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.

November 4, 2016

Mikaela hanging tough down under

The Canberra Capitals are heading to Victoria this weekend to play the two top teams in the Australian Women's National Basketball League — the Bendigo Spirit and the Dandenong Rangers.

A pair of wins would take the Caps to the top of the ladder, and Mikaela is looking to use her energy and aggression to achieve that, as reported by James Hall in the Canberra Times:

Canberra Capitals' Mikaela Ruef ready for Victorian road trip

November 2, 2016

Nneka's Leap

Hunter Bishop (Swish Appeal) chonicles Nneka's five-year journey from a great rookie to a franchise player:

The Leap from star to a franchise: Nneka Ogwumike

October 20, 2016

Nneka's splendid season

Nneka's splendid season ended in the best way possible tonight — with a WNBA Championship.

The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx 77-76. Nneka hit the game winner with a rebound and an impossible put-back at the three-second mark. Watch the last 20 seconds of the game here.

Here's the AP game report: Nneka Ogwumike's clutch shot lifts Sparks to first title in 14 years

So now Nneka has a championship trophy to go along with the MVP trophy she earned for her stellar play during the regular season. She joins an exclusive club of just six players who have won the MVP and championship in the same season.

And she has a cool pair of sneakers:

Oct 21: More from the media:

The Sisters rule

Nneka and Chiney are now part of the WNBA players' union executive council. Nneka is the new president and Chiney is a vice president.

Here's the press release: MVP Nneka Ogwumike elected WNBA players' union president

Here's Mechelle Voepel's opinion:

October 16, 2016

Jayne begins a new job

Jayne has retired from playing basketball, but she's still in the basketball business.

She has begun work as the Associate Director of Player Relations for the Women's Basketball Player Association (WNBPA), the first ever professional women athletes' union.

She was the San Antonio Stars' player rep to the WNBPA for five years, the WNBPA's secretary/treasurer for three. She did an offseason internship two years ago at St. Francis College in Brooklyn in the athletic department and said she is interested in the "business side" of athletics.

October 15, 2016

Nneka tops All-WNBA first team

Nneka topped the 2016 All-WNBA First Team.

She was the only unanimous pick, receiving 39 first-place votes and 195 points from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters.

More here: 2016 All-WNBA First and Second Teams Announced