December 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Mystics G Tayler Hill is expecting her first child in May but plans to return to play the 2014 season. The father of the child is Dave Lighty, a former wing player on the Ohio State Buckeyes. Hill, who was selected fourth overall in the 2013 draft, is an OSU alum, too.
Lighty played with stars like Mike Conley and Greg Oden among others. He is now a professional basketball player in Europe for French club JSF Nanterre.
According to reports by Swishappeal.com, in the 2013 NBA offseason, Lighty played for the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings on their Summer League teams. Lighty then played for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2013-2014 NBA Preseason, but was ultimately cut before the season. SwishAppeal.com come writes that there’s a lengthy and really good article on Lighty from SBN Ohio State Buckeyes site Land-Grant Holy Land.
From the official release by the Mystics:
November 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM
The NCAA hoops season not even being a month old may be the sole lifesaver for the way the Pac-12 made its 2013-14 debut. Cal got beat by George Washington, UCLA showed its obvious transition in losses to No. 11 Nebraska and No. 12 North Carolina, and Stanford looked out of its league against UConn.
Don’t play. The Cardinal’s showing on ESPN “Big Monday” had nothing to do with UConn being a given dominating team over the women’s basketball landscape. There are some glaring issues for the young Card.
Add Washington’s loss to Portland, giving up 91 points, and I wouldn’t blame the East Coast for heading to bed instead of staying up to catch a glimpse of the conference.
The stumbles led to the Card dropping three spots to No. 6 in the AP poll. The Golden Bears (2-2) did play without posts Gennifer Brandon and Justine Hartman due to illnesses, but voters weren’t forgiving and dropped them seven places to No. 17. Colorado (2-0) hasn’t played a competitive opponent (and won’t until it travels to No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 21,), keeping the Buffs at a respectable No. 16 ranking.
November 16, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Phoenix announced Friday former Storm G Sandy Brondello as its new head coach. An Australian Olympian, Brondello replaces Corey Gaines, who was fired in August, and interim coach Russ Pennell, who led the team to an unexpected appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
Brondello, who was also named Mercury vice president and director of player personnel, spent the past three seasons as an assistant to Los Angeles coach Carol Ross. Brondello played for the Storm during the 2003 season and is currently coaching with her husband in Russia for Storm PG Sue Bird’s UMMC Yekaterinburg team.
The Phoenix hire leaves two WNBA head coaching positions open in Tulsa and Atlanta and Storm assistant coach Jenny Boucek is in conversations with both teams. Tulsa fired former Storm assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg after an improved season for the Shock. Tulsa finished 9-25 and 11-23 in his two seasons — the team’s best since relocating from Detroit in 2010.
Atlanta reached the WNBA Finals for a third time in the organization’s history but after being swept by Minnesota in embarrassing fashion, it fired first-year coach Fred Williams. The Dream was eight days removed from the best-of-five series when the decision was announced.
September 20, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Many disagreed with my selection of Storm G Tanisha Wright for All-WNBA first team, but, as the coaches see, the co-captain is one of the better defenders in the league. And, if I’m picking a first squad, I want a true, lock-down defender in my starting rotation. I’ll let the league press release break it down.
As a side note, Chicago F Elena Delle Donne is the 2013 Rookie of the Year while teammate Sylvia Fowles was named Defensive Player of the Year. Washington coach Mike Thibault is expected to be named Coach of the Year on Saturday when his team hosts Atlanta in Game 2 of its opening round series. Forwards Swin Cash (Chicago) and Tamika Catchings (Indiana) were the 2013 recipients of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. On Thursday, the WNBA awarded Candace Parker as the 2013 MVP.
Congrats to all, especially Wright.
Tanisha Wright Named to 2013 WNBA All-Defensive First Team
Fourth Career Honor for Storm Guard
SEATTLE – Tanisha Wright has been named to the 2013 WNBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced today.
Wright, who is known for her lockdown defense, was selected to the First Team for the fourth time in her career. She was also designated with the honor in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.
September 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM
A Storm employee joked Saturday’s ceremony to honor Tina Thompson’s 17-year WNBA career was a trial run for when Storm All-Stars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird retire. Then crabby journalists and employees with deadlines discussed tips we’d give Force 10 Hoops, the team’s ownership group, for those pending celebrations, mainly a Sunday afternoon game so it didn’t interfere with said deadlines. Then, again, did anyone expect Thompson to speak for 30 minutes?
Legends Gary Payton and Dawn Staley didn’t talk that long, combined, when inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. But, as I joked Saturday, when you’ve played 17 years and haven’t gloated about your career once, you have a lot to get off your chest. So, here’s what Thompson told the crowd of 8,978 at KeyArena because I’m certain she won’t repeat herself in this manner. The applause breaks are from the crowd, not Thompson:
StormCrazies, you guys are amazing! [applause] It’s been a pleasure playing in front of you guys for two seasons. I know I’ve said it many times, that it’s really difficult to come here as an opponent and play against you guys, it’s been great for two years to have you guys on my side. [applause]
When I started this journey a long time ago, I never could have imagined that this would be my ending. That I would be able to accomplish, like, so many things. I just played basketball because I loved it. I just played basketball because my brother, I thought he was pretty amazing, and he influenced me. He told me a couple things really early-on that if I was going to play the game, to play it with love and passion and never to cheat it. So, T.J., I hope I did you proud and that I [applause] and that I didn’t cheat the game that I love.
I’d like to say to my teammates…this has been. Man, this has been the best season of my career. [applause] Coming to Seattle, my expectations were so different. I mean, when you have Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson on your side, your expectations can be very high. But injuries and a lot of things just kind of happen and didn’t allow us to spend the time together that I thought. But, the experience was amazing in a sense that it put the rest of us in a situation that we probably haven’t been in before. We were faced with a lot of trials and kind of put in a place where we had to basically grind it out. Seriously. Really. It was a grind. It made me appreciate my teammates even more because it allowed me to see the true heart and soul of the people that I was playing with. [applause] Not only are they really amazing people off the court, but they are just some tough chicks on the court! And I appreciate you guys! [applause] So, I’d just like to say, if you guys can bear with me, there are so many great people here that have been a part of this journey with me and are really an inspiration in my life, I want to thank them first.
September 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Might as well start with Storm G Tanisha Wright, seeing how my mentioning of Wright as a first-team WNBA pick irked some on my Twitter timeline. It’s an opinion vote, so fans can have theirs and it can not count all the same. But mine isn’t a homer pick.
My ballot rules remain the same. A team has to reach the postseason to be considered. Only one pick broke that personal criteria this season, Tulsa’s Gary Kloppenburg as Coach of the Year. The Shock improved its win total, won the regular-season series against the Storm 3-2 to nearly clinch a playoff berth for the first time since relocating from Detroit in 2010 and Tulsa lost five games in overtime, which again, could have helped them get to postseason play. Considering this was done with a young squad that required tough decisions — benching a touted draft pick being one — Klop gets my nod despite not reaching the only goal in pro sports — postseason play to win a championship.
So, back to Wright and the team everyone said would be booty due to offseason surgeries in All-Star mainstays Sue Bird (knee) and Lauren Jackson (hamstring). The Storm finished 17-17, one better than last season with the hobbled stars. The Storm finished at .500, which either matched or is better than three of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. (FYI, there are only four playoff teams) Seattle swept No. 3 seed Phoenix and was 2-2 against No. 2 seed Los Angeles this season. What I’m saying is you can’t tell me Wright shouldn’t be considered a top player in the league because the Storm lost 17 games.
I vote by position — the old-school small forward, power forward, center, point guard, shooting guard lineup. The WNBA also requires voters to vote players by the position they start, so Candace Parker can play all over the court if coach Carol Ross would like, Parker is still a center on my ballot and not better than Sylvia Fowles (Chicago), so Parker is all-WNBA second-team.
September 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Ah, the 1990s. In terms of basketball, I’ll always remember the decade as O.J. Simpson’s freeway chase that interrupted my Knicks’ playoff broadcast, Arizona winning the 1997 NCAA championship (Bear Down!) and studying poolside in Tucson while watching my two favorite point guards dish and score their way to success.
The personalities that are Dawn Staley and Gary Payton can be the only explanation why a budding young woman in Arizona would care about Seattle and Richmond, Va. Enraptured, I’d watch Staley high-step, yap-jaw and gum-smack to wins with the defunct Rage on BET. In college at Arizona (Bear Down!), I lived and died with the Sonics and Payton as I studied poolside and watched the playoff struggles on a 8-inch black-and-white TV.
I just loved watching them play and always wondered what the heck they were saying to themselves, teammates, opponents, fans, officials — seemingly anyone within earshot. Who knew I’d grow to actually find out, covering both through the Seattle Times. So, it was especially cool to witness the greatest point guards from my generation enter the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame together on Sunday.
But who entered as the greatest trash talker?
“Dawn can trash talk with the best of them,” said 17-year WNBA veteran Tina Thompson, who won Olympic gold with Staley, played with her for the defunct Houston Comets and against Staley as she starred for the defunct Charlotte Sting (1999-2006).
“Gary’s use of verbiage was a lot different,” Thompson continued in comparing the elite trash talkers. “He would be a lot more tormenting than Dawn. But they’re both pretty good trash talkers.”
August 30, 2013 at 2:45 PM
SPOKANE, Wash. – (August 30, 2013 – www.GoZags.com) Gonzaga University women’s basketball head coach Kelly Graves announced the hiring of current WNBA player and former Stanford University standout Nicole Powell as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs. Powell replaces Julie Shaw who is now the head women’s basketball coach at the University of La Verne.
“I am excited to have Nicole join the staff,” stated Graves. “She is the whole package; has had some phenomenal experiences, is a tremendous player, has a Stanford pedigree – playing for a great program, and most importantly she has a great personality. She has a deep understanding of the game and the ability to communicate with today’s player. I think she is going to fit well with our team, coaching staff and our university.”
Powell is currently closing out her 10th year in the WNBA and first with the Tulsa Shock. She was the third overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft; selected by the Charlotte Sting.
August 18, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Can you be the WNBA’s Most Improved if you’ve really just returned to actually honor your contract? Tulsa All-Star Liz Cambage, a 6-foot-8 center, is making a case for what to do with her improved play as the WNBA’s final stretch begins.
The Australian scored 27 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field as the last-placed Tulsa defeated the WNBA-leading Minnesota 83-77 on Friday. It’s the relocated-Shock’s first win against the 2011 WNBA champion Lynx in 15 games.
Remember when Cambage in 2012 flip-flopped on playing in Tulsa, ultimately missing the season after averaging 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in 33 games as a WNBA rookie? Well, as Storm C Lauren Jackson said in terms of her game, Cambage is finding the competitive benefits of playing in the toughest league in the world. She’s averaging 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds for Tulsa (8-17), which sits 3.5 games back of Seattle (11-13) for the fourth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race. It would be the Shock’s first postseason appearance since relocating from Detroit in 2009.
The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011, Cambage’s game arrives at the right time. Down under on Sunday, her Opals national team co-captain, Jackson, scored the first seven points of an eventual 84-66 win against New Zealand in the FIBA Oceania Championship. Jackson, who underwent hamstring surgery in January, finished with a team-high 21 points to seal a 2-0 series win.
Former Storm G Belinda Snell finished with 17 points and four assists for the Opals.
August 12, 2013 at 12:46 PM
WNBA players are known for their giving nature, most starting foundations despite seemingly not earning enough to give as they do. Storm PG Temeka Johnson is the latest to dote on the public in a rare move. She already has the H.O.P.E foundation that works to inspire communities, this week Johnson is using social media to show fans her appreciation.
A nine-year WNBA veteran who won a championship with Phoenix, Johnson will host her own “Fan Appreciation Week” beginning Monday through Friday, using different social media platforms, to give her the opportunity to give back to her fans that have supported her throughout her career. According to her agent, “it’s a simple gesture which goes a long way in maintaining and building her popularity and releasing her new and improved website TemekaJohnson.com.”
“This past season had a lot of ups and downs but the one thing I could count on was all the support from you guys!” Johnson said of her following. “I have the most passionate, enthusiastic and creative fans ever and this week I want to take the time to thank you guys for everything you do for me!!”
Storm Twitter Takeover
A live Q&A via the Storm’s Twitter account Monday from 6 pm-7 pm PST
Meek Book Cover Artwork Contest
Design your best book cover featuring “Meek” that you, your family and friends created. Five (5) individuals will win a signed book, written by Temeka Johnson. Winners will be announced through Twitter and Instagram.
Your book may possibly be the next cover for Temeka’s next book. You never know, so put your talent and creativity to work.
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