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Women's Hoops

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

November 2, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Women’s hoops loses another strong supporter

KalmanovichBird.jpgAs the WNBA seeks financial footing, often fans pleaded for Russian Shabtai von Kalmanovich (pictured right with Storm G Sue Bird by AFP) to buy the league. The former spy owned Spartak Moscow, dumping tons of money in his team either for player development or pay — signing Storm stars Lauren Jackson and Bird to long-term, six-figure contracts.
But the advocate for women’s hoops was shot dead while driving in Moscow, according to reports today. News articles said Kalmanovich was shot by assailants armed with semi-automatic weapons who drove by in a passing vehicle.
Jackson, who always spoke fondly of Kalmanovich, is currently in Australia rehabilitating the stress fracture in her lower back. A request was made for comment from both Storm players.
Spartak is currently in season. Other WNBA players on the squad are MVP Diana Taurasi, a Phoenix G, New York C Janel McCarville, Chicago C Sylvia Fowles, San Antonio PG Edwige Lawson-Wade, Connecticut G Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, and Minnesota G Kelly Miller.
McCarville tweeted on the social-networking site Twitter that she was in the same seat as Kalmanovich a week ago, adding “the world is one [expletive] up place, i cannot believe how low people will sink. the world lost someone great today.. it still hasn’t sunk in!!!”
Kalmanovich’s death comes on the heels of the WNBA losing impactful owners Mel Simon (Indiana) and Bill Davidson (Detroit). Since Davidson’s death in March, the Shock were sold to Tulsa.

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