Sunday, December 9, 2018
Page 770

Welcome to the “real world,” young lady

About five hours ago on twitter, Kristi Tolliver commented, “Weird that we have no team meal together….where did college go?”

It’s a cold, impersonal world much of the time. Hang in there, youngin.

Sparks open practice fan event – Betty Lennox (and a lil “Noey”)

I still can’t get over the change in Betty. Look at the relaxed and happy photos of her from media day Wednesday. Then imagine her dancing with Delisha Milton-Jones and Shannon Bobbitt while the rest of the team urged them on.

Coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Betty’s in a good place.

Betty returns from the sideline with a jersey prior to the beginning of the practice.

Betty looking down court……I’m lovin the new style with the braids that she’s rockin.

Noelle Quinn will make the roster, believe it.

Sparks open practice fan event – CP returns

They did the team intros, and there was no Candace Parker – even on the sidelines. I think we were all disappointed, but then suddenly the announcer guy introduced her too, and she stepped from out of the hallway and into the door to the gym.

She looked exactly the same as she did before, 10 days after giving birth. CP does indeed live a charmed life.

She said a few very brief words, then turned to co-owner Kathy Goodman.

Then CP went to the other side of the court and hung out at the scorer’s table.

After getting a message, she headed back across the court, via the sidelines.

CP came to get some lucky kid sitting right in front of me. Someone behind me asked her where the baby was. Candace smiled and said, “chillin.”

Sparks open practice fan event – the team

The scene today was at Los Angeles Southwest College, with about 450-500 fans in attendance. The even was billed as an open practice, and it begun with Coach Michael Cooper introducing each team member, who said a few words.

Before commencing the practice, he had everyone stand up and clap. The usual suspects started dancin and gettin jiggy with it: Delisha Milton-Jones and Shannon Bobbitt, aka the team jokesters. But I couldn’t believe my eyes because there was a third dancer – none other than the formerly-serious and intense Betty Lennox. I love it!

Intros before the beginning of the practice……I can’t believe they will have to cut 2-3 people from this roster. Ouch.

Next three photos: they warm up with shooting drills.

Every so often, they’d regroup at half-court to talk with coaches Cooper and Marianne Stanley.

Players wait on the sidelines for their turn in the five-woman weave drill.

As the practice drew to a close, there was dancing…….I couldn’t catch any of it, but they were most def dancin.

A sweaty Betty Lennox lead the winner of a Candace Parker-autographed ESPN Magazine down to the team for a dance and a presentation.

Aside from the five-woman weave, they did more shooting and featured a one-player run and shoot drill (as she took the pass from her teammate) that competed with the other half of the team across the court.

But I have to be honest: aside from the antics, it was boring. Me and those around me kept waiting for them to break into a scrimmage, and the clock kept ticking down in increments as someone kept re-setting it. We’d think cool, this is it and here comes the scrimmage. It never happened, and it was a let down.

Hopefully the Sparks’ other events this season will be more fun-filled.

Hawaii scoop

Former USC Coach Mark Trakh is in Hawaii for his second interview for the UH women’s basketball coaching job.

A shoe for the Q-angle?

I hope the claims of this shoe maker are true:

http://www.nfinity.com/basketball/footwear.aspx

First glimpse into Sparks training camp

Cooper maintained he didn’t have a set starting lineup, though he acknowledged the combination of Noelle Quinn, Betty Lennox, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Tina Thompson and Lisa Leslie “is a very good lineup for us.” That unit often played together in Friday’s practice, but players at Wednesday’s media day said Cooper has fielded between five and seven different combinations.

And:

Cooper on Wisdom-Hylton: “Active rebounder, real good passer for a big, has that diversity that we like in our bigs in being able to play multiple positions. She showed she can move around to the 3. Five might be out of her realm, but against certain teams she may be able to play the 5 spot.”

Cooper on Paris: “Ashley is a better ball handler than expected. She’s another one that can move out and play multiple positions. I know in college she was mainly just a 4 most of the time. But here she’s probably going to have to put in a little work at the 3. So that’s always a good thing because again the more positions you can play, the more minutes you can spend out on the court.”

Link: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/05/michael-cooper-on-sparks-training-camp-were-ahead-of-everybody-.html

I have some scoop myself from a reliable source: Lennox has been on fire in practices; Bobbitt’s hard work in the off-season is showing up in quick cuts and very good court vision; everyone has been doing a lot of communicating on the court during scrimmages; and Noelle Quinn is making an excellent case for a starting spot.

I can’t believe they’re going to have to cut three from this roster. Anyway you go, it will be painful.

Hackney rumors confirmed

Kendall Hackney wants out of USC:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090520/SPT0301/905210356/1062/SPT/Ms.+Basketball+Hackney+asks+for+release+from+USC

I wonder what USC is going to do.

And the second cuts in the WNBA are……..

Doneeka Hodges and Sherrill Baker from Indiana today:

http://www.wnba.com/transactions/WNBA_2009.html

Cuts have been very slow in coming this season so far. Either teams are taking their time in deciding, with the low 11-player cap, or they want to keep everyone they can for as long as they can.

Sidney Spencer ready to roll with the Liberty

Maria M. Cornelius does it again, this time with a nice feature on former Lady Vol Sidney Spencer, who will play her third WNBA season this summer with the New York Liberty:

http://tennessee.scout.com/2/866757.html

Spencer has both fans who say she hasn’t been given a chance, to detractors that say she’s slow. This will be the telling season for the forward.

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