08:03 AM): i know
S33Young (11:08:32 AM): cause i was thinkin that if me and her were never on the same team then we prob would never have talked at all
WurstMattWNBA (11:09:14 AM): do you get to see any of your silver stars teammates over there? like when you're on the road?
S33Young (11:09:33 AM): no
WurstMattWNBA (11:09:41 AM): i guess they're all over the map
S33Young (11:09:49 AM): i know rt
WurstMattWNBA (11:10:12 AM): so what do you guys do over there for fun?
WurstMattWNBA (11:10:26 AM): or are you traveling too much to really have free time?
S33Young (11:10:58 AM): well we have free time
S33Young (11:11:12 AM): but in brno theres not realy a lot to do
S33Young (11:11:23 AM): we are 2 hours away from prague
S33Young (11:11:29 AM): so we go there sometimes
WurstMattWNBA (11:11:32 AM): you have a car, though
S33Young (11:11:35 AM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (11:11:46 AM): is it getting cold there now?
S33Young (11:12:28 AM): well its kinda been the same temp since i got here
S33Young (11:12:36 AM): its not snowin yet tho
S33Young (11:12:46 AM): so thats good
S33Young (11:12:53 AM): cause bein from texas
WurstMattWNBA (11:12:58 AM): they don't have much of that in texas or the caribbean, right?
S33Young (11:13:01 AM): yeah, im not sure im ready for that
S33Young (11:13:09 AM): lol
WurstMattWNBA (11:13:15 AM): you've seen snow, though, right?!?! from college days of travel...
S33Young (11:13:25 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:14:28 AM): i cant wait to go to spain cause i think we gonna play right by the beach
S33Young (11:14:33 AM): or something like that
WurstMattWNBA (11:14:52 AM): pack a bathing suit.
S33Young (11:14:59 AM): oh i will
S33Young (11:15:01 AM): :-)
S33Young (11:15:12 AM): im gonna be there for my bday
WurstMattWNBA (11:15:31 AM): oh that's awesome. are you going to have a party?
S33Young (11:15:43 AM): not sure
WurstMattWNBA (11:15:43 AM): well if it's a beach party, i'm in!
WurstMattWNBA (11:15:51 AM): send me an invite and i'll fly out there
S33Young (11:15:53 AM): lol
WurstMattWNBA (11:16:12 AM): how old are you going to be?
S33Young (11:16:30 AM): 23
S33Young (11:16:32 AM): yah
WurstMattWNBA (11:17:05 AM): so are you going to have another party when you get back with your friends and family?
S33Young (11:17:24 AM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (11:17:31 AM): that's twice as many presents
S33Young (11:18:13 AM): i know rt
S33Young (11:18:29 AM): but i normally get present for bday and x-mas at the same time
S33Young (11:18:32 AM): never both
WurstMattWNBA (11:18:40 AM): that's not fair
S33Young (11:18:53 AM): i know rt
S33Young (11:18:59 AM): thats what i always say
WurstMattWNBA (11:19:58 AM): do you spend a lot of time on the computer with people back home?
S33Young (11:20:17 AM): oh yes
S33Young (11:20:22 AM): thats all i do
S33Young (11:20:27 AM): and watch tv
S33Young (11:20:29 AM): and read
WurstMattWNBA (11:20:54 AM): Do people send you books or can you buy books in english there?
S33Young (11:21:10 AM): i brought books with me
WurstMattWNBA (11:21:15 AM): very smart
S33Young (11:21:25 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:21:38 AM): people told me to do that
WurstMattWNBA (11:21:52 AM): what else did you bring with you?
WurstMattWNBA (11:21:57 AM): dvds?
S33Young (11:22:15 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:22:22 AM): but i have statelite
S33Young (11:22:30 AM): and it has alot of movies
WurstMattWNBA (11:22:41 AM): the team got you that? that's awesome
S33Young (11:23:19 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:23:32 AM): cause before it was only 3 english channels
WurstMattWNBA (11:23:40 AM): that's rough
S33Young (11:23:40 AM): it was pretty depressing
S33Young (11:24:04 AM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (11:24:11 AM): so what's your plan for after you come back here in december?
WurstMattWNBA (11:25:00 AM): are you gonna go back for the spring?
S33Young (11:25:44 AM): yeah
WurstMattWNBA (11:26:02 AM): same team? some people switch it up
S33Young (11:26:40 AM): naw
S33Young (11:26:40 AM): same team
S33Young (11:26:40 AM): which is good for me
S33Young (11:27:03 AM): dont have to go through the same stuff again
WurstMattWNBA (11:27:21 AM): that makes sense. you're getting settled. though you should try and come back for the nba all-star game in February in las vegas if you can. a lot of wnba players come in. it's a very fun week...
S33Young (11:28:34 AM): naw
S33Young (11:28:42 AM): i dont think i will be able to
WurstMattWNBA (11:28:45 AM): booo
S33Young (11:29:13 AM): i wish i could
S33Young (11:29:26 AM): anytime i could come home i would love it
WurstMattWNBA (11:30:01 AM): well you better be home in time for the start of the wnba season. training camp is always fun, right? :-)
S33Young (11:31:08 AM): lol
S33Young (11:31:13 AM): yep sure is
WurstMattWNBA (11:31:28 AM): so who are you guys gonna draft - #2 pick, right? you have any inside info from the team?
S33Young (11:31:39 AM): yeah- i dont know
WurstMattWNBA (11:32:31 AM): but you are still following the college game?
S33Young (11:32:42 AM): yeah
S33Young (11:32:56 AM): im tryna keep up with as much as possible
WurstMattWNBA (11:33:48 AM): baylor off to a good start, too
WurstMattWNBA (11:34:04 AM): saw they beat LSU but lost in the NIT finals
S33Young (11:34:06 AM): yeah they are
S33Young (11:34:17 AM): im so happy for them
WurstMattWNBA (11:34:38 AM): they still have pictures of you all over their web site
S33Young (11:34:56 AM): yeah i see
WurstMattWNBA (11:34:56 AM): you're all over the place
WurstMattWNBA (11:35:33 AM): alright well i'll let you get back to IMing all your friends.
WurstMattWNBA (11:35:38 AM): keep in touch, will ya?
S33Young (11:35:48 AM): will do
WurstMattWNBA (11:36:08 AM): thanks! and have fun over there
S33Young (11:36:26 AM): aite
S33Young (11:36:27 AM): bye
Just because many of us had time off this week, WNBA players in Europe still suited up and faced each other in European action.
In a match-up between two winless teams, Wisla Can Pack defeated Famila Schio 78-60. Wisla's Dominique Canty recorded nine points and five rebounds while Anna De Forge was sidelined for the second straight week
Katie Douglas scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds as she helped lead TEO Vilnius to a 76-72 victory over USO Mondeville. Ebony Hoffman went 0-for-6 and recored two points and four rebounds in the win.
EuroLeague power house Spartak Moscow Region remain undefeated after defeating MKB Euroleasing 76-59. Tina Thompson led the way for Spartak with 21 points while McWilliams-Franklin added 12 points and Penichiero recorded 17 points and six boards.
Maria Stepanova guided CSKA Volgaburmash to a 74-65 win over MiZo Pecs. MiZo Pecs' Vickie Johnson scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in the losing effort.
Bourges Basket remained undefeated in EuroLeague after beating USK Prague, 57-53. Bourges Basket's Emmeline Ndongue scored six points in the victory. ZVVZ USK Prague center Janell Burse scored 14 points and eight rebounds.
Nicole Powell's 20 point, 14 rebound and five assist effort led Halcon Avenida to an 80-75 win over Dexia Namur. Dexia Namur center Cathrine Kraayeveld recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophia Young's 12 points and 12 rebounds performance guided Gambrinus to a 62-46 win over USVO. Gambrinus guard Deanna Nolan added eight points and four rebounds in the win.
Center Cheryl Ford's nine points and game-high 14 boards helped lead UMMC Ekaterinburg to a 61-49 victory over Fenerbahce. Ekaterinburg's Lindsay Whalen scored eight points and seven boards off the bench. Cappie Pondexter led Fenerbahce with 15 points.
Ros Casares improved to 3-1 with an 83-61 victory against Lotos Gdynia. Ros Casares center Margo Dydek grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and Delisha Milton-Jones scored 15 points. Lotos Gdynia forward Tamika Whitmore scored a game-high 17 points and Tan White scored 15 in the losing effort.
Anda Ramat Hasharon forward Mwadi Mabika grabbed eight rebounds as she helped guide her team to an 83-56 win over K.V. Imperial AEL.
Chasity Melvin's 19 points and 10 rebounds weren't good enough to lead BC Dynamo Moscow Region over KK Hemofar as they were defeated 75-73.
Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert recorded a double-double (25pts, 11reb) as she led Besiktas Colaturka Istanbul to a 78-73 win over Monique Currie and Elitzur Ramla. Currie scored a team-high 20 points in the loss.
Tiffani Johnson's 15 points and Byears' eight rebounds led PBC CSKA to an 86-62 victory over Apollon.
Ayana Walker scored 15 points and grabbed 15 boards as she led Tarbes GB past Acis Incosa Leon, 75-67.
Murriel Page recorded a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds to guide Hondarribia-Irun to a 70-44 victory over Pays D'Aix.
Amber Jacobs scored 12 points and two assists as her team, Pallacanestro Ribera, beat CAB Madeira 70-63.
Marie Ferdinand scored a game-high 20 points and Kelly Schumacher recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five blocks as they led UB Barca to an 83-57 win over TSV 1880 Wasserburg.
Sabrina Palie scored a game-high 21 points and recorded seven steals to lead G.S. Trogylos Basket Priolo to an 81-61 win over the Rhondsa Rebels.
McCarville scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high nine boards to pace K Cero VODS Kosice past Arvi Marijampole, 86-65.
Rebekkah Brunson scored 23 points and grabbed an incredible 18 rebounds as Dynamo Moscow beat Kara Trutnov, 87-60.
Happy Holidays, everyone! What a fun time of year. Of course, though, even with Thanksgiving tomorrow, the European leagues will still be in action, meaning so will we. Check back Friday for a full recap of EuroLeague and EuroCup action and see how your favorite WNBA stars spent their holiday's abroad stuffing the stat columns instead of their bellies.
If you're anything like me, you will be trying hard not to go overboard with all the good food that your family or friends have conjured up. Remember, eating right is as important as staying active for your overall health. Here are some tips to staying (relatively) under control once the food is served.
1. Eat. Yup, do not restrict yourself in terms of a specific kind of food. This is what holidays are all about and you don't want to offend Aunt Mildred by not trying her lime-glazed, almond-crusted pheasant dish. Do not starve yourself to eat something later on. Where's the fun in that? Eat slowly, eat steadily and eat healthy. Sit down and relax, but be mindful.
2. Don't stuff your feelings. You might be lucky (or unlucky) enough to be surrounded by family, and things can get stressful. It is very easy to eat for comfort. Don't over-eat to stuff down your feelings. Be prepared for your family dynamic and pay attention to hunger cues. Don't let people push your buttons, either.
3. Don't overload early. Like those appetizers. Mmmmmm. But don't overdo it in the beginning, because there's more to come.
4. Don't talk about being unhealthy. Don't think about the fat, the calories, the butter, the sugar, etc. Be aware of what you are eating, but don't bring the conversation down or kill the gratitude of the moment. Enjoy what you're eating. Just do it in moderation.
5. Exercise. Don't want to work out on Thursday? Me neither. But Wednesday and Friday are great days at the gym because no one else will be there! Don't wait until New Year's to make a resolution to get healthy. Take action now!
6. Take breaks. Watch football, watch the parade on TiVo, check out WNBA.com, go to the window to see if it's snowing... do something, just slow down. Let the food settle and listen to your belly.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Round 2 in the EuroCup and Round 3 in the EuroLeague tipped off this week with games played on Wednesday and Thursday. Here's how our WNBA players and their teams fared this week:
Tina Thompson and Spartak Moscow Region continued their Group A EuroLeague domination by destroying Famila Basket, 81-31, in the final EuroLeague game of the week on Thursday night. Thompson recorded 20 points and eight rebounds, Agnieszka Bibrzycka scored 14 points, Taj McWilliams-Franklin grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and Ticha Penicheiro dished out a game-high five assists to lead Spartak to their third straight victory.
Despite not having any WNBA players on their roster, MKB Euroleasing continued to stay perfect in EuroLeague Group A by defeating WNBA All-Star Katie Douglas and TEO Vilnius (Lithuania), 85-76. Douglas, who recently returned from a foot injury, led TEO Vilnius with 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the losing effort.
After scoring 20 points in last week's loss to Spartak (Russia), Wisla Can-Pack's (Poland) Anna DeForge was sidelined as she watched her team suffer their second straight defeat with an 88-81 loss to USO Mondeville. DeForge's teammate Domique Canty scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds as Wisla drops to 0-3.
Cathrine Kraayeveld's 14 points and 11 rebounds weren't enough to guide Dexia Namur (Belgium) past Bourges Basket (France). Behind Vicky Hall's 17 points and 10 rebounds, Bourges defeated Dexia Namur, 66-54, to improve to 3-0. Emmeline Ndongue was one rebound short of a double-double as she recorded 10 points and nine boards in the contest.
Maria Stepanova scored 11 points to help lead Russian champions Samara (Russia) past Halcon Avenida, 72-66. Halcon Avenida's Nicole Powell scored game-high 22 points and Nicole Ohlde recorded 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, but their team dropped to 1-2 in the early part of the season.
Vickie Johnson scored 19 points on 8-of-12 from the field to lead MiZo Pécs (Hungary) to a 76-50 victory over ZVVZ USK Prague. Prague center Janell Burse scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the defeat.
Tan White and Tamika Whitmore's combined 29 points weren't enough for Lotos Gdynia to hold off US Valenciennes Olympic (France) as USVO rode a fourth quarter comeback to a 75-67 overtime win.
DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 21 points and dished out six assists to lead Ros Casares (Spain) to a 79-63 win over Ekaterinburg. Ros Casares center Margo Dydek scored 12 points and pulled in six boards. Lindsay Whalen scored only seven points and Cheryl Ford recorded 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
In a game that featured a total of five current WNBA players, Gambrinus edged Fenerbahce SK, 70-66. Deanna Nolan scored 11 points and Sophia Young recorded 23 points and nine rebounds in the victory. On the losing end, Cappie Pondexter scored 16 points, Linda Fröhlich scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Tammy Sutton-Brown recorded a game-high four blocks.
After scoring 27 points in the first round, Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert recorded 20 points and 13 rebound to lead Besiktas Colaturka to a 90-55 blowout win over Kastoria CAC. Sheri Sam scored 11 points and added three rebounds in the win.
Monique Currie scored a game-high 22 points and Plenette Pierson recorded game-high's in rebounds (13) and assists (7) as the WNBA duo led Elitzur Ramla to an 89-55 victory over Olympia Club WB.
Former WNBA player Tamicha Jackson guided Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel) to a 79-61 triump over Tiffani Johnson (22 pts) and PBC CSKA (Bulgaria). Hapoel Tel Aviv's Tanisha Wright finished with 21 points.
Ayana Walker (18 pts) was one of six Tarbes GB players to score in double figures as they destroyed Luxembourg, 106-57.
Murriel Page and Tamara James' Hondarribia-Irun suffered a 74-68 defeat to Amber Jacobs and Pallacanestro Ribera. Jacobs was impressive in the win with 17 points.
Ashley Battle scored 14 points and recorded two steals to lead Gran Canaria (Spain) by Lavezzini Basket, 75-67.
Tari Phillips scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as G.S. Trogylos Basket rolled by BG Dorsten, 76-57. G.S. Trogylos Basket center Sabrina Palie scored six points in 14 minutes.
Megan Duffy's 25 points weren't enough to lead the Rhondda Rebels (Wales) to their first EuroCup win this season. ESB Lille Metropole beat the team from Wales, 84-67.
Finally, in a matchup between the first overall selection in the 2005 and 2006 WNBA Drafts, Seimone Augustus scored a game-high 23 points to lead Dynamo Moscow (Russia) to a 102-76 victory over Janel McCarville and K Cero VODS (Slovakia). McCarville recorded 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the losing effort. Dynamo Moscow forward/center Rebekkah Brunson also grabbed a game-high11 rebounds.
This weekend, jack-of-all-trades Swin Cash returns to ESPN as an NBA studio analyst. She joins Kara Lawson, Becky Hammon and Stacey Dales as another current WNBA player breaking into the broadcasting game. You can see her beginning this Friday night on the Kia NBA Shootaround pre-game show at 7:30 p.m. ET.
While most players head overseas to play basketball during the WNBA offseason, current players continue to pursue their interests and forge new career opportunities. And while it may be argued that going overseas helps players get better or stay in shape, players who stay in the States to work in television are helping the game as well. If nothing else, the overall awareness of the league is elevated as these women get out there and exposing new audiences to WNBA personalities. They show that they know the game, understand the game and might attract someone who has never been to or watched a WNBA game to take notice.
Now it would be one thing if the women lacked the talent or poise to succeed, but Dales, Hammon and Lawson are already veterans proving they can hang with the big boys. Even Cash has some experience. She previously contributed as a game analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the 2005 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. As part of her role, she will contribute to studio programming across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS throughout the season.
"Swin’s championship and television experience and current viewpoint make her a valued addition to our deep NBA roster,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, studio and remote production, in a release on Thursday. “The contemporary perspectives of these four active WNBA players will provide relevant insights for our fans."
To know Mel Greenberg is to know Mel Greenberg.
The man is a legend and he has more stories to share than you can imagine. He has covered the WNBA since its inception and has contributed a life's worth of energy and effort to the sport of women's basketball. Now he will be enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, TN. Earlier today, the Philadelphia Inquirer legend was introduced at halftime of the Rutgers-Georgia women’s game at the University of Oklahoma on ESPN2. The induction ceremonies will be held in Knoxville, Tenn., June 8-9.
Along with Greenberg, Bridgette Gordon (Monarchs, 1997-1998), Daedra Charles-Furlow (Sparks, 1997) and Andrea Lloyd-Curry (Lynx, 1999-2000 and now a team broadcaster) will also be honored. This will be the fourth Hall of Fame honor for Mel, who has received numerous awards for starting the Associated Press women’s college basketball ranking and fostering national coverage of the sport for the past 32 years. Here is the list of hall of fame honors that Mel has received:
Nov. 12, 2006: Announced as one of six notables who will become the 2007 and ninth class of inductees to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville
May 2005: Inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
March 2002: Inducted into the United States Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame.
Feb. 1, 1992: Inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame.
Congratulations, Mel, a role model and a friend.
Nearly 70 current WNBA players and scores more in the greater WNBA family took the court in EuroLeague and Europe Cup action this week as every team has now played at least one or two games in the international European tournaments. Here's how our players and their teams fared:
Katie Douglas returned to the basketball court Wednesday after recovering from a non-displaced hairline fracture of the foot which she suffered during the first round of the 2006 WNBA playoffs. Douglas joined Vilnius and made an instant impact, helping lead the Lithuanian team to its first victory with a 71-65 defeat over Famila Basket Schio (Italy) in a EuroLeague Women Group A matchup. Douglas, who was the EuroLeague's top scorer last season, finished with 11 points, four assists and four steals in the contest. Familia Basket is now 0-2 after two weeks of play.
Spartak (Russia) picked up right where they left off last week, rolling past Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (Poland), 72-58, in EuroLeague Women Group A play to improve to 2-0. After a 19 point 10 rebound performance in last weeks win over TEO Vilnius, Tina Thompson exploded for 28 points and 18 rebounds in Wednesday's victory. Spartak's Taj McWilliams-Franklin contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds and Agnieszka Bibrzycka added 12 points. Anna De Forge led Krakow, who dropped to 1-1 on the season, with 20 points and eight boards in the losing effort.
Group B action began on Wednesday with Emmeline Ndongue's Bourges Basket (France) come-from-behind 75-59 victory over WNBA veteran Vickie Johnson and MiZo Pécs (Hungary). Vickie Johnson recorded 13 points and six rebounds in the losing effort. Bourges Basket sits in first place with a 2-0 record while MiZo Pécs drops to 1-1.
In the first Group C game of the week, Cappie Pondexter scored a game-high 25 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown grabbed 10 rebounds as Fenerbahce SK (Turkey) defeated Valenciennes (France), 82-78, in an exciting overtime game. Fenerbahce remain undefeated while USVO is still looking for win number one.
On Thursday, defending EuroLeague champions Gambrinus Sika Brno (Czech) evened their record at 1-1 with a 69-63 defeat over Ros Casares (Spain). Gambrinus' Deanna Nolan scored 22 points and Sophia Young chipped in a six point, six rebound performance in the win. Ros Casares' Margo Dydek blocked a game-high five shots and Delisha Milton-Jones scored 16 points.
Tamika Whitmore's 19 points weren't enough to keep Lotos Gdynia (Poland) from losing to Cheryl Ford's Ekateriburg, 79-69. Ford finished with nine points and four rebounds in the losing effort. Help is on the way for Ford, though, after Nikki Teasley left the team...
In Wednesday's Group H action, BG Dorsten (Germany) defeated
the Rhondda Rebels (Wales), 60-51.
Rhondda Rebels' Megan Duffy poured in 20 points and Ebony Hoffman grabbed eight
rebounds in the losing effort.
Chasity Melvin scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead BC Dynamo Moscow Region (Russia) to an incredible 103-44 victory over K.V. Imperial AEL (Cyprus). BC Dynamo Moscow Region held Indiana Fever and K.V. Imperial AEL center Olympia Scott to just two points on 0-of-4 shooting from the field.
Besiktas Colaturka Istanbul (Turkey) defeated Olympia Club WB (Romania), 92-69, in Group B play. Besiktas Colaturka's Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert scored a team-high 27 points and Sheri Sam added 17 points in the blow out victory. Olga Kudryavtseva led Olympia Club WB with 32 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
In Group C play, Botas Spor Adana (Turkey) slipped by PBC CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria), 68-67, despite a big game from Tiffani Johnson (15pts, 11rebs).
Plenette Pierson's 19 point and 16 rebound effort wasn't enough to keep Elitzur Ramla (Israel) from falling to Kastoria CAC (Greece), 78-72. Monique Currie contributed 13 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort.
Former WNBA player Tamicha Jackson scored 19 points and dished out four assists while leading Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel) to a 70-68 Group C win over Apollon. Tanasha Wright added 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
Ashley Battle recorded 16 points, five rebounds and four steals as she helped guide Gran Canaria (Spain) to a 92-72 win over Haukar.
Kelly Schumacher's UB Barca (Spain) defeated Novia Munalux, 99-52, in Group G. Schumacher led the way with 19 points and seven boards.
In Group I action, K Cero VODS (Slovakia) defeated Kara Trutnov, 99-55. K Cero VODS' Kelly Mazzante scored a game-high 20 points and Janel McCarville grabbed a game-best nine rebounds.
In Other News... Connecticut Sun guard Lindsay Whalen is leaving her position as administrative assistant for the University of Minnesota women's basketball program to play for UMMC in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
With the women's college basketball season set to get underway across the nation this week, we are compiling an extensive list of seniors to watch this season, which we will launch on Monday...
The polls have officially closed, so let's dip into the mailbag while we wait nervously and bite our nails...
Hi my name is Kiara and I'm 14 years old.
I just wanted to ask you if you think Tamika Catchings is the best overall player
in the WNBA. I know I do!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.
-Kiara, Raleigh, N.C.
A. I do. She and Lauren Jackson are the best all-around players. Catch may not be the best at everything, but her offensive and defensive skills are crazy good. Two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year who leads her team in every category and is in the top eight in every stat category? Total package and a nice young woman to boot. If I'm starting a team and can pick anyone, it's going to be a toss-up between those two.
This is kinda a distant future question, but
I was wondering if you think Claire Coggins from Kansas State will possibly go
pro after this year of being a senior at k-state?
-Brandon, Manhattan, KS
A. I have no reason to think she won't be a WNBA prospect. For those of you who have not seen her, Claire is a 5-11 guard/forward. K-State returns four starters (a senior, a junior and two sophomores) and eight letterwinners from the 2005-06 squad. Coggins was named an All-Big 12 Second Team as a junior after averaging a team-leading 13.5 points per game. She was also honored as the Most Valuable Player of the Postseason WNIT.
Hi-I just looked at the list of free agents
for next season, and there was one person missing from that list, namely my favorite
player Tari Phillips-what gives? She has not announced retirement, so why was
she omitted? Just an oversight from the WNBA, I hope!!!!!
-Debbie, Hillsborough, NJ
A. Tari is under contract with the Comets for the 2007 season. She signed a two-year deal before the 2006 season.
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A. That's funny, because I was just in Mexico on a brief vacation and this doesn't sound much like Spanish to me. Yo comprendo espanol. Yo hablo espanol. Y Ali, este no es espanol.
Ms. Stiles will be playing some basketball again internationally.
What is the chance (is her game is up to par to when she left or close too) for
her to transiton to the WNBA? I know I am asking a lot here, but, with current
rosters now, what team would be a good fit for Jackie?
-John, Indianapolis, IN
A. Jackie will be playing in Australia this season, so depending on how she recovers from her latest health setback, she certainly has the talent to play in the WNBA. It's just a matter of whether she can stay healthy to compete with younger, quicker players. We'll monitor her progress this winter and see how it goes.
Hi there! I was wondering if the Monarchs and Kings did
get relocated, or their stadium switched would they still be the Moncarchs and
Kings or would the change it because they moved?
A. You should have just written: "Cart. Horse." because that's what you've just done. We have no idea how this will all play out, so it's crazy to speculate about anything. I have a gut feeling that they will get a deal done. Somehow. Sactown is just too fun to lose their teams. And you all know how I feel about my favorite Sacramento cab driver, Farooq.
What took you guys so long. I am so glad that you
finally put a WNBA team in Chicago this year. Even though we had a rocky start,
will you guys still continue adding more teams if everyone knows they will have
maybe a not-so-great start?
-Courtney, Chicago, IL
A. Well, we needed a good owner who was committed to the growth and long-term potential of the WNBA. Michael Alter is just that. As for expansion teams struggling, it is par for the course. It happens in every sport, but the Sky are already competitive and will be in the Playoffs before you know it. And yes, you can be assured that we will continue adding more teams to the league in the future, but it will have to be the right place at the right time.
Greetings: I have a problem: I would
like to acquire a signed photograph/poster of Lisa Leslie. It's a gift for a young,
promising basketball player. Lisa is her roll model. How would I go about doing
this? I have no clue where to begin. Your assistance will be appreciated. Thank
-Marvia, Las Vegas, NV
A. Have you tried eBay. I'm not kidding when I say they do often have stuff there that you wouldn't believe. My best advice, though, would be to go through the Sparks team. They have more regular contact with Lisa than we do during the offseason. Here is the mailing address:
2151 E. Grand Ave. #100
El Segundo, CA 90245
Hi, I was wondering if
there was anyway to get in touch with any coaches from the WNBA? An email address
would be helpful, I am currently a student at The University of Central Florida
and we have an action research assignment that requires we ask questions to a
basketball coach, I chose the WNBA and have found it hard to speak with anyone,
is there any way you can help me? Thanks!
-Melissa, Casselberry, FL
A. Here is a list of five teams front office phone numbers and their coaches names. Out of privacy and respect for the coaches, I cannot give you their direct dials, but explain what you need to the main number and hopefully they can help.
Charlotte Sting: 704-688-8600 - coach: Muggsy Bogues
Connecticut Sun: 860-862-4000 - coach: Mike Thibault
Indiana Fever: 317-917-2500 - coach: Brian Winters
San Antonio Silver Stars: 210-444-5000 - coach: Dan Hughes
Seattle Storm: 206-281-5800 - coach: Anne Donovan
What do you think it's going to take
to get magazines like Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News to give the WNBA
substantive coverage? They barely cover it now and I'd love to see it change.
On another note, in regards to the previous person who commented about tattoos
on women being a male turnoff, I have to disagree. I love tattoos on women.
-Jay, Wareham, MA
A. Time. It's only a matter of time before the league gets better coverage. With the talent of players and the work that's being put in on a PR side, it's only a matter of time. It also cannot hurt to start a massive letter-writing campaign to the editors of these periodicals to urge for more coverage. And keep sending them. Don't send one and give up. Bombardment is the key to any grassroots movement.
Do you think there will be more money in the WNBA
-Speedy, Little Rock, AR
A. I hope so. I really do need a new car.
Nice job, overall! I love the WNBA site and your blog, and of course, all the great basketball during the season.
Thanks for (basically) telling "Ervin" to Get A Grip!
I seriously doubt he and his type represent a really significant demographic. I, too, am a middle-aged man who happens to enjoy *pure*, fundamental basketball, and the women of the WNBA offer that. If he doesn't like tats, he can go watch ice-skating. I'd say you handled him quite well!
-Howie, Philly, PA
A. I know it's not always easy for the league to tackle or take on people like this, and we often do not need to because they either embarrass themselves and do not represent our core demographics. Part of me thinks... No one has a right to tell us what we should like and not like and I will not force anyone to be a fan of anything. You don't like the WNBA? Fine. I don't need to know about it. But another side wants to argue because I believe in this sport. Perhaps it's the optimist in me who thinks that anyone who sees the WNBA and gives it a chance will really fall in love with it. So I'm not as quick to cast aside any potential fan. But there comes a point where even I just need to tell it like it is. Why? Because I have a pulpit and I'm going to use it for good. This Election Day, vote for the best, Vote for the Wurst. I'm Matt Wurst, and I approved this message.
I love basketball to death
everthing about it. And I'm Really good at it too. Everybody always tells me I
could probably play proffesional Im 16 and I want to know how would you go about
to do that? Because that would be the coolest thing ever I couldnt imagine my
life without basketball!!!
-Pimp, Walla Walla, WA
A. Simple. Do everything you can to work on your game. Practice, camps, clinics, more practice. Go to college. Work harder. Be the best you can be and the best around.
The Maggie Dixon Classic takes place this Sunday to tip off of the 2006-07 basketball season. It will, no doubt, be a bittersweet afternoon.
On Nov. 12, at West Point’s Christl Arena, Army has scheduled a four-team event featuring a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. Army’s women’s squad hosts Ohio State at 3:30 p.m., after Pittsburgh’s men’s team takes on Western Michigan at 12 p.m. Both contests will be televised live nationally on ESPNU.
Just a few weeks after Army's storied run, coach Maggie Dixon passed away tragically. The Patriot League Championship banner and a 2006 Patriot League Coach of the Year banner, celebrating Maggie’s honor, will also be raised to the rafters in Christl Arena.
The Army women, who won the Patriot League last season for the first time, face an Ohio State team as been a premier program for many years (Katie Smith's alma mater finished the season with a No. 2 ranking in The Associated Press poll). Ohio State also features one of the top seniors in the nation in forward Jessica Davenport, who will be among the first players selected in the 2007 WNBA Draft. Pittsburgh’s visit to West Point will rank as the first time since Feb. 15, 1969, that the Panthers’ men’s basketball squad will play at West Point. Maggie’s brother, Jamie Dixon, currently serves as head men’s basketball coach at Pitt.
In a special presentation prior to the Army-Ohio State game, the Army Athletic Association will present both Jim and Marge Dixon, parents of Maggie and Jamie, with a Patriot League championship ring from last season.
Tickets to both games can be purchased by calling the Army Ticket Office at 1-877-TIX-ARMY, in person at the Holleder Center Box Office or by logging onto www.goARMYsports.com.
In Other News... Speaking of college coaches, Dawn Staley was in New York yesterday as the WNBA honored her legendary career at a luncheon in Manhattan. A number of friends, family and WNBA execs were on hand to congratulate Dawn on her retirement as a player and wish her the best in her ongoing career as the head coach at Temple University. WNBA President Donna Orender is actually in the process of writing a blog of her own on this very subject, so I will leave it at that and thank Dawn again in this space for everything she has done for the sport and for being so great to work with personally.
My fellow Americans: If you are of voting age and had the initiative to register to vote at any point in your life, I encourage you to get out at some point today and exercise that right. We all know how many people fought to get and defend this right, and it is really not that hard. I will not espouse or share my political beliefs (no matter how much I want to) as this is not the place, but these are important times. Make history. Vote.
I know I do!
You may have noticed that we are opening up the admission process for more fan bloggers again, so send in your applications today!
In Other News... They may not be fans, but Monique Currie and Tasha Butts are blogging from the holy land (and no, I'm not talking about Madison Square Garden).
The EuroLeague season tipped off Wednesday with several WNBA players making some noise overseas. But no player stuck out more than Detroit Shock's Cheryl Ford. In opening week action, the 6-3 forward scored 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as she led Ekaterinburg past Gambrinus, 87-86, in Group C play. Gambrinus' Deanna Nolan scored 18 points and Sophia Young grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in the losing effort.
The defending Europe Cup Women champions, Spartak, have moved over to the EuroLeague this season, and started off strong in Group A by defeating TEO Vilnius, 61-47. Spartak's four WNBA stars led the way as Tina Thompson scored a game-high 19 points, Taj McWilliams-Franklin grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and Ticha Penicheiro dished out a game-high seven assists while Agnieszka Bibrzycka contributed a solid 11-point-and-six-rebound performance. TEO Vilnius' Kristin Haynie scored four points to go along with five rebounds in her first ever EuroLeague game and Ebony Hoffman grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
In other Group A action, Sopron defeated Krakow, 83-58. Dominique Canty led the Wisla Can-Pack Krakow team with 17 points.
In two Group B games, Samara defeated USK Prague, 72-57, and Bourges Basket beat Halcon Avenida, 74-58. Nicole Ohlde scored 16 points for Halcon Avenida and Emmeline Ndongue grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for Bourges Basket.
EuroLeague continued on Thursday with four games.
DeLisha Milton-Jones highlighted Thursday's box scores as she led Ros Casares in just about every statistical category as they defeated USVO, 81-58. Milton-Jones finished with 25 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Emilie Gomis led USVO with 16 points in the loss.
Tammy Sutton-Brown grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds as her Fenerbahce SK beat Tamika Whitmore and Lotos Gdynia, 79-59. Whitmore scored a game-high 23 points.
In Other News... The EuroCup Women season began earlier today with Kozachka-Zalk destroying Gustino Zepter Tigers, 87-53.