Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stanford Women's Basketball Preseason Awards

Women’s Basketball seems like it is taking FOR-ever to get here, so we can only be tantalized by some preseason awards for the Stanford Cardinal.

Nneka and Chiney OgwumikeFirst, Stanford Senior Nneka Ogwumike and her sophomore sister Chieny Oguwmike earned some preseason love. They were both named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 list. They are the only players from the Pac-12 on the list and one of seven schools with at least two players, facts we cribbed from the official Stanford article.

The list is “based on last year’s individual performance and team records, and are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor,” according to the Wooden website.

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer also won an award, following up her fun summer of being inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. This award is the Athena Award. The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce selects it. The award is for an "exceptional woman who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession; contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and actively assists women in realizing their full leadership potential," according to a news release and from the Palo Alto Online story. Sounds like that fits Tara to a Tee.

Congrats to all, and C and R are watching the minutes SLOWLY tick by until the first Stanford Women’s Basketball Game!

PS- Red shirt junior Sarah Boothe is cleared to practice. She is coming off shoulder surgery. Incoming freshmen Alex Green, who tore her ACL in high school, has also been cleared to practice with the Cardinal.

(Get even more Stanford Women’s Basketball chatter on C and R's Twitter.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Happenings

October has been a busy month. Women's college basketball practice officially started, Breast Cancer Awareness month is in full pink-force and Candice Wiggins finally has a major championship.

Candice Wiggins with TrophyFirst, Candice Wiggins. Candice Wiggins, who plays for the Minnesota Lynx, stayed healthy this year and provided that Candice-like-Spark off the bench. The Lynx has one of the most talented benches, along with Rookie of the Year Maya Moore in the starting lineup and swept the Atlanta Dream in the finals.  In 2008, Candice’s senior year at Stanford, she led Stanford to the championship game, Stanford’s first Final Four appearance since 1997, but they could not defeat a Candace Parker led Tennessee team. Candice won many individual awards while at Stanford, but never that elusive college championship. Now she has one as a pro. C and R could not be happier for her! (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Lynx Facebook page)

Pink RibbonOctober is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worthy cause to be sure. It promotes education and empowerment for all.  In the last few years, big institutions have jumped on the pink bandwagon, promoting BCAM by wearing or selling token pink things. NFL football “celebrates” Breast Cancer Awareness month by letting players and coaches wear pink gear, then auctioning it off. Cool, brings a lot of attention to breast cancer to a demographic that might not be as in touch with their inner pink.

But let the buyer beware. The campaign “Think Before You Pink,”started by Breast Cancer Action, makes it their mission to point out hypocrisy of companies that put a pink ribbon on their product yet donate a fraction (or none) of the profit.  They ask some good questions about products with pink ribbons and so should you. Here is the shorten version:

Critical Questions to Ask Before You Buy Pink
1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
3. How are the funds being raised?
4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

In other Basketball news, Women’s basketball practices started last week around the country, Stanford included. Curious, Geno Auriemma and Brittney Griner are overseas with the US Women’s National Team. Strange time to go, especially with the start of season and some of the best US players still participating in the WNBA finals. (And even stranger to C and R, trying to start another internet rumor, that Geno is helping his rival’s best player get better).

With basketball practices underway around the country, and now the WNBA over, C and R are even more anxious for college basketball games to officially start!