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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

June 2, 2006 at 9:35 AM

Flying Yo

Had my first player collision in Sacramento.
With 5:10 remaining in the third quarter and the Storm trailing 55-36 on Wednesday, Monarchs center Yolanda Griffith chased the basketball out of bounds and dove head first into press row, skidding past my computer (thank goodness) into the lap of another reporter and breaking a television set.
The ball dribbled my way and I stuck my left arm out like the animated character Daria in the volleyball scene during the MTV show’s opening credits. Griffith, after slowly collecting herself, lifted up and looked my way as she said, “Y’all are supposed to catch me!”
Sorry Yo!
I was concerned. Prior to the game we talked about her playing days and whether she wanted to be considered for USA Basketball’s World Championship team, which still has four vacancies. Turns out she already turned down an invitation for a look because she can’t predict how her knees will treat her the following morning let alone four months from now.
“I’ve got a little arthritis in my [left] knee and a little soreness, so I can’t commit and when they need me to play, I’m not able to,” said Griffith, who scored a game-high 21 points and had eight rebounds against the Storm. “I don’t want to take a position and have to sit on the bench and not be able to help. Maybe I’m thinking too far ahead, but it’s so much. I’ve been playing nonstop.”
Griffith, 36, didn’t exclude herself from the 2008 Olympics, having won gold in 2004 and 2000, but again discussed her age and health as major problems. She said the knee was swollen during the WNBA playoffs and had the series gone to a Game 5 with Connecticut, she wouldn’t have been able to play.
“You want your veterans, but you also need your young players to get the experience to be able to take the place of the veterans,” said Griffith, the WNBA Finals MVP. “If you’re healthy and you’re able to go four, five Olympics like Teresa Edwards, more power to you. But I just think it’s time for the youngsters to get that opportunity. I’m not even thinking long term. I’m thinking tomorrow. I’ve played so much basketball, it’s time to hang the shoes up and get a break.”

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