Sunday, October 22, 2017
Page 696

Some great women’s basketball links on this page

Pat Summitt, Brittney Griner, Mariah Chandler, ACC’s finest, St. Michael’s Academy – OOO! But one of the coolest things when clicking on each story page is the page-turning sound effect when hitting the “next” arrow. Dig:

Parade names 2009 All-America High School Girls Basketball team

First Team (Name, School, City, Height)

Brittney Griner Nimitz Houston, Tex. 6’8″

Skylar Diggins Washington South Bend, Ind. 5’10”

Kelsey Bone Dulles Sugar Land, Tex. 6’5″

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Mater Dei Santa Ana, Calif. 6’0″

Tayler Hill South Minneapolis, Minn. 5’11”

Markel Walker Schenley Pittsburgh, Pa. 6’1″

Cokie Reed Midway Waco, Tex. 6’4″

Joslyn Tinkle Big Sky Missoula, Mont. 6’3″

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt Williams Alexandria, Va. 5’11”

Kelly Faris Heritage Christian Indianapolis, Ind. 5’11”

Second Team

Jasmine Hassell Wilson Central Lebanon, Tenn. 6’3″

Destiny Williams Benton Harbor Benton Harbor, Mich. 6’2″

Chiney Ogwumike Cy-Fair Cypress, Tex. 6’3″

Monique Oliver Poly Long Beach, Calif. 6’3″

Taber Spani Metro Academy Olathe, Kan. 6’1″

China Crosby Manhattan Center New York, N.Y. 5’7″

Tierra Rogers Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep San Francisco, Calif. 5’11”

Waltia Rolle Westbury Christian Houston, Tex. 6’6″

Bria Hartley North Babylon North Babylon, N.Y. 5’10”

Stephanie Holzer Cardinal O’Hara Springfield, Pa. 6’4″

Third Team

Samarie Walker Chaminade Julienne Dayton, Ohio 6’1″

Sam Ostarello Stanley County Fort Pierre, S.D. 6’2″

Morgan Stroman Lower Richland Hopkins, S.C. 6’2″

Morgan Tuck Bolingbrook Bolingbrook, Ill. 6’2″

Mikaela Ruef Beavercreek Beavercreek, Ohio 6’2″

Chelsea Gray St. Mary’s Stockton, Calif. 5’10”

Lindsey Moore Kentwood Covington, Wash. 5’10”

Ieasia Walker O’Connell Copiague Copiague, N.Y. 5’7″

Shanay Washington Del Valle Del Valle, Tex. 6’0″

Alexandria Bentley Ben Davis Indianapolis, Ind. 5’7″

Fourth Team

Anne Marie Armstrong Wesleyan Norcross, Ga. 6’3″

Mariah Chandler Southwest Atlanta Christian Atlanta, Ga. 6’1″

Lauren Avant Lausanne Collegiate Memphis, Tenn. 5’9″

Laurin Mincy University Newark, N.J. 6’0″

DeNesha Stallworth Pinole Valley Pinole, Calif. 6’3″

Sugar Rodgers King’s Fork Suffolk, Va. 5’10”

Bianca Lutley American Heritage Plantation, Fla. 5’11”

Layshia Clarendon Cajon San Bernardino, Calif. 5’9″

Jennifer O’Neill St. Michael Academy New York, N.Y. 5’6″

Amber Henson Sickles Tampa, Fla. 6’4″

The only minor surprise was that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis of Mater Dei in Santa Ana, CA was named first team. Not surprising because of her skill, but that it was recognized. This young sophomore has an extremely bright future in the game.

Link, which includes a video of Brittney Griner:

USC recruit Monique Oliver granted a release?

I first heard about this Thursday, but now there’s a short story in the Long Beach Post about the All-American from Long Beach Poly:

Then there are these posts from the USChoops message board, making allegations about former Coach Mark Trakh’s supposed disappointment in Oliver’s performance at the McDonald’s All-American game April 1:

(I doubt that even if Trakh hadn’t liked her play during the game that he would have said anything to a stranger about it, much less wanted to rescind her scholarship because of it).

Of course speculation is that there will be an “exodus” of commits now that Trakh is gone and with the rumored possibility of Michael Cooper taking the job. But a source within the Long Beach Poly community, where Oliver hails from, told me yesterday that the 6-foot-3 center didn’t have the grades to be accepted into USC.

For now, I’m waiting for an announcement as to whether Oliver is gone or not.

More transfers: Oklahoma

Will the hemmorhaging of players from colleges never cease? Now it’s two Sooner bench players:

Like the Maryland transfers, I don’t get it. These young women had to know what they were coming in behind with Marissa Coleman/Kristi Tolliver and Courtney/Ashley Paris. And now that all of the above are gone, they still want to leave?

I’d love to ask one of these players some questions, but the website of the schools won’t even put up the info yet.

I don’t know what the huge increase in transfers, especially this year, means. Is it because kids realize they don’t have to be “stuck” at a school they don’t like? Are they not giving it enough of a chance/are weak-minded? Or are they just not choosing carefully in the first place?

Confirmed: Jollie Harper at NC State

As expected, Kellie Jollie Harper was introduced as the new head coach of the “Wolfpack” today at a news conference. Here’s a video of the whole event:

In going out of their way to seek who they see as a high-quality replacement, it seems that NC State officials really want to see this program succeed.

Arizona starting over

The Wildcats have added a few new players, via Jucos:

But the bad news is that there are only five other players on the roster, as a fourth freshman left the basketball team this week:

Kinda takes “rebuilding” to a whole other level.

USC and NC State: about-to-be’s (!!)

My reliable source within USC tells me that former Laker and current Sparks Coach Michael Cooper will indeed be named the head women’s basketball coach at the University sometime within the next few days. And within the week after that announcement, he will supposedly have his staff in place. Cooper will reportedly continue to coach the Sparks this summer while his staff takes care of recruiting and other duties for the Trojans.

To say this has come out of left field would be an understatment. Crazy is a better word. I’d love to know how Cooper went from wanting to coach in the NBA to the Sparks to women’s college hoops. And in taking this position, will Cooper give up his job coaching the Sparks? We will see.

In the meantime, North Carolina State fans will find out who their new head coach is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. PDT:

Rumor has it that it’s former Lady Vol (1995-1999) Kellie Jolly Harper, who has coached at Western Carolina University since 2004.

Some fans have worried that NC State officials’ decision not to promote longtime assistant Stephanie Glance to the position will alienate the core fan base. Others maintain that not automatically hiring Glance, which would have been the “easy way out,” shows that the athletic department is finally serious about the women’s game.

Either way, the Wolfpack has already lost two recruits – Jeniece Johnson and Bernisha Pinckett, who rescinded their verbal committment to NC State and instead have opted to go to Kentucky. Both players, from Woodson High School in Washington DC, cited the decision not to hire Glance as their impetus for reopening their recruiting search:


This should be an interesting week in college hoops, to say the least.

It’s official: Brooklyn Pope transfers to Baylor

The second freshman from Rutgers transfers to Baylor – a team that gets more and more talent-loaded by the day:

Betty Lennox to the Sparks!!

Fresh from Sparks HQ, via email:


LOS ANGELES – All-Star guard and 2000 WNBA Rookie of the Year Betty Lennox has signed with the Los Angeles Sparks it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lennox was selected in the first round, (sixth overall), by the Minnesota Lynx in the 2000 WNBA draft. Her nine-year WNBA career includes stints with the Lynx, Miami Sol, Cleveland Rockers, Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream. In 2004, after being selected by Seattle in the dispersal draft, she led the Storm to the WNBA Championship and was named the WNBA Finals MVP.

“Betty is a dynamic guard, both offensively and defensively, who brings instant toughness to our backcourt” said Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. “Her championship experience will definitely help us in our quest to win the title in 2009.”

After being selected in the expansion draft by the Atlanta Dream in February 2008, Lennox started 33 of 34 games and averaged 17.5 ppg for the season before being waived. For her career, she is averaging 12.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 2.1 apg in 202 career starts.

“I have to first thank God for this opportunity. This is a dream come true for me,” said Lennox. “I’m happy and more than excited to be part of the Sparks organization.”

In two years at Louisiana Tech, Lennox played in 67 games and averaged 13.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg. In her senior campaign, she was selected the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, named to the Associated Press All-America Third Team, the USA Basketball Writers Association All-America First Team and the Women’s Basketball News Service All-America First Team. Lennox played at Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas) in 1996-97 and led the team to the Junior College National Championship as Trinity Valley posted a 34-2 record.

The Los Angeles Sparks tip-off the WNBA season on June 6th at the STAPLES Center against the Defending Champion Detroit Shock at 11:30 am. For more information on season or group tickets logon to or call 877-44-SPARKS.

I didn’t think I could get anymore excited about the LA Sparks this year. All my favorite players are now on the same team! Unbelievable.

And unsurprisingly, the Sparks just waived Murriel Page.

The cost of the card and postage? $3.50. The value of the return card? Priceless.

Back in February I sent a card to Coach Pat Summitt congratulating her on her 1000th win. Tonight I got home from work and found a card from The University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Office in my mailbox. On the back flap it reads, “National Champions * 87 * 89 * 91 * 96 * 97 * 98 * 07 * 08. It was addressed to me personally, and the note to me inside was in the same writing – Coach Summitt’s.

Among other things, she said she appreciated me acknowledging “our” 1000th win, referring to her coaching staff. Very gracious of her, but there’s only one person behind every one of those many, many wins, and that’s her.

I’d heard Coach Summitt writes thank you notes, but I’d never been the recipient of one before. My being floored that she’d take the time to write back to a fan is eclipsed only by the card itself, which is now one of my favorite possessions.

My spring season is made.

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