Monday, July 27, 2009

All Stars All Entertaining

OMG….. and no, I am not practicing my texting or posting to twitter or whatever, I am flabbergasted about the WNBA’s All Star game. Man, if they played ‘em like that every night, they would fill the arenas. A record high scoring game, a dunk, old teammates hooking up, Diana Taurasi’s high socks….

It helped they played the game in the women’s basketball capital of the world, Sun Arena, in Connecticut, the heart of Uconn. Speaking of which, five former Uconn players were at the game and four played a significant part. Even UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was there.

The West’s coach put Charde Houston, Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi in the line up at the same time. They were running Uconn plays! Taurasi got 18 points, Charde, in her first All Star game got 16, and Sue Bird set a record of 10 assists, beating the old record of 9 by Taurasi. She also finished with 16. Swin Cash scored 22 and got the MVP. Poor Asjha Jones. She missed the fun, playing for the East and only got 6 points, without the great supporting cast.

Last minute replacement (and former Stanford gal, at least there was one of us) almost got the high score. She was the first to get to 21 points, breaking the old record of 20, but Swin got a basket in the closing minutes to get to 22, and the MVP honors. The West would go on to win 130-118, also a record.

Sylvia Fowles was the dunkee, although she messed up the first time. The East was kind enough to give her another chance. It looked good, too.

With the All Star weekend out of the way, the teams are back to the grindstone. Candace Parker is just starting to get in playing shape down in LA. Candice Wiggins’ team, the Minnesota Lynx, has dropped to third after the great start they had. Taurasi is all business after serving her two game suspension for a DUI. Indiana is rallying behind their second year coach leads the East.

Friday, July 24, 2009

All Stars

Ex-Stanford player and current Sacramento player Nicole Powell is in her first WNBA All-Star game. With an injury to LA Sparks starter Lisa Leslie, Nicole was added to the team, although the coach still has to pick who starts. Maybe Lisa injured herself appearing on the ABC show The Superstars. No, it was previously taped? Okay. Read her funny blog about it here. And what was up with the bad basketball stategy on that show?

But we digress….

C and R was surprised that Candice Wiggins wasn’t tapped for the All Stars for the last month she had, but that is kinda the point, you have to play all year ‘round like an all star. Even the great Candace Parker, last yeaers MVP and Rookie of the year didn’t make the all star team, what with missing most of the first half of the season on maternity leave. Two of our Candice’s Minnesota Lynx teammates went, though, Nicky Anosike and Charde Houston. With fewer WNBA teams and great talent, it is getting harder and harder to make the all star team.

Watch them all play Saturday, July 25th, 3:30 PM Eastern Time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Girls Won Gold

Our girls Stanford's, Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen, played key roles in helping the 2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team get the gold. Team USA beat Russia 83-64. Kayla just missed a double double again, getting 11 points and 9 rebounds. Pohlen gave out five assists to a talent-laden team and scored 7 points herself.

This is Kayla's third career gold medal with USA Basketball. She won gold at the FIBA U18 World Championships in 2006 and at the FIBA U19 World Championships in 2007. For Jeanette, this is her first time on Team USA, and her first gold medal.

In other news, head coach Tara VanDerveer wrote to R and told her to buy the Season Tickets again because Stanford’s money foundation has dropped to only half a trillion or 5 billion, or something like that. No, we kid you Stanford, we kid you because we love you! The personalized form letter for money was a nice touch. Anyway, Tara is excited about incoming freshmen Joslyn Tinkle….Must… Not… Make….. Fun…. Of….. Name….. Boy, that was hard. If we can’t make fun of her name, that doesn’t mean you can’t. Send us your jokes, now, before we explode.

Tinkle, oh yeah, that reminds us; she also won a gold medal with Team USA, as an Under 18, I think. So for the members of the incoming Stanford team, that makes 6 players that have a Gold Medal from Team USA. Pohlen, Pedersen, Jayne Appel, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Sarah Boothe and incoming freshman Joslyn Tinkle make the six. Necka has another shot at a medal at the end of July.

Is College Basketball Season here yet?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Say It Isn’t So, Diana!

Okay, I saw on other WNBA websites that Phoenix forward Diana Taurasi was pulled over for a DUI on July 2nd. I was shocked. I love Taurasi and always have thought of her as a role model.

And low and behold, my paper, the San Francisco Chronicle just put it in their paper today! On the back page, one inch of column, as usual, but 13 days late? Come on, SF!

More reports have surfaced, just not on the San Francisco Chronicle, that she was out with friends and ex-teammates (Sue Bird, Swin Cash), and that they were driving behind her. Boy, didn’t any of them have the sense to say, “D, give me your keys and let's call a taxi”?

So that got me thinking, always a dangerous thing. Should women athletes be role models? (This question is often asked of men, and Charles Barkley). Are women athletes held to a higher standard as role models (the good girl syndrome) than male athletes (boys will be boys)? Many male athletes have had DUIs, so what is the big deal?

I asked R what she thought of these questions. She said, “Drinking and partying with your friends is acceptable, and driving drunk is unacceptable, no matter who you are.” And on whether women athletes should be role models? She answered, “It might not be their choice to be a role model, but they are in the media, more than, say most business people and laypersons. Being in the media attracts fans, and sports figures, because they usually have to be in shape and healthy to play, are thought of as positive role models in their communities. So like it or not, they are role models.” Good answers.

One of the great things about joining Women Talk Sports is that I can ask other women bloggers about women athletes as role models, and they are so much smarter and articulate them me, too, and they nary make a typo.

Jane Schonberger of Pretty Tough Sports attended a panel called, The Athlete as Role Model awhile back and wrote about it. It is more scholarly than my ramblings. She wrote about how one question was answered:
“Why are athletes perceived as role models? The answers varied but several common points were raised. Athletes are held to different (albeit unrealistic) standards than actors and entertainers. While money and the media creates exposure for the athletes, they are often put on a pedestal without wanting the position.”

Ann Gaffigan, co-founder of Women Talk Sports writes:
“YES I think athletes, male and female, should strive to be good role models. I think sports serve that exact purpose to society: they inspire us by making us believe even the wildest dreams can come true. BUT, we should not expect athletes to be roles models in the sense that they are perfect beings because they are not and cannot be.”

Jayda Evans, who writes Women’s Hoops Blog for the Seattle Times, had several posts and related articles on the incident and aftermath. She reported that Diana met with the media and had the good sense to “be embarrassed”.

Well, that’s a start. Admitting her mistake and learning from it is always a stand-up kinda thing. She almost sounds like a role model.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to the Farm

Hey, we have some basketball news that actually pertains to the current Stanford women’s basketball team. The USA Women's Basketball team is playing in the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, and two of our girls are there (The third, Jayne Appel, withdrew because of knee surgery, remember?)

Stanford’s Kayla Pederson had nine points and 11 rebounds to help Team USA win 115-78 against the Czech Republic. Team USA is 5-0 and now advances to the medal semifinals and plays Australia on Thursday. And our Jeanette Pohlen added four points, three assists and a team-high three steals in the game. The coach is ex-Stanford Player Charli Turner Thorne.

If you want to watch the finals, they are set for July 11th; you just have to get up at 6 AM PT to be part of it.

The U19 USA team is getting their roster set for the World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand beginning July 23. Another Stanford player, Nnemkadi Ogwumike is on the team. Then we discover that another Stanford player, Sarah Boothe (Boooo-the, we like to yell) is out with a stress fracture in her right foot. She had surgery in June! No one told us! Dang, we hate that all our players are getting hurt and having surgeries.

We just hope everyone comes back healthy and happy, and with a gold medal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Candice Takin' Over

Candice Wiggins won her third straight game and scored over 20 points for the third straight game. Well, she had help from her Minnesota Lynx teammates, mostly ex-Tennessee Nicky Anosike, who added 20 and 10 rebounds. This time they beat the Atlanta Dream. Last year, Candice took a backseat role when Seimone Augustus was the star scorer, but she has come out of her shell since losing Seimone Augustus for the season with a torn ACL. Next up is the Sacramento Monarchs, with rookie Courtney Paris, who is only averaging 3 points a game.

And the other Candace, Candace Parker came back to The LA Sparks practice after having a baby girl May 13th. Lisa Leslie is also out for the Sparks with a sprained knee. No wonder the Sparks are hurting.

And, oh, check out Candace Parker in Time Magazine. She gets to answer 10 questions. Imagine, a mainstream media mag paying attention to women's sports, even if it was only 10 questions! She gives some really great answers, too. And oh, they have the interview online as a video, and it has even more detailed answers.

Speaking of the WNBA, they called. Well, the emailed us at little ol C and R to tell us about the Fast Break to Reading Program, an initiative created by Pitney Bowes and the WNBA to promote child literacy. The goal of the program is to have children log a collective one million reading minutes by the end of the summer. You can visit our site, Fast Break to Reading, to learn more details and find out how to get involved. We love when we get noticed by big time sites like the WNBA, and we do love reading, as well as basketball, so there is your plug of the day.