July 03, 2015

Cardinal players keep busy during summer

By Judy Richter

Most of the 13 members of the Stanford women’s basketball team are on campus and in summer school as they look ahead to the start of the 2015-16 season.

Associate head coach Amy Tucker gave a rundown on the players’ summer activities.

Three of the four freshmen are in summer school. Like their returning teammates, guards Alexa Romano and Marta Sniezek along with forward Shannon Coffee, are spending two hours a week with the coaches and six hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

College games are longer than high school

These sessions help them “acclimate to college training” and the rigors of college games, which are 40 minutes rather than the 32 minutes of high school, Amy said. They also improve the players’ conditioning.

Moreover, their summer experience gives them a chance to bond with their new teammates.

The three freshmen are competing in Pro-Am games at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco along with five returning players: sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson, sophomore guard Brittany McPhee, junior guards Lili Thompson and Briana Roberson, and senior center/forward Tess Picknell.

The fourth freshman, Alanna Smith of Australia, will represent her country in U19 international competition in Russia later this month.

Also competing internationally is junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall, who is on the USA team at the World University Games in South Korea this month.

Injured players make progress

Junior guard Karlie Samuelson, who suffered a broken finger and underwent surgery during the latter part of this past season, has been cleared for basketball activities such as shooting, but not contact. She has an internship at a local hospital, Amy said.

Junior forward Kailee Johnson, who had foot problems last season, is in summer school and back in action.

Redshirt senior guard Alex Green tore her ACL and subsequently had surgery in April. Her rehab is going well, and she’s using the exercise bike. She has a job &mdashh interning at Altamont Capital Partners, where she is helping to organize a database.

Taylor Rooks transfers to Harvard

The team was originally going to have 14 players on its 2015-16 roster, but sophomore guard Taylor Rooks, who is from New Jersey, decided to transfer to Harvard, apparently in hopes of getting more playing time.

Amy wasn’t sure if NCAA rules will allow her to play this coming season. Normally a transfer student must sit out a year, but exceptions are made sometimes, she said.

As to whether there are plans to use walk-ins to fill the Stanford roster this coming season, Amy said, “Not that I’m aware of.”

Graduates’ activities

Reporting on the class of ’15, she said that forward Taylor Greenfield is still in California and is working as a nanny.

Guard Amber Orrange, who was drafted by the WNBA’s New York Liberty and subsequently waived, will play in Italy this fall.

Forward Bonnie Samuelson wants to go to medical school and is studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Forward Erica Payne has a consultant’s job with Deloitte in San Francisco.

Guard Jasmine Camp is at home in Atlanta and hoping to go to graduate school.

Amy pleased with freshmen

Amy said she’s pleased with the freshmen. “It’s a really strong class” that will make good contributions, she said.

Noting that Shannon hit a 3-pointer in her first game at Kezar, Amy said that unlike Stanford’s other forwards, both she and Alanna have face-up shots that will help to draw defenses away from the paint.

In addition to classes, basketball practice and conditioning, some of the players have been helping the coaches at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camps for ages 8 to 18. Two four-day sessions began June 23, and another began June 28. The final session is July 23-26.

Also on the coaches’ agenda are two seven-day recruiting periods; July 6-12 and July 23-29.

Summer school ends with finals on Aug. 15 and 16, giving players and coaches a break before fall classes start Sept. 21. 

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