Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Page 725

Say No league day 4

I watched some more Bruins play today: fresh-faced Rebekah Gardner and the ever-friendly Nina Earl. They’re on T.E.A.M. ’09, which is coached by Onye Ibekwe – not sure how he’s related to graduate Chinyere, but he is.

Bruins in the house: Rebekah Gardner runs toward the hoop during warmups while Nina Earl jogs from it.

Earl and Gardner chattin it up between warmup free throws.

The rosters of these teams are interesting. Azusa Pacific has two teams in the league that consist only of their players. Cal State Dominguez, Cal State LA, Cal State San Bernardino and Compton Community College also each have a squad. The rest of the teams are a mix of D1, 2 and 3 players, JC players, graduates, “undecided”s and those who graduated a loooong time ago.

T.E.A.M. ’09 also includes Tamia Seals, formerly of Texas A&M, and Krystal Clay, a Northridge graduate.

Team Excel’s roster features Bruins Darxia Morris and Jasmine Dixon, who will begin playing in December.

LA Spirit includes a lot of grads: LaSharee Christian (Jackson St), Tierra Henderson (UCLA), Candice Allen (Cal Poly Pomona), Ofa Tulihihifo (Northridge), Charlee Underwood, Toni Thomas and Amber Pruitt (all Fullerton), and perhaps the most intriguing, Willnett Crockett (UConn). One of the youngsters is Brea Olinda MVP Jonae Ervin, who will play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall.

H&S is full of “undecideds” and grads. Probably the most notorious grad is former Trojan Jessica Cheeks, currently an assistant to Colleen Matsuhara at West LA College. Cheeks, who plays in a lot of leagues around LA, will turn 28 in a few weeks. You can’t take the love of the game from some players………….

The woman in charge of the league said the schedule was delayed in getting up on the website, but that it will definitely be posted this week.

Sparks team intro video

Just look at this video, which is played prior to team introductions before every Sparks game at Staples Center. Then tell me why some people on that popular message board thought Nikki Teasley had a chance of coming back to play for LA.

The U19’s are on their way to Thailand

A little bird (and no, it wasn’t on twitter) told me that the U19 National Team is in the air right now, doing their 19-hours time on their way to Thailand to play for the world championship. Before she left, Destiny Williams interviewed with IlliniHQ.com about the trip, the games and the opportunity.

Q & A with Angel McCoughtry

Quirky. Relentless. Energetic. As confident as a hostage negotiator. That is McCoughtry.

The reasons I like her, in a nutshell. Lack of arrogance would be another:

SLAM: What is your main role on this team?
AM: My role on this team, so far, is to come in off the bench and bring energy and an extra spark.

SLAM: How did you handle coming off the bench for the first time in your career?
AM: I don’t mind coming off the bench. It doesn’t bother me. My mentality is whatever I do I’m going to be a beast at it, whether I start or come off the bench.

SLAM: How is it playing with veterans like Chamique Holdsclaw?
AM: The vets are great and they are like my mentors. I look up to all of them.

I wonder what Jeff Walz thinks?


Diana Taurasi suspended for two games without pay for DUI

Mercury’s statement, to which the league said it supports team management’s actions and won’t take further action.

What an unfortunate situation.

Skylar Diggins named national high school athlete of the year

Good for Diggy. Candace Parker and Maya Moore also won best WNBA and best college players, respectively.

DeWanna Bonner named WNBA rookie of the month

To no one’s great surprise, Mercury guard/forward DeWanna Bonner was named rookie of the month for June.

It has happened before, where a rookie comes out of the blue and starts blowing the game up. It looks like Bonner has found her fit within the WNBA in Phoenix.

Crammin for the dead period, aka Cal Sparks tourney at the HAX, day 2

4 p.m………all five courts are in use at the Hanger Athletic Xchange, Hawthorne, CA.

Invitational bracket champions.

Elite bracket champions.

Open bracket champions.

There were more coaches there today than yesterday. I think I saw just about every Pac-10 coach there, or a representative: Charli Turner Thorne, Nikki Caldwell, Paul Westhead, the USC, Cal, WSU, and Washington assistants. Niya Butts and LaVonda Wagner were back from yesterday. I didn’t see anyone from Stanford there, but I could have missed them. The Rutgers assistant coach was there, wearing a shirt with a huge letter “R” on the front and back.

I talked to Paul Westhead for a minute, introducing myself as a U of O alumni. He was perfectly pleasant, and I enjoyed meeting him.

Only a very few coaches stayed until the bitter end today, including the Fresno State assistant. It’s a hard job, to watch game after game and girl after girl. The Cal Sparks are to be commended for putting on a quality, professional tournament.

Now begins the NCAA dead period through Monday, July 20.

A female baller logo!

It’s extremely rare that I promote a company, but every once in a while one comes along that is deserving. The LA-based business that set up shop at the HAX tournament today is such an exception.

Imagine two large tables filled with shorts, tank tops, sweats, T-shirts, sandals and accessories that feature the leaping logo that made Air Jordans famous. Then picture that logo being a female baller.

Bingo: you have www.loveandhoops.net, and you have what founder Melanie Williams brought to sell today.

Words can’t express how exciting it was to see a female hooper on an entire clothing line. I bought a pair of shorts, a tank top and a pair of sandals. I might have to go back tomorrow and get a couple other things, too.

Williams wanted to create a line of clothing that girls and women could call their own. I say, so far so good. Check it out.

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