The WNBA grabbed plenty of headlines this offseason. But aside from ownership changes and overseas player updates, there has been some big news regarding community outreach with some of the players. Earlier this month Elena Delle Donne, the WNBA Rookie of the Year, was named a global Special Olympics ambassador. The organization has long been…More
Topic: Elena Delle Donne
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Thank goodness for my iPad. It’s going to be a busy weekend trying to fit in my first live Renton River Days and Seafair weekend (can’t wait to see the Miss Seafair coronation at the Torchlight Parade) while also keeping up with the FIBA U19 World Championship and 2013 WNBA All-Star Game, the league’s 11th annual.
The WNBA is up first online at ESPN3.com. The league will air the Western and Eastern Conference practices from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Friday at noon PT. Storm All-Star Tina Thompson will rep Seattle. Follow her Instagram account (@iamtinathompson) for cool pics from the weekend and even the kickoff with former teammates and family after Seattle defeated her native Los Angeles on Thursday at Staples Center.
Next up is the USA U19 squad. The winner of the Americans game against Japan on Friday will face Australia in the U19 World Championship semifinal in Lithuania on Saturday. In-coming Washington freshman PG Kelsey Plum is on the team, although UConn stars Breanna Stewart (18.2 points), Morgan Tuck (15.3 points) and Duke standout Alexis Jones (4.5 assists) are the headliners.
The first semifinal matchup airs on ESPN3 at 8am PT between Spain (7-0) and France (6-1). The Aussies (6-1) are expected to play the Americans at 10:15am on ESPN3.com on Saturday.More
The WNBA named its All-Star starters and for the first time since PG Sue Bird was drafted with the top overall pick in 2002, the Storm doesn’t have a rep among the five Western Conference starters. Phoenix stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner will line up with Candace Parker (Los Angeles), Maya Moore (Minnesota) and Seimone Augustus (Minnesota).
Storm F Tina Thompson could be named as a reserve when those are announced July 23. If not, the Storm will not have an All-Star for the first time in the organization’s history. F Camille Little (2,608 votes), G Temeka Johnson (2,521), G Tanisha Wright (1,782), and wing Noelle Quinn (981) were far behind in fan voting.
Seattle is 6-9 this season, hosting Los Angeles on Saturday at KeyArena.
Chicago rookie Elena Delle Donne, the second overall pick in the 2013 draft, was the leading vote-getter with 35,646. She’s the first rookie in WNBA history to lead all voters. Yet her tally is far behind the record. Bird was the leading vote-getter in 2007 with 128,838 All-Star votes. It surpassed then-Houston F Sheryl Swoopes’ mark of 124,575 set in 2003.More
WNBA training camp opens Sunday and rosters have been set with a league-limit of 15. Official season rosters will be announced May 23 with a league-limit of 11 players.
The Storm’s opening day is full of question marks without mainstays Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. The same can be said for our state’s former prep stars. But the list of those local players looking to play in the WNBA continues to grow. Here’s a look at who’s where:
Ashley Corral, point guard, Prairie High School, Washington Mystics
Outlook: Cut from 2012 Storm training camp, then played in China. New Mystics roster features veteran point guards, so chances are slim.
Briann January, point guard, Lewis and Clark HS, Indiana Fever
Outlook: Led Fever to the franchise’s first WNBA championship in 2012. Experienced a strong offseason in Israel.
Cathrine Kraayeveld, forward, Lake Washington HS, Atlanta Dream
Outlook: Averaged 15.4 minutes as a reserve in 2012. Dream has new coaching staff, meaning role could change for the nine-year veteran.
The WNBA signed a six-year extension with ESPN that is separate from the network’s NBA deal, according to breaking news from Sports Business Daily. Sources said the deal is worth $12M per year, which amounts to about $1M per WNBA team, and runs through the 2022 season. Along with the broadcast announcement, WNBA More
The WNBA brass convened last month and Renee Brown, the WNBA’s chief of basketball operations and player relations, revealed its decision on new rules Thursday morning. Sorry, there’s no anti-tanking rule to protect what many believed Phoenix was guilty of last season to grab a coveted No. 1 overall draft pick. And, thankfully, UConn legendary coach Geno Auriemma’s idea to lower rims in women’s basketball also wasn’t installed.
Here’s the release on the rulings the league did make:
The WNBA will implement new rules regarding flopping and defensive three-seconds, while also extending the three-point line, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown announced today following the league’s Board of Governor’s Meeting. The rules will go into effect beginning with the 2013 season.
“Flops that are intended to mislead referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into believing a foul call was missed are a detriment to the game,” Brown said. “With that, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that a player who, upon video review by the league, is believed to have committed a flop will, after an initial warning, be given an automatic penalty.”
“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that, upon review, reasonably appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.
The primary factor in determining if a player committed a flop is whether her physical reaction to an action by another player (whether or not that action resulted in contact) is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force, direction, or nature of the action of the other player. An example would be a player who lunges, flails, or falls following minimal or non-existent contact with an opponent.