July 31, 2010

Next up: Mission Rec Center

No, of course it's not basketball season yet — we don't even have the eagerly-awaited official schedule.

What's up next is the two-out-of-three championship series of the 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League. The contenders are:

Mission Rec Center
who are led by Toni Russell, 5'3" point guard from the University of San Francisco class of '05. She was described then as, "... relentless competitor... aggressive offensively and disruptive defensively ..." and she hasn't slowed down any since. The team is based at the San Francisco Mission Recreation Center, which has a very active girls' basketball program. It is rumored that the team actually practices — an uncommon practice, if you will, for an SF Pro-Am team.
Golden State
a quasi Cardinal team, whose roster includes Sarah Boothe, Mikaela Ruef, Sara James, Toni Kokenis and Chiney Ogwumike. They practice too — five mornings a week from 7:00-8:30 — according to a recent article in The Stanford Daily.
The two teams have played each other once this summer. Mission Rec dealt Golden State its only loss of the summer 83-76.

There are seldom more than a few dozen Cardinal fans at an SF Pro-Am game. If you've been meaning to go to, but have never gotten around to it, next weekend is a great opportunity. The first two games of the championship series are next Saturday and Sunday, both at 2:00 pm at Kezar Pavilion.

Free basketball between two well-matched teams and an opportunity to see the Cardinal's entire freshman class in action — what could be better?

Chiney out-runs Mission Rec

July 18, 2010

Stanford players productive in summer-league game

Four of the five Stanford players on the Golden State roster scored in double figures on Saturday as Golden State knocked off Bay Pride in a women's San Francisco Pro-Am Summer League game.

See Judy Richter's Event Reports blog for a report of the game.

Each of the six teams in the league has now played the other five. Three of the teams (Golden State, San Francisco and Mission Rec Center) finished regular play with four wins and one loss. Golden State had the greatest scoring margin, so have been deemed the league winner. As such, they do not play in the first two playoff rounds. They'll play again on Aug 7, 8 and, if necessary, Aug 14 in the championship series.

Jake Curtis points out that the outcome of summer games is less important than player development. He evaluates each player's performance in the Pro-Am games and speculates about how they will fit into the Cardinal rotation next season. Read more...

July 15, 2010

Summer is no time to rest

Kevin Zhang (The Stanford Daily) reports what nine members of the Cardinal team are doing on-campus this summer to prepare for next season.

As a senior next year, Kayla will play a critical role for the title-seeking Cardinal. “During the summer we want to have the dedication and commitment necessary to succeed,” she said. “We want to increase our strength and quickness and get a higher vertical. Overall, we seek to have the physical edge over our opponents.”


July 14, 2010

Chiney wins Gatorade's top award

Chiney was named the National Girls Basketball Player of year by Gatorade in April. Today she won Gatorade's top award, National Female Athlete of Year, over national players of the year for softball, volleyball, soccer, track and cross country.

She was shocked and delighted when Lisa Leslie announced her name.

There are many reports of the award:

July 12, 2010

Whither the Cardinal?

By Judy Richter, FBC reporter:

Although this summer finds the majority of the Stanford women’s basketball team on campus for summer school, one player has opted for more exotic climes.

Senior guard Hannah Donaghe is in a Mexican rain forest as part of the course work for her earth systems major, according to associate head coach Amy Tucker.

Four others are staying in shape at their respective homes across the country. After post-season knee surgery, fifth-year senior guard Melanie Murphy is rehabbing at home in Brooklyn. Senior forward Ashley Cimino is farther north at her home in Maine, while junior guard Grace Mashore is farther south at her home in Virginia just outside Washington, D.C.

Meantime, sophomore forward Joslyn Tinkle is at home in Missoula, Montana, and working at basketball camps for her father, Wayne, men’s basketball coach at the University of Montana in Missoula.

The summer school contingent includes senior guard Jeanette Pohlen, senior forward Kayla Pedersen, junior forward Nneka Ogwumike, junior guard Lindy La Rocque, red-shirt sophomore center Sarah Boothe and sophomore forward Mikaela Ruef.

All of them also have been working at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camp. By the time the last session ends July 25, between 700 and 750 girls will have attended the camp, Amy said.

The three incoming freshmen – forward Chiney Ogwumike and guards Sara James and Toni Kokenis – also are attending summer school. In addition, the three of them, plus Sarah and Mikaela, are on a team playing in the San Francisco Pro-Am recreational basketball league on weekends at Kezar Pavilion.

The class of 2014 has time for more than studying and basketball
As for the recent graduates, center Jayne Appel is playing with the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She played with the WNBA all-star team against the USA team on July 10 and is also on the USA roster.

Forward Michelle Harrison, who hails from Utah, is in summer school at the University of Utah, where she’s working on a master’s degree in art. Because she has another year of eligibility, she is expected to play basketball, too. That means she’ll probably play against her former teammates when Utah and Stanford meet this coming season.

Guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude spent some time shadowing ESPN commentator Doris Burke and will interview for a job with ESPN, Amy said.

Amy, Tara and assistant coaches Bobbie Kelsey and Kate Paye have kept busy at hoops camp and on the recruiting trail. They’ll get some time away in August.

Limited practices for the 14 returning players start Sept. 15, followed by the first day of classes on Sept. 20. Regular practices start Oct. 5, Amy said.

July 11, 2010

Better officiating in our future?

Two months ago, the Pac-10 announced the appointment of Violet Palmer as the Pac-10 Conference’s Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officiating,

Recently, Michelle Smith interviewed Ms Palmer, who said, "Our [west coast] refereeing hasn’t been as good [as on the east coast] and it’s going to get better." She is instituting a new training program for Pac-10 officials and said she will insist on a greater reliance on video review and a high standard of professionalism.

I wish her great success with the program and look forward to its bringing more consistency and better judgment to Maples.