Although not as splashy as dunking over cars, here are some clips and links from the weekend. Some are from the NBA All-Star game where WNBA players made their usual rounds to help promote the league, which tips-off June 3. Others are stories from around the Pacific Northwest, like the Gonzaga women clinching its seventh consecutive West Coast Conference title.
First up, that groan you probably heard during the All-Star game on Sunday was the annual gripe from NBA fans who don’t want anything to do with the women’s league. But big-time WNBA fans Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard joined with Storm All-Star Sue Bird to illustrate that no matter how much you may not like it — “Basketball is Basketball”
Also at the All-Star game was WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, who’ll turn 40 in March but still doesn’t give a firm “No,” when asked if she’ll return to the league. SportsPageMagazine.com caught up with her in Los Angeles.
In the Pac-10, it’s another big week for teams hoping to make a run in the conference tournament next month. While the Arizona schools appear to be in good shape, getting expected wins over the Washington schools, once promising California is limping to the end of the season. Of course No. 2 Stanford remains the favorite and last-placed Oregon State is the feel-good story, senior El Sara Greer winning the school’s first Player of the Week award since 2008. OSU used a 20-point comeback to defeat Oregon for its second conference win of the season.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot, of Kentwood High School fame, made her final road trip of the season with classmates Janelle Bekkering, Claire Raap, Carter Schick, and Tatriana Lorenzo. Their 103-59 win at San Francisco sealed the WCC regular-season title. The No. 23 Zags close the regular season this week against Saint Mary’s (Thursday) and San Diego (Saturday) at home.
Vandersloot, the nation’s assist leader (9.9), also was named a finalist for the Nacny Lieberman award given to the nation’s top point guard. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer was named a Basketball Hall of Fame finalist.