November 3, 2010

Alumnae abroad 2010-11

The 2010-2011 season is underway for women's professional basketball teams in Europe. Here is a report of six Stanford alumnae who are playing abroad this season, two that aren't and one undecided.

Kristin Newlin ('07) is in Turkey playing for Fenerbahce for the third season. (The name she's known by in Turkey is Nevin Nevlin.)

New ruptured her plantar fascia last March, and her goal this season is to be healthy. See her comments about the upcoming season in her blog.

This should be a very good season for Fenerbahce. Last season, they won all 29 of their league games, were the league champion for the sixth consecutive season, and made it to the final eight of Euroleague Women. This season, they've added Diana Taurasi and have already won the preseason Turkish presidential cup.

Fenerbahce is playing in Euroleague Women again this season. Here is an evaluation of the team by Paul Nilsen, a European basketball journalist.

Nicole Powell ('04) will be playing in Poland beginning in January for Wisla Can-Pack. This is the fourth European country in six years for Nicole. She is, I believe, the first Cardinal alumna to play in Poland.

Wisla is playing in Euroleague Women, as well as in the Polish league, this season. Here is an evaluation of the team by Paul Nilsen. He expects that Wisla will win the Polish championship and be one of the final eight in Euroleague.

Brooke Smith ('07) is playing in Italy for the fourth season, but with a different team — Cras Taranto. Although she doesn't have to learn a new language, the environment is very different. Comense, where she played the prior three seasons is in northern Italy; Taranto is far south on the Mediterranean coast on the heel of the boot.

One of Brooke's new teammates is Michelle Greco, former UCLA point guard.

Taranto is playing in Euroleague Women, as well as in the Italian league, this season. Here is an evaluation of the team by Paul Nilsen. Rebekkah Brunson was the driving force for Taranto last season. But she has departed and left a gap of over 15 points and 8 rebounds per game. Nilsen expects that Brooke's contribution will be intriguing, but expecting her to get anywhere near the impact of Brunson is, "wholly unrealistic and absolutely unfair."

Jillian Harmon ('09) is in Italy playing for Comense for the second season

Comense, which finished 6th of 12 in their league last season, has a new coach and five new players. One of Jillian's new teammates is Cameo Hicks, who was an outstanding guard for the University of Washington several seasons ago.

Cissy Pierce ('08) is in Spain playing for Rhein Mainbaskets for the third season.

Rhein MB has already played six games this season, and Cissy leads the team in scoring (14 per game) and is second in rebounds (5.4). Not quite as good as last season when she averaged 19.2 points and 5.5 rebounds, but it's early days.

Cori Enghusen ('02) is beginning her ninth season of professional basketball, her sixth in Turkey and her second with Mersin. (The name she's known by in Turkey is Korel Engin.)

Candice Wiggins ('08) signed with Turkish team Galatasaray in May before she ruptured her Achilles tendon. She is still shown on their roster, but has said she will take a full nine months to rehab and doesn't expect to play again until next summer.

Olympia Scott ('98) has played professional basketball in the WNBA and Europe since 1998, but she hasn't signed with anyone for the 2010-11 season. I don't know whether she has retired or is just taking a year off.

Jayne Appel ('10) signed with Turkish team Tarsus Belediyesi and practiced with them for several weeks before the season started.

She found that she wasn't getting the medical care and therapy she needs to fully recover from her injuries, so she came home to think it over. I don't know her decision about playing in the 2010-11 season.

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