April 27, 2015

Tough going for Bobbie and the Badgers

After four seasons as head coach at the University of Wisconsin, Bobbie Kelsey hasn't yet led the Badgers to a winning season. Their overall record for those four seasons is 40-78 (33.9%), but Coach Kelsey is still optimistic.

Read more from the Wisconsin News: Bobbie Kelsey says 'we're still learning'; confident wins will come

April 21, 2015

USA Basketball National Team training camp coming up

With an eye toward the 2016 Olympic Games and working to defend its streak of five-straight Olympic gold medals, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will hold a three-day training camp May 4-6 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center in Las Vegas.

All available members of the 2014-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team are expected to participate in the training camp. The 34-player USA National Team pool currently includes: Jayne Appel (San Antonio Stars), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), ...

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 12 nations will compete in the Olympic women’s basketball competition, including host Brazil and the USA, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championship.

The final 12-player 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team will be selected from the 2014-16 USA National Team pool by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee. < Click here for the complete USA Basketball article.

April 17, 2015

Amanda Renteria, national political director

Chances are you don't remember Amanda Renteria. She last took the court at Maples 21 years ago and, although she was a standout Cardinal softball player for four years, she played basketball only in her freshman year. But that qualifies her as a Cardinal hoopster alumna — one of the few to enter the world of politics.

Amanda came to Stanford from Fresno where her father, who had immigrated from Mexico, worked in the farm fields of the Imperial Valley. After graduating from Stanford in 1997, she returned to Fresno and worked for several years in the private sector and as a high school teacher. She resumed her education at Harvard Business School, received her MBA in 2003, and turned her attention to politics.

She worked as a legislative assistant for Senators Dianne Feinstein (California) and Debbie Stabenow (Michigan) and then for five years as Senator Stabenow's chief of staff. When Renteria left the senate in 2012, Senator Stabenow honored her with this: Tribute To Amanda Renteria

Last year, Amanda Renteria ran as the Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives from California's 21st congressional district, but lost to incumbent Republican David Valadao.

This week, Amanda Renteria joined Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign as her national political director.

Read and listen to more:

Clinton Natl Political Director Amanda Renteria is a Latina "First"

Renteria officially joins Clinton presidential campaign team

One-on-one with Amanda Renteria

April 16, 2015

Amber going to the Big Apple

Amber was selected by the New York Liberty with the 23rd overall pick.

Amber will have a couple of familiar teammates in New York: Candice Wiggins, who signed with the Liberty as a free agent in March, and Brittany Boyd, who was selected by the Liberty with the ninth pick.

Two other Pac-12 players were selected in the draft: Reshanda Gray ws selected by the Minnesota Lynx with the 16th pick, and Promise Amukamura was selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the 36th pick. Read more about Amber and the draft:

April 15, 2015

New venues for Jillian and Mikaela

Jillian Harmon ('09) and Mikaela Ruef ('13) spent the 2014-15 season down under, playing in the Australian WNBL league, Jillian with the Townsville Fire (who won the league championship) and Mikaela with the Sydney Uni Flames (who placed fourth).

The WNBL season ended about a month ago, but Jillian and Mikaela are still playing basketball down under.

Jillian just signed with the Otago Goldrush, one of twelve teams in the New Zealand Women's Basketball Championship (WBC). The team is based in Dunedin, a city on the southeastern coast of the South Island (map).

The WBC has a different format than most professional leagues. Rather than a series of 20 or so weekly games, the WBC plays three monthly tournaments, the first in April beginning this Saturday, the second in May and the third in June.

Read more about Jillian and the WBC:

Otago women strike gold in signing Tall Fern Harmon
Harmon has been there, done that - but not this
Women's Basketball Champs underway this weekend

Mikaela is still in Australia, playing in the Southeastern Australia Basketball League (SEABL) for the Heritage Isle Tornadoes.

The Tornadoes are located in Tasmania, the small island just off the southern tip of the Australian mainland (map).

The SEABL season runs from mid-April, beginning this Saturday, to mid-August with playoffs until mid-September.

Here's an article about Mikaela's signing with the Tornadoes: US recruits add power to building tornadoes

April 13, 2015

2015 WNBA Draft

The 2015 WNBA draft will be held on Thursday, April 16, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. ESPN2 will televise the first round beginning at 4 p.m. PT and ESPN3 (WatchESPN) will air the second and third rounds beginning at 5 p.m. PT.

Twelve prospects have been invited to attend — the long-standing top ten plus Jewell Loyd and Amanda Zahui B., who declared last week that they were leaving college early to turn professional. Read more about the draft from the WNBA: Loyd, Mosqueda-Lewis Headline List of Top College Prospects ...

Michelle Smith (espnW) comments on Loyd and Zahui B.'s impact on the draft: Top prospect inclusions add intrigue to WNBA draft

Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray are among the prospects invited to attend. Amber is not. Elliott Almond (Mercury News) reports that Amber is considered a top 15 pick: WNBA draft looms for Cal pair, Stanford guard

The Atlanta Dream has published a series of in-depth profiles on potential draftees, including: Prospect Profile: Amber Orrange, which concludes, "Getting a Stanford point guard who can pass to post players might make a few Dream fans smile."

April 11, 2015

Chiney says, "Hello world!"

Chiney, who, "loves to engage with people ... to talk, communicate, have fun," is now doing so via a video blog. She plans to do more video blogs in the next few weeks, "hopefully forever," she said.

Here's Chiney's first blog, in which she talks about the WNBA draft and other matters:

If you want to be notified of subsequent video blogs, subscribe to Grit Media, the producers of Chiney's (and other) videos.

April 10, 2015

No gold medal for Nneka

Chiney was in Prague, cheering for Nneka, but it wasn't enough.

Dynamo Kursk, playing in EuroLeague Women for the first time ever, fell a game short of the championship round. It lost its semifinal game to UMMC Ekaterinburg 81-70: Unstoppable UMMC sweep into final.

Dynamo Kursk will play Turkish team Fenerbahce, the other semifinal loser, for the bronze medal on Sunday, April 12.

Dynamo Kursk and UMMC may meet in another championship game next week. They're in the Final Four of the Russian PBL league playoffs, on opposite sides of the bracket. The semifinal games will take place next Thursday, April 16.

April 9, 2015

EuroLeague Women Final Four Preview

FIBA 2015 EuroLeague Women Final Four takes place tomorrow (Friday, April 10) in Prague.

The first game, between Russian teams Dynamo Kursk (Nneka's team) and UMMC Ekaterinburg is at 3:00 in the afternoon – 8:00 am Pacific Time.

The key matchup is between LA Sparks teammates Nneka and Candace Parker. Nneka leads Dynamo Kursk in scoring (19.8 ppg, #1 in league), rebounding (10.8 rpg, #1 in league) and steals (2.1 apg, #7 in league). Candace leads UMMC in rebounding (10.5 rpg, #2 in league), steals (1.4 spg) and blocks (1.1 bpg, #5 in league).

A key factor may be the absence of UMMC's Diana Taurasi, who broke a bone in her left hand a week ago. Diana led the league in 3-point shooting (2.6 per game) and was the second-best scorer (16.9 ppg).

You can watch the game live on http://www.livebasketball.tv or probably later on YouTube. (The EuroLeague Women quarterfinal games were archived; I assume that the Final Four will be too.)

Read more from EuroLeague Women):