Saturday, July 21, 2018
Page 748

C. Vivian Stringer hires new assistant coach

Ronald Hughey comes aboard:

Stanford writer ponders Paul Westhead

Jake Curtis wonders if Paul Westhead’s up-tempo style is going to mean competition for Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer:

It’s nice of Curtis to feel threatened, but he’s jumping the gun. Westhead has a lot of work to do before he’s at the top of the Pac-10.

USA Basketball teams named

California representation on the U19 team in San Bernadino’s Layshia Clarendon. USA is loaded, with the team also featuring Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford and Indiana’s own Skylar Diggins:

The University team is also stacked, with Jayne Appel and Maya Moore on board, just to name two:

It’ll be a fun summer.

The night before training camp starts……….

This weekend last year, Candace Parker made her WNBA debut in her team’s first game with 35 points. Tomorrow training camp starts, and who knows if Parker and Leila Nicole will even be on the sidelines. In the meantime, Coach Michael Cooper and Center Lisa Leslie are ready for their last season together:,0,6485622.story

This is my favorite part, about last year’s semi-final loss to San Antonio:

“We made it so much harder than it had to be,” said Leslie, who will retire at the end of the season as the league’s all-time leading scorer. “We have no one to blame but ourselves.”

You won’t hear me arguing about that.

Minnesota is excited, because they’re deeper than a swimming pool this year:

The Mystics figure they’ll have a tough training camp this year:

And the WNBA previews training camp, with four specific looks at the bottom of the page:

Let the fighting for spots on teams begin.

Oregon loses two

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon sophomore forward Ellie Manou and freshman guard Darriel Gaynor have decided to leave the team.

Manou is returning to her native Australia. She averaged 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 57 games, including 34 starts.

Gaynor averaged 1.3 points and one rebound in 26 games last season as a true freshman.

Oregon coach Bev Smith was let go after the Ducks went 9-21 last season. She was replaced by veteran Paul Westhead.


Yolanda Griffith to retire after this season

Though she just signed with the Indiana Fever earlier this spring, it will be Yolanda Griffith’s last team. The legendary forward announced today she’ll retire after this WNBA season – her 13th as a pro. Griffith is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a seven-time WNBA all-star, a member of the WNBA’s all-decade team, and will have played pro ball for 13 years when she steps down.

“My career in the WNBA has given me a lot of great memories and friendships,” said Griffith. “At this time, I, with my family, have made the decision to make this season my last. I look back on all the great basketball memories, my accomplishments and my life as a WNBA player, with a smile. But I look forward to my future goals with enthusiasm.”


Kendall Hackney wants out of USC

A reliable source tells me that Ohio forward Kendall Hackney, who verbaled to USC over a year ago, wants out of her committment. If she is granted the release, that would make two of four (former coach) Mark Trakh recruits that the Trojans have lost.

My source added that if Trakh gets the Hawaii coaching job that he is rumored to be in the running for, another recruit will follow.

Incoming coach Michael Cooper better hit the ground running.

Mater Dei players talk about coach Kevin Kiernan

Mmm…..wonder what coach’s pay back is going to be for this:

Monique Oliver to Rutgers

Interesting selection for Oliver:

Will she last the four years?

Edit to add: It seems Oliver’s decision came out of the blue. A source tells me that earlier this week, Oliver was ready to commit to another school, but suddenly today it’s Rutgers.

What happened?

And here comes the op-ed part of this blog: the USC Athletic Department sucks.

Sports reporting and sports blogging don’t have to be adversarial

Some people who lament the state of newspapers in today’s world point at bloggers and say that pretty soon, there won’t be any objectivity left. That all that will remain are people’s opinions rather than objective journalism.

That would indeed be a bad scenario, but it won’t happen. Newspapers have taken a blow, but journalism hasn’t. People understand the need for objectivity. It’s just that US residents tend to see things in black and white, either/or, good and bad. But blogging and journalism don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

My homey petrel, who writes the Atlanta Dream blog, nicely addressed the advantages of sports blogging in response to a criticism:

The stereotype of internet bloggers being obsessive geeks becomes a strength instead of a weakness. Sports bloggers – writing from the prospective of fans – spend a lot of time thinking about sports. I would dare to venture that I spend much more time thinking about the WNBA in my spare time than the print journalist for, say, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that attends the WNBA game. This is because my plate is free in my spare time, and she only has so many hours in her day. She might have to cover a different sports event every day. How much intellectual firepower can she direct to the WNBA?

Furthermore, her time is directed. She doesn’t have the leisure to think about what she wants to. She has an editor who wants to please the bulk of the readership, and that editor tells her what she has to do. This means reporting about “football and spring football” at least in Atlanta. If she becomes really good at her job she might be hired and given a beat, or if she’s even better she might be given an opinion column and can write about what she chooses. But without a full time beat or an opinion platform her priorities are set by someone else and her work is closely monitored.

Sports bloggers can set their own priorities. They’re not only mavens regarding their chosen sports but they’re their own editors. (If you read this blog, you can see how that could be a detriment.) If I want to do a statistical study of the WNBA for a full week, there’s no editor to stop me. I only have to please myself. This gives a sports blogger freedom that a reporter might envy.


Truth be told, there are good things about both blogging and journalism, and there’s a place at the media table for both art forms.

As a former newspaper reporter, I feel like I mix it up here. I have game reports that are straight accounts of the game (journalism); I have opinion pieces (both editorial and blog) like the “you’re a jerk” entry two weeks ago; I have posts where I include questions and musings.

I enjoy the freedom of blogging because it allows me to insert invaluable human perspective, which is what life is all about in the end. But I also write for a website, and “just the facts, maam” is necessary sometimes too.

Bottom line: it’s a good idea to get news from both places. Sports journalism and sports blogging compliment – not contrast.

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