Sunday, May 27, 2018
Page 690

“More Than a Game”

I love this story about Samarie Walker.

This is the best part:

Before the start of the game, Walker looks up to the stands and raises an eyebrow. Her intended target, her father, returns the gesture. Just like that, it’s on.

She’s baaaaaack!

On Dec. 8, 2009, Long Beach’s own Jasmine Dixon left the Rutgers basketball program. On Dec. 15, 2009, she put up 19 points and pulled down 10 boards for UCLA.

Not bad for a debut.

Question for lll the LA-area high school hoop heads

The LA Times brand new rankings: right on or way off?

1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) 2A
2 Poly (Long Beach, CA) 1AA
3 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA) 4AA
4 Santiago (Corona, CA) 1AA
5 Brea Olinda (Brea, CA) 2AA
6 Diamond Ranch (Pomona, CA) 2A
7 Troy (Fullerton, CA) 1AA
8 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) 3A
9 Inglewood (CA) 3AA
10 Ventura (CA) 2AA
11 Etiwanda (CA) 1AA
12 Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) 3AA
13 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, CA) 4AA
14 Woodbridge (Irvine, CA) 2A
15 Villa Park (CA) 2AA
16 Summit (Fontana, CA) 1A
17 St. Joseph (Santa Maria, CA) 4A
18 Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) 4A
19 Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank, CA) 4A
20 Laguna Hills (CA) 2A
21 Colony (Ontario, CA) 1AA
22 Edison (Huntington Beach, CA) 2AA
23 Santa Monica (CA) 1A
24 Great Oak (Temecula, CA) 1AA
25 Royal (Simi Valley, CA) 2AA
26 Lynwood (CA) 1AA
27 Agoura (CA) 3AA
28 Bonita (La Verne, CA) 3A
29 San Clemente (CA) 1AA
30 Jordan (Long Beach, CA) 1AA
31 Rosary (Fullerton, CA) 4AA
32 Centennial (Corona, CA) 1A
33 Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, CA) 1A
34 Chaparral (Temecula, CA) 1A
35 Centennial (Compton, CA) 4AA
36 Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes Estates, CA) 3A
37 Rialto (CA) 1AA
38 Buena (Ventura, CA) 3AA
39 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, CA) 1A
40 Canyon (Anaheim, CA) 2A
41 Serra (Gardena, CA) 5AA
42 Cajon (San Bernardino, CA) 1AA
43 St. Anthony (Long Beach, CA) 5A
44 Ayala (Chino Hills, CA) 1A
45 Chino Hills (CA) 1A
46 Arlington (Riverside, CA) 3AA
47 Beverly Hills (CA) 2A
48 South (Torrance, CA) 2A
49 El Dorado (Placentia, CA) 2AA
50 Redlands East Valley (Redlands, CA) 1A

(There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful to live in an area so filthy rich with teams – and so many of them good ones)

WNBA dispersal draft results

The dispersal draft was today.

Why did the Liberty take Powell when they could have had Brunson?

Harper’s happy.

I suppose the four teams who passed think they can get someone better. We shall see.

More on new Sparks Coach Jennifer Gillom.

Grandmama is the new Sparks coach

Fresh from the MVP hot wire:


LOS ANGELES – Hall of Famer Jennifer Gillom has been named head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks as announced today by Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“Jennifer is a great person who I believe will be an exceptional coach in the WNBA,” said Toler. “Her experience as a player and as a coach will prove to be beneficial in her future success here. I believe that she will be able to lead our team into the next era of championship Sparks basketball.”

After serving as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Lynx in 2008, Gillom took over as interim head coach of the Lynx in 2009. Earlier this year, she was elected into the illustrious Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and, in September, was named an assistant coach for the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team.

“I am extremely excited to return to the city of Los Angeles and begin this new journey as head coach of the Sparks,” said Gillom. “This is a storied franchise with a championship caliber team. I look forward to being part of the future success and am eager to continue building the Sparks legacy.”

Gillom began her coaching career with the girls’ basketball team at Xavier College Preparatory, a private school in Phoenix, Arizona where she has compiled a 130-25 record after five seasons.

One of the first players signed by the WNBA, she played seven seasons in the league, including six with the Phoenix Mercury, where she led them to three playoff berths (1997, 1998, 2000), which included a trip to the 1998 WNBA Finals. After playing her final season with the Sparks, Gillom retired from the WNBA with career averages of 13.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Her best season in the WNBA was 1998, when she closed out the season with career-high averages of 20.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Gillom received the WNBA’s 2002 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, was selected to the 1999 All-Star team and was named to the 1997 All-WNBA first team and 1998 All-WNBA second team. In 1985 she was named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. She also collected a total of six gold medals, including the gold at the 1988 Olympics and one silver medal as a member of USA Basketball.

The WNBA legend and Abbeville, Mississippi native becomes the eighth head coach in Los Angeles Sparks franchise history.

Tickets for the Sparks 2010 season are on sale now. For more information visit or call 1-877-44-SPARKS.

Not sure how I feel about this yet.

Tennessee bests Rutgers in Classic game (and stuff)

Nice stories by both ESPN and on the Tennessee win.

Stanford remains undefeated.

Baylor beat Boston College, and ESPN is calling freshman Brittney Griner a “phenom.” Wow.

And we might have to start thinking about Nebraska as a basketball school now.

Maggie Dixon classic today; beating up male cheerleaders

Pat Summitt and C. Vivian Stringer and their teams will match up today at the Maggie Dixon Classic. Summitt complimented Rutgers’ offense, but Stringer wasn’t buying it.

And in a bizzare incident Friday, two Missouri players have been suspended after allegedly assaulting a male cheerleader for the school. What?

Today’s tournament championship games

From IM in OC:

The South Coast Championship went to Santa Margarita, 51-44 over Woodbridge.

The game was close for nearly the first three quarters, and was tied at 35 with two minutes left to go in the third. Then SM went on a 7-0 run to end the period. Woodbridge then seemed to go ice cold, scoring only one basket and two free throws until 4:45 left in the fourth quarter. There was some trading of baskets after that, but the closest Woodbridge got was down 49-44 with less than a minute left.

Melissa Zorning finished with 16 points and was named Tournament MVP, which she deserved. Her games vs Edison and SC were the best two games I have seen her play over the past three-plus years.

In the third place game, Villa Park beat San Clemente 57-43. Nicole Ballestero and Brianna Salvatorre each had 15 points for the winners. Cassie Harberts had 27 points for SC.

Harberts was the high scorer for the tournament with 114 points, the second most points in the 16th year of the tournament.

The new face that impressed me was Woodbridges #3, Samantha Doucette. She played JV ball last year, and has looked great in all of the games I have seen her. She scored 22 points in the championship game.

Redondo Union Battle of the Beach final results:

Inglewood 46, Santa Monica 37

Third Place
Bishop Montgomery 64, St. Anthony 49

Silver Bracket

First Place
South Torrance 53, Redondo 50

Third Place
Serra 42, LB Millikan 33

Bronze Bracket

First Place
Palos Verdes 51, Peninsula 43

Third Place
Vista Del Lago 41, AB Miller 38

Tournament MVP was Inglewood’s Hazel Ramirez, for her dominant offensive performance over the week. Rounding out the All-Tournament team was Janelle Ross and Deajanae Scurry of Inglewood, and Kristina Johnson and Sabrina Norton of Santa Monica.

Those in attendence were puzzling over Santa Monica Coach Marty Verdugo’s decision to play star senior point guard Thea Lemberger for only about the first two minutes of the game. She didn’t sustain any injuries or otherwise appear to have reason not to play. Very strange.

The two teams will match up again in regular league play on January 15.

In Hawaii, Long Beach Poly took the Iolani Classic Tournament in three easy steps, according to

First round: Mid Pacific (HI) vs Long Beach Poly 76-58 (W)

2nd round : # 25 Southridge (OR) vs Long Beach Poly 62-43 (W)

Championship : Long Beach Poly (Calif.) 69, #2 St. Michael Academy 47

Is junior college reffing always this bad?

So I went to Pasadena City College today to check out a junior college game between Santa Monica College and San Bernardino Valley College. The two refs for the game were some of the worst I’ve ever seen. They made WNBA refs look intelligent, if that gives you any idea.

They let one team pretty much beat up the other team all game long, and the calls they did make were outrageously bogus. You wondered what game they were watching. Then in the last two minutes of the second half, they called foul after foul after foul. It was literally about six minutes real per 20 seconds off the game clock.

All that tension boiled over, and there was almost an altercation on the court during the last game minute.

I talked to some of the parents of one team. They said that in a recent tournament in Ventura, they had two refs who called only traveling all game long.

Is junior college reffing always this bad? JC’s deserve good officials too.

He was the worst. Just stinky booty bad.

She wasn’t a helluva lot better.

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Sparks announce playoff dates

Previews and predictions

Final Four roll call

Raining upsets