Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WNBA Finals, Game 1

The opening game of WNBA championship game was yesterday. And it was shown on a semi-legit channel, free with your paid cable bill channel, a channel that more than 10 people get, maybe you have heard of it, it's called ESPN2.

Congrats to Diana Taurasi for wining the league's MVP Award this year before the game. She would be my first pick on any team!

Okay, we reported here how great it was that Indiana's Larry Bird, Pacers Sports and Entertainment President, bought 9,000 seats for the deciding game three of the WNBA semi-finals. Indiana went on to win that game. Someone in Phoenix must have read our article, because, Women Talk Sports reports that "Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr bought the entire the upper-level of US Airways Center for game one of the 2009 WNBA Finals". He only bought 7,000 seats to Bird's 9,000.

Steve Kerr was quoted, “Both of us were part of championship teams and understand the importance of a packed house. For anyone who doubts the WNBA level of play, this is an opportunity to see for yourself. I challenge any doubters to come see the talent, skill and intensity on the court."

Okay, we know we had absolutely nothing to do with Steve Kerr getting into the act. We also love his message, if you are not a fan of Women's Basketball, come see it free. Wow, great, our hat's off to both of you...but....these guys shouldn't be spending their own money. The management should be giving away the seats, with the same message, we are so sure you will love the talent and intensity, especially during the finals, come see it for free. The building can give away the cheap seats, or charge a dollar, or somthing to encourage more fans of this greaet game.

Here's another way to fill the seats, have an exciting, well contested, highly skilled game! And, apparently, they did. The game was a marketing dream, there was a lot of scoring, the game went into over time, goats were turned into heroes (Cappie Pondexter), and everyone scored at least 20 points.

Check out this quote, "Well, if you didn't like women's basketball," Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said, "I think you do now."

Win, win, win. Except for the Indiana Fever, which actually lost to the Phoenix Mercury, 120, to 116 in over time.

Can't wait for game two.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lisa Leslie

The WNBA finals are set. The good news is the Western Conference Champion Phoenix Mercury will play the Eastern Conference Champion Indiana Fever starting Tuesday. Good news, that is if you live in or are fans of Phoenix and/or Indiana. The bad news is, for us Lisa Leslie fans anyway, is that Phoenix defeated the LA sparks and Lisa Leslie is now officially retired from the WNBA. I know the LA Sparks really wanted to send her out with a win and a championship. The great Mechelle Voepel writes a great article on her final game and sums her career.

We were watching the press conference after the game and Lisa Leslie was blasting people for not coming out and supporting the WNBA more. Our memories can be faulty, but we think we remember her saying she was mad not many fans came out to the deciding game three of the semi-final conference game in Phoenix. We can’t seem to find a video clip of it, though, but will keep scouring that there Internet.

Well, Phoenix could do what Indiana did. Did you see Larry Bird bought 9,000 seats to the Indiana Fever’s game three of the semi finals? It seems this Larry Bird guy, who used to play pro basketball for the men’s Indiana team, is now the president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, which includes the Fever. He is proud the Fever are in the semi finals and is aware they have never made it to the finals. So he made the decision to put up $90,000 of his own money to by $9,000 ten-dollar seats. Players have always maintained that sometimes crowds can be the intangible difference, and he wanted to insure a big crowd.

According the “The Indy Channel,” some of the people who lined up for tickets Saturday said they probably wouldn't have come to the game, but the free tickets made it an easy choice.

"I personally have never been a big woman's basketball fan, but I wanted to come out and show my support," said Christa Eldrige.

Oh, the Fever ended up beating the Detroit Shock to advance to the WNBA finals.

We salute Larry Bird for fronting the money for the seats, but asking one person to put up the cost for the seats is not a reasonable long term solution to the problem of low attendance. (Okay, let’s acknowledge there is low attendance at WNBA games in general and not debate why. Let’s save that for another day.) What if the arena itself were to proclaim, “We have so much faith in our team and that you will love them once you come to see them that we will put up the seat expense ourselves.” Meaning they give away the cheap seats to entice more people to come to games and can gain some money from parking and concessions and hopefully make more fans for life. If the cheap seats are going to go unused anyway, I don’t see what the arenas have to lose.

Oh, in happier news, C and R got to spend the day looking at Lisa Leslie clips, not a bad way to spend a day. The WNBA site had highlights of Lisa Leslie. It was cool to see clips from early on in her career, the first season in particular where she was so happy, a big smile on early play, playing to the fans. She showed lots of emotion on every drive to the basket, would make a block and then a give a fist pump. They showed “The Dunk”, and how she immediately hugged her teammates rather than just beat her chest, to share the moment with them. We thought, wow, the WNBA did a good job picking clips where after the play Lisa is smiling and high-fiving teammates and really into the game with emotion. Then we realized as the clips kept going on, no that’s how she played, so happy, the joy showing and the emotion spreading around her and radiating like sun rays warming my cats.

Mechelle Voepel reports that Lisa wants to run a basketball academy for girls and work in broadcasting, and might like to coach someday. She also wants to remain a strong advocate for women’s sports and help WNBA rookies to be role models and be aware how they represent the game.

She didn’t go out with a win or the championship, but she went out a class act.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Glamour Part II

We have a letter! From a fan! We have a fan. We have a fan not related to us genetically or geographically.

He wrote about our commentary on the Jayne in Glamour blog. And he mostly agrees with us. Another reason to post what he said!

Let me share with you what he said, because, well, he writes so much better than C and R! Let’s hope he doesn’t get in the blogging business.

The magazine's emphasis on physical appearance, for a woman who is clearly a role model based on a unique combination of both athletic and academic excellence, is most definitely the wrong message. As a father of two teen-aged daughters, the societal obsession with appearance has been a continual battle, both with regard to their self-esteem and their focus (or lack thereof) on areas of development that really matter. All crazy, because they look just fine.

I must have read the article differently, because I was much more impressed with Jayne's future plans: "Off the court, Appel was inspired by a family member who suffers from mental illness to do advocacy work on the issue and volunteer for a support group. The psychology major plans to graduate early so she can prepare for the WNBA and expects to pursue a career in mental health advocacy." (Yes, she did say that.)

Signed your number one (and only one) fan.
(Okay, we made that closing remark up.)

C and R writing again:
Oops, we kinda glossed over that part about Jayne doing "advocacy work" and well, Jayne, we owe you an apology. C and R are sorry if we portrayed you as shallow and not having long term goals outside of sports. We hope you make it to the WNBA and use your fame to support worthy causes that are important to you. (I know this sounds snarky in a written form, but we really do mean this, sincerely.) C mostly wanted to comment on the type of magazine Glamour was and question if being in it was sending the right message to young people, not attack you personally.

(R always wonders if the Stanford players read this blog. C always say no, but R is the more hopeful one of the bunch. So Jayne, if you are sitting around the dorm munching popcorn with JJ, show her we apologized, hee hee.)

Oh, want to see what we wrote back to our fan? (We need to fill some more space)

Opening paragraph, thanks for writing, blah blah, blah.....

Second paragraph, C writing here:
Growing up in the 1970's (shhh, no one do the math…), I was a tag-along little sister to my older brothers, (just like Jayne following her brothers) and at first played sports because they did, and then later fell in love with all things sports! (Is that a proper sentence?). My Mom did not understand this obsession with sports and my absolute lack of desire to be ladylike and wear skirts and high heels. Good thing I had all that "boy training" so when I played girl sports in high school I was good because I had been taught to play like a GUY and not ladylike!! (Not the case today, women athletes are more properly trained to play like a guy, or more aptly put, aggressively and at a higher level.) I hate when women athletes are forced to appear "feminine" for convention and society's sake. But I digress...

Oops, we did kinda gloss over the part where Jayne said she wanted "to do advocacy work on the issue and volunteer for a support group". I guess I better go write Jayne an apology. (See above, Jayne)

Keep raising those daughters right, with lots of self esteem and confidence and they will reward you be abandoning you and taking all your money and your sheets and pillow cases to go away to college to study engineering, a traditional "man's" major, as my daughter did this fall.... hee hee.... oh, I digress again.

Half of C and R
Stanford WBB

Geez, how many more days until college basketball season starts?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We see Stanford center Jayne Appel is featured in Glamour Magazine. The article is entitled, Glamour’s 2009 Top 10 College Women. According to the article, they do this every year, and it’s a competition. We quote, “Every year, Glamour’s Top 10 College Women Competition honors budding leaders in every field - Martha Stewart won back in 1961! But the 2009 crew blew us away. Let them inspire you to dream big and make it happen!”

C and R had different reactions, naturally. Read below.

C: Are you kiddin' me?! Glamour!?! Is this the message you want to send to little girls! She is Stanford educated, tough as nails, and a hard worker, why does she want to be seen in a magazine that bills itself as, “For young women interested in fashion, beauty and a contemporary lifestyle.”

Last year Jayne was All American everything and this year she is a preseason favorite for the Wooden Award and Wade Trophy, two awards that reward women’s top college basketball player, and as reported by this site earlier, has been invited to try out for the USA National Basketball Team. She is a role model in her own right, in playing sports, and not a role model being concerned about shallow appearances and whether or not she has her flip flops (an unfortunate quote).

R: Okay, when C first sent me the link I read all 10 women’s profiles. And of course the first thing that jumped out at me was this “can’t live without” quote: Mascara. “I wore it through basic training, field training, you name it!” Sigh. Of course, the young women who made this quote is attending West Point and wants to be a doctor, no mean feat.

Upon closer look, all of the super stars have future plans to help others, except Jayne. She wants to play in the WNBA. Then I thought that playing in the WNBA is a short-term goal for three to five years, maybe longer, than she can take her Stanford degree and apply herself in the business world. Thank goodness she does have the option of playing a women’s professional sport here in America before she goes onto have another career. Will she dedicate her business career to helping others, as these other women have stated? Only time will tell. Also, many professional women’s athletes use their fame and notoriety, small as it may be, to endorse some great charitable causes. Candice Wiggins uses her persona to raise awareness and money around AIDS. Getting involved with charity work is certainly something Jayne could do as an athlete. This level of public awareness to be involved in a “cause” is not afforded the other nine women listed.

Getting back to C’s point that being seen in a women’s magazine that is dedicated to fashion and beauty is detrimental, well, I am not so sure. The writing in this particular article Jayne appears in highlights some wonderfully caring and smart women. My office mate told me see saw that Stanford basketball player in Glamour magazine (she knows I am a Stanford fanatic). She doesn’t follow sports of any kind and just the fact that she noticed a women athlete in the pages associated with femininity is a good thing. Some people think women who play sports are rough, dirty and unwomanly, read unfeminine. If Jayne can change some people’s minds that a women athlete can be tough, smart and well, a women, then maybe people won’t be so unreceptive to female athletes, and we can get more people to support women’s sports.

Readers, what do you think? Discuss amongst yourselves or drop us a line.

National Team Members?

Stanford center Jayne Appel and former Stanford star Candice Wiggins have been invited to the USA Basketball National Team tryouts. (Okay, someone has got to tell the official photographer to stop taking the women's pictures in front of the Olympic rings. With their heads in the middle of the five rings, it looks like they are wearing Mickey Mouse ears- but we digress).

Both Candice and Jayne have been on the US “College” National Teams for championships in off Olympic years. But now they have been invited to the Big Girls Team! Okay, they were really invited to the US Women’s National Team’s fall training camp to play in the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

This could be the stepping stone for Candice and Jayne to be on the Olympic Team in 2012! It is a great honor just to be asked to training camp, one Candice was certainly hoping for when we talked to after the last game of the WNBA season, so we know she is very excited. They will join some really great women who will also be trying out, and some members who have already been picked, so although the Olympics are a long shot for both of them (Jayne is still injured) we wish then the best of luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Smack Dab in the Middle of the Playoffs

Well, the WNBA conference finals are set. It is the Detroit Shock vs. the Indiana Fever in the East, and the LA Sparks vs. the Phoenix Mercury in the West.

C and R are glad to see Lisa Leslie and LA are still alive, although they made it close in the conference semi-finals, going to three games and all with Seattle. We would love to see her close out her remarkable career with a championship. And Candace Parker is playing remarkable well for a woman WHO JUST HAD A BABY! Let’s see the NBA players do that! We hope LA does well against Phoenix, even though we hate to root against Diana Taurasi.

Games start Wednesday.

Oops, almost forgot, the Stanford women are back on American soil, going 3-1 in their tour of Italy. We can’t see them play until November 1st. JJ writes about all the great stuff they saw.

Remember when C and R said they met up with Michelle Smith, the reporter that covered women’s Bay Area basketball for the San Francisco Chronicle and then took a buy out because they were cutting her job anyway, at the Sacramento Monarchs Game….do you? Well, anyhoo, she has not one, not two, but three blogs! Well, really three and a half as she sends stuff to WomenTalkSports, same as us! Geez, some days it’s all C and R can do to get out of bed and get on with their hum drum lives, let alone muster up enough energy to write a blog and here Micelle has three! (three and a half!). Of course, be kind to C, she is teaching her 15 and ½ year old son to drive and she is practically catatonic after each “joy ride” that it is all she can do to get from the car back to the house in one piece….but we digress. Here are all three of Michelle’s blog sites: AOL Fan House, and CSN Bay Area, and still under construction, LeftCoastHoops.

Go get ‘em, Michelle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Game!

Okay, let’s back up a minute now that we have had some time to catch our breath with our fantastic experience getting a press pass to watch the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs play their final regular season game against the Minnesota Lynx.

On the loooong car ride up to Sacramento (Why, oh why, can’t they bring a WNBA team closer to the Bay Area, where women’s basketball enjoys so much support?), C turns on her computer so C and R can think of some non-lame questions to ask the players. Her computer instantly crashes and she frantically tries to restore it to an earlier, happier time when everything worked while hurtling 80 MPH in a white Toyota Corolla. And the only questions they can think of are lame indeed.

We get in and the Monarchs staff could not have been more professional or courteous to us. We marvel at the free parking, free food, and free admittance to the game with front row seats. We are in heaven.

We briefly visit the Monarchs locker room before they kick us out (looks a little small compared to all the locker room shots of Michael Jordan and gang seem to enjoy). We sit next to a beat writer for Outward Magazine who has been following the team for years and she gives us a lot of insider information. The first of which is we can’t cheer while sitting at press row. R is so totally bummed. The worst thing for C is she can’t pick up on the freebies. Some fans have the bang sticks with tassels. She is jealous.

Although this game means nothing to either team, both are out of the play-offs, we are keeping our eye on ex-Stanford grad and current Monarch Nicole Powell. She needs 5 points to break the franchise record of 545 set by Yolanda Griffith. Early in the game she misses her first three, but connects on the next two to get the record.

Both teams are playing for pride and are hustling down the court. The refs are not calling a lot of fouls and they game is getting rough. We notice Minnesota Lynx Candice Wiggins, another former Stanford player, is not playing point. More like an off guard. She is having a cold shooting night, as are most of the Lynx.

In one series Candice gets three straight rebounds, which means she keeps missing easy put backs. Where is the box out, Sacramento? Finally she gets the rebound and tenaciously puts it in. We want to cheer for Candice even though we are not supposed to, and this is Sacramento’s home game. Nicole Powell keeps firing away, though.

The t-shirt squad comes out and we are dying to stand up and yell for one. We watch them sail over our heads and it is killing us!

We see Courtney Paris come in the game. We are sorry to say she still looks out of shape, and this is the end of the season. She does look tough inside on defense, getting rebounds, but disappears on offense. We talk again to our seatmate on the right, and we a have discussion about her weight. Our seatmate has been following the team for years and she says Courtney has a hard time fitting in to Sacramento’s system, which is tough defense with lots of movement.

We see the Sacramento Monarch mascot come out during a time out. So what kind of mascot is Monty, anyway? Is he a cross between an elephant/hippopotamus/dinosaur? During a time out, he comes out with the rap crew in a psychedelic swimsuit and flashes the crowd. Sigh, is that proper mascot behavior?

It is half time, and so far it is all Sacramento. Our seatmate said Sacramento was going to give non-starters a chance to play, but you can tell the coach wants to win this by keeping in most of his starters and all of Nicole Powell. She has 18 points at the half.

C and R have one mission at half time. We want to meet up with the great Michelle Smith. She wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle about women’s college basketball, not sports, but exclusively women’s basketball, and then last year the paper axed her to “save money”. Well, okay, we have two missions, to meet up with the great Michelle Smith and find our way back to the media lounge for more cookies.

We see Michelle at the other end of press row and introduce ourselves. We talk women’s basketball. We ask what she is up to. She has a new contract to write about women’s basketball at Fanhouse, which is part of AOL. See Michelle Smith’s writing for yourself. She also is getting another blog up to write more content. She is one busy lady and we are glad she has landed on her feet after the Chronicle so rudely puling the rug out form under her.

The game starts back up and Nicole Powell has 25 points with 4 minutes to go. The Lynx are only making 25% of their shots, and that is unacceptable at the pro level. The Monarchs easily win 88-66 and sends the crowd home happy.

We go to Minnesota’s locker room and use our press privilege to request a private, one-on-one interview with Candice. To our surprise, they say yes and as we wait in the hallway, we feel like kids playing grown ups and about to be caught and thrown out any second. We see Minnesota’s Head Coach, Jen Gillom, and listen in as the Monarchs media staff interviews her. She instantly rubs her feet ands says, “these high heels are killin’ me!” And it is all C and R can do to not interject with how we hate that coaches of women’s teams have to dress “feminine” when coaches of men’s teams, such as football, can wear more comfortable team gear, such as a polo shirt with the team logo. She praised her team for their heart and effort. She seemed to connect with her players while on the court, too.

The media relations man bangs on the door several times calling for Wiggins, as she has another event after us. Turns out she is going to speak to the Stanford Women’s Basketball Fast Break Club group that made the trip from the Bay Area.

Then Candice comes out in all her smiling and personable glory. We introduce ourselves and tell her we have been following her from her days at Stanford (And wonder if she recognizes her old stalkers from the Stanford days!). We ask what she is going to do in the off season and she said is headed to Greece for pro ball and keeping herself open for the National Team try outs, (we wished her luck) and trying to get batter at playing basketball.

C and R have seen dominate college players, such as Candace Parker, but still to this day they marvel at how Candice took just an above average Stanford team and willed them into the National Title game on her charisma and personality alone, not just her basketball ability. That was very rare and awesome to witness. We mentioned this to Candice and she said the women were awesome to lead, and gave all the credit back to the Stanford players. We read between the lines that they were also willing to buy into Candice’s optimism and confidence. We asked her how the WNBA was different, and she answered that everyone here is at a different phase in their life, in terms of basketball experience and life experience. Again, we are reading between the lines because her teammates are older, or at different points in their life she cannot lead them on her confidence and optimism like she did at the college level.

Candice’s schedule was tight, so we walked with her to pick up friends and go to the Fast Break Club. R watched the LA Sparks final home game, and the final home game of Lisa Leslie’s career a few days ago. The Lynx were the opponent and Candice was quoted as saying Lisa Leslie was the face of the WNBA and she admired that Lisa is the face of the WNBA and was still feminine. So R asked Candice about that.

Candice was eager to talk about how great Lisa was, and here she was in the final game, 37, a mother, yet still setting screens and banging around with everyone. Here are more comments from Candice about Lisa.

We followed her on the elevator (like the good stalkers we are) and watched her walk into the Stanford Fast Break Club and receive a warm welcome. Someone asked what was the hardest thing about being in the WWNBA and Candice said the travel. She said in college, they would talk the whole week before they were going to the East Coast and how important it was to get on East Coast time, and in the WNBA you are in a different city practically every night and the main focus is don’t miss the bus. She said it gets very wearing.

Nicole Powell also showed up and thanked everyone for coming, talked about her life as a Monarch, as Candice had to go catch her bus. It was a perfect end to a prefect night. We had so much fun covering a women’s basketball game.

It was great to see Candice, and she did tell the Fast Break club that whenever she sees someone with a Stanford shirt that means something to her, because Stanford always will hold such a special place in her heart. With Candice you can believe it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Here courtside at the Sacramento Monarchs Game vs. the Minnesota Lynx. It's half time and Nicole Powell continues to light it up. She got her 5 points ands more to set the single season franchise record for scoring. She currently sits at 18. Sacramento is ahead 41-34. Minnesota seems to be in a scoring slump, and Candice Wiggins is not doing much to help that. Found the press room again and got more cookies and popcorn! They sure do take care of the press! More later.

quick hi from courtside!

Quick hi from courtside. C and R are now watching both teams warm up. We are trying to be impartial, but our seats are closer to the Lynx, and we are enjoying watching Candice Wiggins warm up. Candice walks right by us while warming up. Hi Candice, remember us, your stalkers from Stanford? She is dancing to the warm-up music. She shows off her vertical leap in a drive to the basket.

A stirring National Anthem and a pretty good crowd, the game is almost here! We are excited.

When they introduce Candice, R screams and the journalist on the other side tells us we media need to be impartial. We will be quiet for now!

Almost Game Time

Okay, we survived the drive up to Sacramento. We found the press entrance (almost knocked over a few handicapped people rushing through). We are here to blog about the Sacramento Monarchs and Minnesota Lynx game, the last game of the season for both.

R is so excited she can’t even think. We got free parking and free admittance and when they said help yourself to the free food for the media, and then all the questions we thought up on the drive up went out of our heads!!

We got access to the Sacramento Monarchs locker room and right off the bat saw Kara Lawson in street clothes. She’s been injured about a month (left leg). She is looking forward to her gig at ESPN with March Madness. Who wouldn’t love a job like that? We are so excited one of the players asked if we had any more questions, so was so sweet to us, we think it was Laurie Harper.

We found our seats courtside. We are in the front row. R walked out to take a picture of C typing away, and Candice Wiggins was on the court at the same time.

We are getting excited about the start of the game! Cheerleaders from the local women’s football team, yes you heard us, that wasn’t one of C’s glorious typos, cheerleaders from the local women’s team perform. We talk to a friendly statistician before the game. He is sitting next to us in the front row. We do note Nicole Powell needs five more points to surpass Yolanda Griffith’s franchise records of 545 points in a season. We tell him to nudge us when it happens so we don’t miss it.

It’s a few minutes before the game. We don’t want to blog live and get us or anyone else in trouble, so we’ll write more at half time!

Going to Sacto

We are off to Sacto to see the Minnesota Lynx play the Sacramento Monarchs. Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, but we are excited because, as we reported earlier, C and R get media credentials and get to join press row! We hope we get to speak to the players before and after the game. Now, we need to think of some not-lame questions to ask them.

We decided not to blog live, as there are restriction in order to protect the WNBA’s live access investment on the WNBA website. That’s okay, we are cool with that. We might send an update at half time or something to tell you we made it and how much we are enjoying the experience. Chat soon….

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sacramento Monarchs

OMG, we almost forgot, C and R are going to the Sacramento Monarchs last game of the regular season Sunday. It will probably be the last game of the year for Sacramento, as they are currently in sixth place, and the top four teams go on to the play offs.

But we don’t care; they will be playing the Minnesota Lynx, and our favorite hometown girl Candice Wiggins, and the game will probably mean something to the Lynx, as they are currently tied for fourth place with San Antonio and are trying to secure that last playoff slot.

But none of that matters much to us, either, as C and R and this blog are going to be issued their first press pass!!

We were invited to view a Sacramento game in August and write about it for our blog (free publicity for everyone), and we talked to the Media Relations director and asked if we could attend the last home game of the season with a press pass. Much to our surprise, she said yes and showed us around press row. There was a stodgy gentleman already there who gave us the evil eye, probably because he was “a real journalist”, sniff, and we were just bloggers. Either way, we are gonna have us some fun!

So what if we don’t have to hold ourselves to the same journalistic standards as members of the journalistic press do, and we can exaggerate and use hyperbole to our hearts content? Is that our fault we like to write our opinions about something we love (women’s basketball in general, and Stanford Women’s basketball in particular)? Our blog was once asked to participate in a survey about sports bloggers and many of the questions dealt with, “Do you think bloggers should be held to the same standards as newspapers? I know what they were trying to get at, but we answered no. As long as we are up front that we are a blog, stating our opinions in a legal way (libel and slander are still out, bloggers), and do not pretend to represent an official entity (speak for Stanford, or any of its players in any official capacity), then I think we are in the clear to give our opinions, and yes, sit at press row. We give the “experience” of seeing a women’s game. Anyone can open up the paper and get the box score….well, anyone whose hometown newspaper actually happens to post a box scores of women’s sports, our two local papers don’t do a good job of it. We tell you what it was like to be there as a wide eyed, admiring fan, and not some jaded journalist….whoops, just kidding ‘bout the “jaded” part. You get he idea. Stay tuned for our blog of the whole ordeal and whether or not we get the cold shoulder or any nasty comments directed our way, and if we get into the locker room to see Courtney Paris, Nicole Powell, and Candice Wiggins!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hall of Fame and Italy

In non-related to Stanford basketball news, Highly respected and much-honored C. Vivian Stringer, head coach of the Rutgers women's basketball team, will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. With C and R's favorite male basketball player, Michael Jordan…

Here is what Stanford's head coach, Tara VanDerveer, said about Coach Stringer: "Congratulations to Coach Stringer for this tremendous and well-deserved honor. I have the ultimate respect and admiration for Coach Stringer. She represents the best of basketball and I am also happy to call her a friend."

In news that is related to Stanford Women’s Basketball, the team is still in Italy, two for two in games played and 20 for 20 in gelato bought and eaten. Four players are already out for the count. Well, these four players were previously injured, had surgery, are in rehab, and don’t know the date they will be back. The four not playing are: Jane Appel (knee), JJ Hones (knee), Sarah Boothe (foot) and Hannah Donaghe (knee). Glad to see the team is getting out and seeing the sites:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Italian Practice

Tara VanDerveer began basketball practice a little ahead of the time the NCAA rules says you can. But it's okay, she wasn't technically breaking the rules and won't be fined and/or forfeit wins like Michigan or FSU seemingly does like clockwork. Although this just in, Uconn, and Geno Auriemma and the women's basketball team got its wrist slapped for 7 NCAA violations, one specifically for overpaying athletes with meal money, but in our glee we digress.

College basketball programs are allowed to take on off-season trip abroad every four years like the Olympics and this is Stanford's year, and therefore allowed to practice ahead of time. Remember Cal's trip to Africa last year? The Stanford women are going to Italy Friday, Sept 4th, and will play 3-4 games against Italian teams (wonder if they will play and/or see Jill Harmon, ordered to Italy off her NZ Tall Ferns team by the mafia, I mean her Italian team--oops, just kidding).

On one hand, Tara and team get a leg up on the rest of the country, starting to practice early and play games together. On the other hand freshmen cannot participate, so they are leaving out top recruits Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef. They cannot practice early or go on the trip. Think of all the bonding opportunities (and great food) they will miss. Is it worth it to start your freshmen off feeling unloved, and left behind? Think of all the in-jokes they won't get later on, such as when JJ Hones says something like, "Mama Mia" to something Tara says in practice and everyone laughs but them, they will feel so left out.

Oh, in other news, don't show up for the Cal game Sunday, Jan. 3rd, because it has been moved to Saturday, Jan 2nd. Hope they have a way to notify everyone. And Stanford's home game against USC has been moved to Feb 7th, from Feb 6th. The home game against Tennessee on Dec. 19th will start earlier at 11:30 AM.

Got all that? Good. See ya then.