December 30, 2009

Cissy rediscovers her inner hoopster

Cissy picked up a basketball at age 5 and hasn't put it down very often.

In an interview by Jim Armstrong (Denver Post), Cissy explains why she feels fulfilled now that she's playing basketball overseas.

Her mother says, "She's got her confidence and her swagger back. It's great to see the smile back on her face."


December 26, 2009

Nicole is Sac Bee Female Athlete of the Year

Nicole earned the Sacramento Bee's Female Athlete of the Year award because, "She always finds ways to improve."

John Whisenant, who was the Monarchs' coach and general manager, said, ""She tried to get better. Every year she tried to add something to her game."

"She wants to be as good as she can be," Whisenant said. "She's worked hard at developing a complete game. I think she's a more complete player than she ever has been."

New York Liberty coach Anne Donovan chose Nicole with the first pick of the dispersal draft last week because, "She really has increased her skill level every season."

Nicole said, "Even throughout high school and college I knew if I wanted to be a decent player and wanted to play at this level, I had to get better each year.

"Every year the league gets better … you can't come back the next year with the same stuff."


December 14, 2009

Nicole selected by New York Liberty in Dispersal Draft

Nicole will play for her third WNBA team next year.

She began her professional career with the Charlotte Sting in 2004. She was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005, and played there for five seasons.

The Monarchs folded a couple of weeks ago. Today the New York Liberty selected Nicole with the first pick in the dispersal draft. Read more...

December 4, 2009

Starbird earns 2nd place in national competition

Kate Starbird ('97), who is pursuing her doctorate in technology, media and society at the University of Colorado, has placed second in "Random Hacks of Kindness", a national technology competition held last month in Mountain View.

Her winning idea is based on Twitter, and Kate twitters that she is, "Reveling in [her] near victory ... without writing a single line of code!"

Read more in this report from the University of Colorado News Center.

November 30, 2009

Alumnae Abroad 2009-2010

The 2009-2010 season is well underway for women's professional basketball teams in Europe. Here is a report of the eight Stanford alumnae that are playing abroad this season.

Cissy Pierce ('08) is in Germany playing for Rhein-Main Baskets for the second season. She led her team to the Southern Germany League Championship last season.

This season they're currently 11th (of 12) in the league with a 2-7 record, but Cissy is having another excellent season. She is the second-best scorer in the league and the top scorer on her team. She averages 20.3 points per game, close to twice as many as anyone else. She also contributes 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

Her name appears in almost every Rhein-Main Baskets game report, " ... led her team ... has long set the tone ... kept her team in the game ... makes every game well worth seeing ..."

Reports of their last five games are posted on the Rhein-Main Baskets website.

Candice Wiggins ('08) is in Greece, playing for Sony Athinaikos, which is #1 in their league with a 7-0 record. The team has also played three games in the EuroCup qualifying round and won two of them. They will play three more EuroCup games in December, after which the top two (of four) teams in each group will advance to the sixteenth-finals round.

Athinaikos does not post player statistics for the Greece League games. In the EuroCup games, Candice is in the starting five and plays almost 30 minutes a game. She is the team's leading scorer with 17.7 points per game. She is making 48.1% of her shots, 33.3% beyond the arc and 92.3% of her free throws.

(The photo of Candice is from last year when she was playing for Ros Casares. I could find no current photo of her.)

Jillian Harmon ('09) is playing in Italy for Comense in her first season of professional basketball. The team isn't doing very well. They're 11th of 12 in their league with two wins and six losses.

Jillian is doing well as a rookie. She has started a couple of games, but usually comes off the bench. She averages 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.

Brooke Smith ('07) is playing for Comense for the second season. She is in the starting five and one of their top players. At 6'3", she's the tallest player on the team. She averages 15.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, one block and 3.3 steals per game. She has had two double-doubles.

She has the second most rebounds, fourth most blocks and ninth most points per game in the Italy A1 League

There are more photos of Brooke and Jillian in action on the Comense website.

Kristen Newlin ('07) is playing for Fenerbahce again this season. Fenerbahce was the champion of their Turkish league (TBBL) last season and also played in EuroLeague, where they made it to the quarterfinals.

They're playing in both leagues again this season and have made a strong start — #1 with a 5-0 record in the Turkish league and #3 in their EuroLeague group with a 3-2 record.

Kristen, who is known as Nevin Kristen Nevlin in Turkey, is a leading member of her team and one of the starting five. Her EuroLeague bio describes her as a very good mid-range shooter and a good rebounder in the low post. She averages 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 60.0 FG% in the EuroLeague games and 12.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 66.7 FG% in the Turkish League games. She scores from beyond the arc occasionally— one of seven in EuroLeague and two of two in TBBL.

Nicole Powell ('04) is also playing for Fenerbahce again this season. She played for them last season and in 2005-06.

She is in the starting five and described in her EuroLeague bio as one of the top outside shooters. In this season's EuroLeague games, she averages 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.6 steals. She is making 45.7% of her field goals and 54.2% of her 3-pointers.

In the TBBL games, she averages 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals. She is making 52.2% of her field goals and 50.0% of her 3-pointers.

Olympia Scott ('98) is playing for Mersin for the second season, her 11th of professional basketball.

Mersin is a member of the TBBL, the same Turkish League as Fenerbahce. They are #2 in the league with a 5-1 record. Their one loss was to Fenerbahce. In that game, Olympia was Mersin's top scorer with 17 points and five rebounds.

Olympia is now in her mid-thirties, and you might think that she'd be slowing down a bit on the basketball court — not so! She plays about 20 minutes a game. She is tied with Ivory Latta as Mersin's second-best scorer, shooting 53.3% for 12.6 points per game. She is also their #2 rebounder with 7.2 per game.

Cori Enghusen ('02) is also playing for Mersin this season. It's her sixth season of professional basketball, her fifth in Turkey, but her first with Mersin.

Cori, whose Turkish name is Korel Engin, comes off the bench for Mersin. She averages 3.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game.

October 20, 2009

T'nae to be inducted into hall of fame

T’Nae Thiel has been selected for induction to the 2009 class of the Weatherford High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Read more in this report from the Weatherford Democrat.

October 5, 2009

Candice will play in Russian tournament with USA Basketball

Candice is one of 13 players selected to play in the 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational tournament as a member of the USA squad led by three members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team.

The tournament will take place Oct 9-11. Also competing in the tournament will be professional teams from Russia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Read here for more information about the tournament and about other upcoming USA Basketball events.

September 13, 2009

New is back at it in Turkey

Kristin Newlin (shown above with teammate Nicole Powell after winning the Turkish championship last season) is back in Istabul ready to start a brand new basketball year. She working hard to get back in shape and ready to play again. Her summer away from basketball was jam packed with travel, friends and family. You can read all about that in this post to her blog.

September 11, 2009

Candice's appreciation of Lisa Leslie

The Los Angeles Sparks play their final regular-season home game tonight. It's Lisa Leslie's Farewell Game. In a Los Angeles Times blog, Candice thanks Lisa for what she has done for her and for all women, women's sports and basketball. (Read more ... )

September 3, 2009

Photos from Comense

Here are some photos of Jillian from Comense — at a photo shoot last week and at the official presentation of the team last night to their fans, citizens of Como and the press.

September 1, 2009

Jillian joins her team in Italy

Pool Comense' 2009-2010 season began officially last week as the available players met with their new coach. Brooke and several other players have not arrived yet, but Jillian was there (upper row, second from right).

Here is a report of that meeting, translated fairly awkwardly by Google.

The report includes these comments about Jillian (my interpretation of Google's translation): 
"She is a fighter in defense, one of those who never pulls back."
"She gave up [her place on the New Zealand national team] to start training here, demonstrating that she is one of the smart girls who wants to work for her Comense jersey."

Elsewhere on their website, Comense noted Jillian's arrival with five Stanford WBB videos about her.

August 28, 2009

August 27, 2009

Jillian withdraws from Tall Ferns

The Manawatu Standard reported today that Jillian has withdrawn from the Tall Ferns squad that is preparing for the Oceania World Championship series. She withdrew because Comense, the Italian club team she will play for this season, "insisted she arrive when requested".

August 13, 2009

Kathy Levinson, senior athlete

In the mid-1970s, Kathy Levinson competed in three varsity sports at Stanford — basketball, tennis and field hockey. This was about ten years before Tara VanDerveer was hired as women's basketball head coach, and a couple of years after Title IX was passed.

Off the court, she was active in the Organization of Stanford Women Athletes, which pushed for more experienced coaches, better uniforms and equal access to Maples, where only men were allowed to play. Levinson's teammate Mariah Burton Nelson wrote about this period at Stanford in "Escaping from Roble — Stanford Women's Basketball Then and Now".
This week Levinson was again an athlete at Stanford, playing racquetball in the 2009 National Senior Games. Shaun Bishop, Daily News Staff Writer, wrote about Levinson in this article.
She did win her next two matches, and earned the bronze medal in Women's Singles 50+ Racquetball.

August 12, 2009

Jillian rejoins Tall Ferns

Basketball New Zealand reports that Jillian is one of six Beijing Olympians who have joined a Tall Ferns training squad that is preparing for the FIBA Oceania Championship for Women later this month.
The squad will begin a week-long training camp next Sunday, August 23 before taking on the defending world champion Australia Opals in two games  — in Porirua, New Zealand  on August 31 and in Canberra, Australia on September 2.  Read more...

July 25, 2009

Nicole a star in All-Star game

Making her first appearance as an All-Star, Nicole scored 21 points for the West, who defeated the East 130-118 in the 2009 WNBA All-Star game.
She set an All-Star game record — briefly,  as Jake Curtis recounts in this article.

July 22, 2009

First All-Star appearance for Nicole

The Sacramento Monarchs today announced forward Nicole Powell will make her first All-Star appearance as selected by WNBA President Donna Orender. Powell will replace injured Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie as a reserve for the Western Conference.

Powell averages 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in her fifth season in the WNBA. She currently ranks 13th in the League points per game, first in free throw percentage (1.000) – including a franchise-record 44 consecutive free throws made to date – and second in three-point field goals made (42).

The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Connecticut Sun on Saturday, July 25, at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game will be televised nationally on ABC, at 12:30 p.m. PDT.

July 12, 2009

It's hard to let go of Jillian

Jillian will be playing professional basketball next season in Italy for Comense, the same team as Brooke. Warren Grimes, devoted Cardinal fan, is having trouble letting go of Jillian. He writes:
As Summer wears on and we look to the Fall recruiting results and the forthcoming season, I’m having trouble letting go. The player involved – and you can guess – has to be one of the most tenacious, the most relentless, to ever wear the Stanford uniform. No, Jillian Harmon wasn’t the fastest, wasn’t the best shooter, wasn’t the best rebounder, wasn’t the best ball handler . . . but the truth is, she was damn good at all those things. Excellent in fact. Harmon was fast enough to steal the ball from an opposing guard and get down the court and score the lay up with consistent success. She did that against San Diego’s quick guards, and she did it again against Ohio State’s talented back court players. Those were spirit-breaking plays for Stanford opponents. Harmon was doing that sort of thing in virtually every game she played over the past four seasons, and she played in almost all of them.

Last year, Harmon led the team in steals, had the third highest minutes per game, was third in assists, was 4th in blocks, 4th in rebounds, and 5th in points. She brought the ball up court many times, effectively serving as a relief point guard, yet she could play the power forward position when needed (that wasn’t needed much this last year). She was a very good defender, often drawing the opponent’s most prolific point scorer as her assignment. Is there anything Harmon couldn’t do? Well, she didn’t dunk, but no one else on the team did either. Her free throw shooting was not stellar, but even that improved to the point that the coaches wanted her in the game in the last minutes.

None of these stats really tell the story on Harmon. I’ll go back to my words relentless and tenacious. If you want to see how Harmon made a difference, think back to the semi-final victory over U Conn two years ago. Harmon was a defensive star that night, stealing the ball and getting some key rebounds. In this year’s tournament, she was a difference maker in the Ohio State game, which, in case you have forgotten, was a close game until the last two minutes. Harmon scored eight or so of the team’s points in the last two minutes to help make the game look like an easy win, but even more impressive were her steals and clutch shots when the game really was in the balance. Harmon was there all the time, giving her best, which was really very good indeed. Was there ever a game that you watched in which Harmon wasn’t giving her best? I don’t think so.

So I hope Jillian does well in Italy, in New Zealand, or wherever she ends up playing more basketball. Her fundamentals should make any team very glad to have her.
Here is a gallery of photos of Jillian throughout her Stanford career.

July 5, 2009

Baller, Boxer, Beauty ...

... Triple Threat Wiggins is a Knockout

Here is a video interview of Candice during the filming of a Nike commercial.

June 30, 2009

Candice is WNBA Player of the Week

Candice earned her first WNBA Player of the Week award by leading the Minnesota Lynx to two victories last week, which helped them reclaim a share of first place in the Western conference.

She averaged 23.5 points on 45.7% shooting, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals.

Her contributions were critical because the Lynx lost their top scorer, Seimone Augustus, for the season two weeks ago with a torn ACL.

Here's a full report from the Minnesota Lynx

June 25, 2009

Naomi has a son

Naomi Mulitauaopele  and her husband,  Solomona Tagaleo'o ...
... have a beautiful baby boy named Solomona Atapana Tagaleo'o Jr.
You can find more (lots more) pictures of Naomi and her family and friends in her My Space page.

June 17, 2009

Jennifer's experiences in Knoxville

Jennifer has posted a lot of photos and video clips in her blog that document her induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Get a box of Kleenex and share her experiences — in particular:

•  The video of her induction speech.

•  The video of her reunion with Miss Mimms, the director of the Day Care Center she attended as a child in Oak Ridge. 

June 16, 2009

Turkey eliminated from EuroBasket tournament

In spite of Kristin's game-high 20 points, Turkey lost to Belarus in the final game of the qualifying round of the 2009 EuroBasket Women tournament.  Worse — they lost by more than seven points.  

Both teams finished 2 for 3 in the qualifying round, as did Italy. But Turkey had the smallest margin of victory, so ended in 5th place in its group and does not advance to the quarter-finals.

The final score was 80-76. Here is the game card (game report, box score, play-by-play and photos).

Kristin was an outstanding member of the Turkish National Team.  During the tournament, she led the team in points per game (12.7), rebounds per game (6.7) and blocks per game (1.2). She also hit 100% of her free throws. You can read all the details of  her performance here.

June 12, 2009

Jennifer Azzi inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Six extraordinary women were inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday night: Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Jill Hutchison, Ora Washington, Jennifer Gillom, Sonja Hogg and Jennifer Azzi. They combine for three Olympic gold medals, four WNBA Championships, five NCAA titles, and more than 100 years in the sport of basketball. This photo of the inductees appeared in Jennifer's blog. (The third woman is Brenda Hogue, Ora Washington's grand-niece, who represented her at the ceremonies. Washington died in 1971.) Here is a formal photo at the induction ceremony from the WBHOF: Knoxville TV station WBIR summarizes the inductees' accompishments in this article. Accompanying the article is a video interview before the induction ceremony of Jennifer and her Oak Ridge High School basketball coach, Jill Prudden. This is a larger version of the video clip. Ann Killion (San Jose Mercury) wrote this article about Jennifer that focussed on Jennifer's decision to attend Stanford and on how she and Tara brought each other success. "Tara would have been successful without me at Stanford," Azzi said. "But I'm not sure of the reverse. I would have been pretty good, but it's unlikely that I would have truly reached my potential." "Jennifer put Stanford basketball on the map," VanDerveer said. "She was the catalyst." In another post to her blog, Jennifer reminisces about her freshman year at Stanford and her dad's Christmas gift to her that painful year.

Game reports from EuroBasket qualifying round

June 9, 2009

Kristen helps Turkey advance to qualifying round

The Turkish National team won two of its three games in the preliminary round of EuroBasket Women:
Kristen's performance is critical to Turkey's success since they are missing their star center Nevriye Yilmaz. The game reports from EuroBasket say nothing more about injured players, but Kristen tweeted last Friday before the competition began, "team is dropping like flies.....acl tear, swollen back, torn ankle ligament, broken cheek bone. pleeeeease no more injuries!"
Now they advance to the qualifying round of the tournament. They begin against Italy on Friday, then play France on Sunday and Belarus on Tuesday.

June 7, 2009

Kristen and EuroBasket Women tournament

Kristen Newlin is in Latvia with the Turkish National team, competing in the EuroBasket Women tournament for the European championship.
EuroBasket Women is held every other year. It alternates between serving as a qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Championship and the Olympics.
Competition begins today with the preliminary round and continues until the finals on June 20. 
This is a summary of the competition:
Preliminary Rounds: June 7-9. Round-robin competition within each of four groups of four teams. The Turkish team is in Group C with Lithuania, Russia and Serbia. The top 12 teams (three per group) advance to the:
Qualifying Rounds: June 11-16. Round-robin competition within each of two groups of six teams.  The top eight teams (four from each group) advance to the:
Quarterfinals: June 17-18. Four games with teams seeded according to the qualifying rounds (A1 vs B4, A2 vs B3, etc.). All eight teams advance to the:
Semifinals: June 19. Winners play winners, losers play losers. All advance to the:
Finals: June 20. Winners play winners, losers play losers. #1 is the European champion and qualifies for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women.
For more information, see:
Latvia  is in far northern Europe, about the same latitude as Sitka, Alaska. Kristen tweets that the long daylight hours are messin' her.
The Turkish team has already played two pre-competition friendly games. They lost to Latvia 84-67, in spite of Kristen's 20 points. They defeated Ukraine  82-76; Kristen had 10 points and five rebounds.

June 4, 2009

Brooke makes the team

Brooke's hard work and good performance at training camp paid off. She begins her second season with the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday.
Congratulations, Brooke!
Here's more about Brooke and the Phoenix Mercury's new uniform by Jake Curtis, Stanford Cardinal Basketball Examiner.

June 2, 2009

Katy Steding, Columbia assistant coach

Katy Steding, member of Stanford's stellar 1990 team and  the 1996 gold medal U.S. Olympic team, has joined the Ivy League as assistant coach at Columbia University.
Head coach Paul Nixon is ecstatic about adding Katy to Colunbia's coaching staff.  He said, "Our student-athletes are truly the winners with this hire, as they will not only benefit from having a coach who has played for and won championships at the highest levels, but they are also getting an outstanding role model.”  Read more ...
Congratulations, Katy!

June 1, 2009

Player with a purpose

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Minnesota Lynx star guard Candice Wiggins scores off-court points as an advocate for youth AIDS education. Read more ...

May 31, 2009

Brooke is working to make the team

Brooke was signed to a training camp contract by the Phoenix Mercury this season. The Mercury have played two preseason games  — against the Sacramento Monarchs and the Seattle Storm.
Brooke has been working hard  to secure a spot on the final 11-player roster, which  will be announced next week.
Here are Brooke's 2009 statistics and a report on how she's doing  by Jake Curtis, Stanford Cardinal Basketball Examiner.

May 15, 2009

Karen Middleton, Head Coach

Although Karen is not a Stanford alumna, she is a Stanford women's basketball alumna. She was an assistant coach at Stanford for ten seasons before leaving in 2007 to take a job as assistant coach at Illinois. She was announced today as the new Head Coach of Western Carolina University women's basketball. Congratulations, Karen!

May 8, 2009

Jennifer Azzi awaits Hall of Fame induction

Jennifer Azzi, who was in Tara's first Stanford recruiting class in 1986, will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame next month. 
ABC7  reported the honor on their news show. Click here for a story, a video of the  TV news spot and a long video interview by ABC7 sports anchor Mike Shumann.

Happy Birthday, Kristen!

Kristen got the birthday present she was hoping for -- a gold medal!  Her team, Fenerbahce, defeated Mersin 68-54 and won the Turkish Women's Basketball League championship today.
Kristen contributed no points and two rebounds and teammate Nicole contributed  three points and four rebounds to the victory.
On the losing side, Olympia Scott scored two points and eight rebounds.
Here are the game report and the box score.
Kristen writes about visits from her parents, JJ and Cissy and the first two games of the championship series in her blog.