February 21, 2017

The dark side of Candice's WNBA career

Candice Wiggins: She was bullied in WNBA because she’s straight,
by Tod Leonard (San Francisco Chronicle)

Imani Boyette, University of Texas 2016, who currently plays for the Chicago Sky, responded with an open letter to Candice.

Mechelle Voepel (espnW) reports: WNBA has no comment, but many players dispute Candice Wiggins' allegations of bullying culture

As president of the WNBA Player Association, Nneka responded:

Our union is only as strong as our loyalty to and support for one another. What is key to that loyalty and support is our commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a union, we should and we will continue to celebrate the diversity that makes us special and lead by example. We must respect the rights of those we don’t agree with when they speak their mind. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the comments made recently by a former player or whether one has seen or experienced anything like what she has described, anything that impacts an inclusive culture should be taken seriously.

January 21, 2017

Alumnae Abroad: 2016-17 mid-season report


The Italian Serie A1 league has completed round 14 of 22. The regular season ends the last week of March.

Jillian HarmonLucca

Lucca and Familia Schio were co-champions of the Italian league last season. Lucca is having another excellent season and is currently in first place with a 12-1 record, one game ahead of Familia Schio and Venezia. Their only loss was by one point to Napoli. They have defeated both of the second-place teams and are scheduled to play them once more in the regular season.

Jillian, Lucca's starting shooting guard, is a key factor in their success. She leads her team in scoring (17.5 ppg, which is 4th best in the league). She makes just over 50% of her shots, has scored in double digits in all but one game, and has one double-double. She is Lucca's second-best rebounder (6.7 rpg) and ball thief (2.8 spg). She draws the most fouls and makes 81% of her free throws.

Kayla PedersenLucca

Kayla starts at the center for Lucca and is also having a very good season. She leads her team in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and is the third-best scorer (9.3 ppg). She makes just a bit less than 50% of her shots. She gets fouled almost as often as Jillian, but unfortunately makes only 62.5% of her free throws. She's had two double-doubles.

Amber OrrangeVigarano

Vigarano is not doing so well. They stand 10th in the 12-team league with a 3-10 record.

Amber is having a very good second season as Vigarano's starting point guard. She leads her team in scoring (14.9 ppg, which is 9th best in the league), assists (2.5 apg, 9th best in the league) and steals (3.8 spg, 2nd best in the league). She has improved considerably over her rookie season in all three of these categories.


The Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) is in Round 15 of 21. The regular season ends the first week of March.

FIBA EuroLeague Women, in which Nneka's and Kristen's teams are playing, has completed nine rounds of group play and has five more to go. Playoffs begin on March 15.

Nneka OgwumikeDynamo Kursk

Dynamo Kursk is the only undefeated team in EuroLeague Women with a 9-0 record. They stand second in the Russian PBL with a 12-1 record.

Nneka is playing very well in both competitions, although she's not as dominant as last season. She is the second-best of all EuroLeague players in rebounds per game (10.1) and fifth in points per game (16.1) . She's made 53.5% of her field goal attempts, scored in double-digits in all but one game and has tallied three double-doubles.

Nneka has made 63.4% of her shots in the PBL games. She's third on the team in rebounds (6.4 rpg) and scoring (11.6 ppg).

Sarah BootheKazanochka Kazan

Kazanochka stands at ninth in the 11-team PBL with a 4-9 record.

Sarah starts for Kazanochka as the power forward and plays about 20 minutes per game. She's the second-best scorer (8.5 ppg) and rebounder (5.7 rpg).


The Turkish Women Basketball Super League (KBSL) has completed 13 of 26 rounds. The regular season ends the first week of April.

Kristen NevlinMersin

Mersin has had a tough time in their first-ever EuroLeague Women appearance. They've lost all nine of their group play games, so will clearly not advance to the playoffs.

Mersin stands eleventh in the 14-team Turkish league with a 4-8 record.

Kristen has done well in both competitions as a reserve center for Mersin. She has averaged 8.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in the EuroLeague games; 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in the Turkish league games.


The Australian Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) has completed round 15 of 20. The regular season ends in mid-February.

Mikaela RuefCanberra Capitals

The Caps, who are in a rebuilding phase with a new coach and 14 new players, are doing pretty well. They stand fifth in the eight-team league with a 10-8 record.

Mikaela is the starting power forward and plays about 30 minutes per game. She leads her team and the league in rebounding (10.7 rpg) and is third on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (1.9 apg). She's scored in double-digits in 12 games and tallied nine double-doubles.


The German 2.Bundesliga has completed 13 of 22 rounds. The regular season ends in mid-March.

Alissa (Cissy) PierceGoettingen Veilchen Ladies

Goettingen is in a three-way tie for first place in the Northern conference with an 11-2 record.

Alissa is the starting shooting forward for Goettingen. She averages 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.


The Chinese WBCA league has a very demanding schedule — almost three games a week for a total of 32. The regular season ended a week ago.

Chiney OgwumikeHenan Yichuan

Henan had been the top-ranked team in the league before Chiney tore her Achilles tendon in late November. They lost all but one game since then and finished at the bottom.

Chiney played in 13 games before her injury and averaged 33.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. She scored more than 20 points in every game and had nine double-doubles.

Almost every Chinese team has one tall, strong American import, but at the end of the season Chiney still stands as the second-best scorer and the fifth-best rebounder in the league.

December 30, 2016

Keesh and Mel face off this afernoon

Menlo-Atherton High School, coached by Markisha Coleman (2007) and Sacred Heart Prep, coached by Melanie Murphy (2011) will compete for the championship in the fifth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Eastside Prep in East Palo Alto this afternoon (Dec 30) at 3:00.

Here are a story, the bracket, and a map.

December 27, 2016

Q & A with Chiney

Here's a progress report from Chiney, courtesy of the Connecticut Sun:

Q&A With Chiney Ogwumike

She was back on her foot, though not quite yet her feet, for Christmas with all the sisters.

December 1, 2016

Another setback for Chiney

For the second time, Chiney's brilliant season overseas (she was averaging 33.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game in China) has been cut short.

The Connecticut Sun reports:

Chiney Ogwumike Undergoes Achilles Surgery

November 23, 2016

Lindsey is a mom

Lindsey Yamasaki Garrett added 3 new photos — with Gray Garrett.
November 16 at 11:02pm ·

It's a GIRL! Baby Aiko June Garrett made us a family of three tonight, 11/16/16 at 7:24pm. Pronounced Eye-Co, she's already like her parents, tall and full - 22" long, 8lbs 3oz. We could not be more in love with our baby girl!

November 10, 2016

Seb's Story

Seb's story of her unlikely journey to Rio, and her place in a tumultuous world, as told to Stanford Athletics:

The Olympian:

Seb told the story of those dark days in Turkey in greater detail to Michelle Smith (espn) last summer just before the 2016 Olympics:

Sebnem Kimyacioglu hopes to bring a sense of pride to Turkey in Rio Olympics.

November 8, 2016

Alumnae Abroad 2016-17

Nine Stanford alumnae are playing professional basketball in Europe, China and Australia for the 2016-17 winter season.

Amber Orrange ('15) has returned to Italy [map] for her second season with Meccanica Nova Vigarano.

Viagarano is one of the weaker teams in the Italian SerieA1 League. This is just their third season in the league. They stand tenth (of twelve) with a 1-5 win-loss record.They finished in 11th place last season so have (almost) nowhere to go but up.

Vigarano welcomed back Amber's energy and speed in her role as starting point guard. She has averaged 13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.8 steals (ninth-best in the league).

Chiney Ogwumike ('14) is in China, playing with Henan Yichuan.

The team is located in the city of Jiyuan in mid-eastern China, about 450 miles southwest of Beijing [map].

Henan is a stong team. It stands at the top of the Women's Chinese Basketball Associatin (WCBA) league with an 8-2 win-loss record.

Chiney is off to a blazing start, as she was in Italy two years ago before a knee injury ended her rookie season.

She has racked up a double-double in all but the first game of the season. She is the seond-best scorer and rebounder in the WCBA with an average of 33.1 points at a 62.6% clip and 14.4 rebounds

Eurobasket.com has awarded the Asia-basket.com Player of the Week twice to Chiney — in round 7 for 32 points and 21 rebounds and in round 8 for 39 points and 13 rebounds. She would have no doubt also also earned the honor in round 5 when she tallied 56 points (!!!) and 12 rebounds, except that Eurobasket didn't start reporting news from China until round 6.

(The photo above is Chiney with her new best friend, her interpreter.)

Mikaela Ruef ('13) is in Australia, playing with the Canberra Capitals.

Canberra, Australia's capital, is inland from the southeast coast, about halfway between Sydney and Melbourne [map].

The UC Caps have been one of the dominant teams in the Australian Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) since 1999 when Lauren Jackson began her professional basketball career there. She played on and off with the UC Caps until she retired last year.

17-year head coach Carrie Graf also retired last year, and the team has entered a rebuilding phase with a new head coach and 14 new players.

The rebuilt team is performing quite well. They stand third in the WNBL with a 4-3 win-loss record.

Mikaela was one of the first two signings of the new season. “Mikaela brings an element of toughness and competitiveness to the game and her stats speak volumes, consistently averaging double figures in points scored and rebounds,” coach PaulGorris said. “She is a perfect fit for our program both on and off the court.”

In the first seven games of the season, Mikaela is living up to expectations. She leads the WNBL in rebounding with 11.0 per game and adds an average of 11.9 points and 2.3 assists.

Sarah Boothe ('12) has returned to Russia [map] for her second season with Kazanochka Kazan.

Kazanochka finished in a three-way tie for next-to-last place in the Russian PBL league last season. They're working hard to move out of the cellar and currently stand ninth with a 1-5 win-loss record.

Sarah is a reserve center for Kazanochka (but plays more minutes than the starter). She has averaged 6.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 0.3 assists in the first six games of the season.

Nneka Ogwumike ('12) has returned to Russia [map] for her third season with Dynamo Kursk.

Dynamo K is one of the powerhouse teams in the Russian PBL league. They are currently in a tie for first place with a perfect 7-0 record.

Nneka's return was delayed as she finished up her fabulous summer in the WNBA, and she hasn't played in a PBL game yet.

But Dynamo K is also playing in EuroLeague Women (for the third consecutive season), and Nneka returned in time to join them for the second game of the opening round.

FIBA journalist Paul Nilsen enthused, "... what about a certain WNBA MVP waltzing back into EuroLeague Women? What a sight it was to see Nnemkadi Ogwumike [another of my big faves] playing for Dynamo Kursk as she returned to Russia and posted a breathtaking 21 points and 19 boards in her team’s 73-67 success against Mersin. Ogwumike continues to look unstoppable. With Ogwumike on board, Dynamo Kursk have the foundation to be crowned champions."

Kayla Pedersen ('11) took the summer off, but has returned to Italy [map] for her third season with Gesam Gas Lucca.

Lucca is an excellent team. They were co-champions, with Familia Schio, of the Italian SerieA1 league last season. They currently stand at second place in the league with a 5-1 win-loss record, just one game behind Familia Schio.

Kayla is Lucca's starting center and has averaged 9.2 points, 8.0 rebounds (ninth-best in the league), 1.7 assists, and 0.5 blocks in the first six games of the season.

Jillian Harmon ('09) is Kayla's teammate again in her second season with Gesam Gas Lucca.

Jillian is Lucca's starting shooting guard. In their first six games she leads the team in playing time (36 min) and scoring (15.6 points, which is sixth best in the league). In addition, she averages 6.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 2.5 steals.

Jillian received a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 5 when she tallied 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists.

Alissa (Cissy) Pierce ('08) took last season off, but is still in Germany [map] , playing with the Goettingen Veilchen Ladies this season.

This is Cissy's seventh season of playing professional basketball in Germany, her first with Goettingen, which is a member of the secondary German Women's Basketball League (Germany-2.Bundesliga). They stand fourth in the league with a 5-1 win-loss record.

Cissy is Goettingen's starting shooting forward. She has averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.0 steals in the first six games of the season.

Kristen Newlin/Nevin Nevlin('07) is Turkey playing for Mersin Buyuksehir Belediye (Mersin BSB).

This is New's tenth season of playing professional basketball in Turkey, her first with Mersin.

Mersin is a port on the Mediterranean coast in southern Turkey [map].

Mersin has historically stood in the upper third of the Turkish KBSL league. Early in this season, they share the middle with six other teams with a 2-1 win-loss record.

Mersin is also playing in EuroLeague Women for the first time, although it's not the first time for New, who participated several seasons with Fenerbahce. Mersin has played two games in EuroLeague Women and have lost both, one to Dynamo Kursk (Nneka's team).

New is Mersin's starting power forward. She has averaged 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in the EuroLeague games; 9.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in the KBSL games.

Nneka and New compete in EuroLeague Women

These four Stanford alumnae have played abroad recently, but aren't playing this season:

Jeanette Pohlen Mavunga ('11) is watching pro ball this season instead of playing. She's in Japan with her husband, Julian, who is playing with the Shiga Lakestars.

Jayne Appel Marinelli ('10) has retired from playing basketball. She's in New York, working as the Associate Director of Player Relations for the Women's National Basketball Player Association (WNBPA)

Sebnem Kimyacioglu ('05) returned to basketball in the summer to play with the Turkish National Team in the 2016 Olympic Games. She's not playing basketball this season and has, I assume, returned to her career as a lawyer.

Joslyn Tinkle ('13) is ???. She hasn't signed with a professional basketball club, but I have no news about what she's doing now.