Ros has posted a few clips from her second year of broadcasting as a Studio Analyst, Color Commentator, Reporter, and Host in this video:
The freshmen this season, the first full class of her recruits, are making an impact. USF has won as many games already this season as it did all of the past three seasons.
By Judy Richter, FBC feature writer and interviewer:
After graduating with a degree in biomechanical engineering in 2009, Morgan Clyburn is making good use of both her academic and athletic experiences at Stanford.
The forward/center’s latest venture takes her to Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, where she’s serving as head coach of the girls varsity basketball team. To add an even greater Stanford flavor to her new team’s style, her assistant coaches are two former Cardinal guards, Lindy La Rocque, ’12, and Markisha Coleman, ’07.
There’s a family angle, too. Morgan’s dad, Collins Clyburn, is coaching Menlo-Atherton’s frosh-soph team. He and Morgan’s mom, Rose Mary, live in the Chicago area, but he has temporarily moved to Redwood City to help with the program.
Morgan’s day job finds her at Autonomic Technologies in Menlo Park, where she’s a senior development engineer and a project manager. The privately held company is developing “a miniaturized implantable neurostimulation device to provide rapid relief from the debilitating pain and suffering caused by severe headaches,” its website says.
The 42-employee firm is already selling the device for cluster headaches in Europe and is conducting clinical trials for its use in migraines in Europe, Morgan said in a recent interview.
Morgan got her coaching job thanks in part to parents of four girls she had coached at National Junior Basketball’s Redwood City chapter for two days a week after her graduation. NJB is a youth league for boys and girls in first through 12th grades. The four girls are now sophomores but are on the varsity team, as is one freshman. The team also has two juniors and three seniors.
When the M-A position became available, the parents contacted her, she applied and got the job. Since she lives and works in nearby Menlo Park, just a few minutes from the school, she deemed her new post a case of “the right situation coming together.” She succeeds Pam Wimberly, who had coached at M-A for 41 years.
She then lined up Lindy and Markisha, both of whom had been her teammates, knowing that Lindy wanted to get into coaching and that Markisha had worked with AAU teams. By day, Lindy works in sales and marketing at Host Analytics in Redwood City, while Markisha is a probation officer for Santa Clara County.
Job involves more than just coaching
Morgan has found that being a head coach involves a lot more than strategizing and working with her players. “You forget that you’re running a program,” she said.
She has to contend with practice schedules, a challenge since several sports need to use M-A’s two gyms. Then there are the administrative duties such as finding people to take players to away games and making sure that field trip request forms have been signed – things her Stanford coaches never had to consider. Luckily, “the parents have been great,” she said.
As a coach at the high school level, “you really get to start teaching the little things” instead of basic drills, she said. Still, she has to decide what plays are appropriate to run.
Because of Stanford’s high academic standards, its athletic teams recruit only really smart students. Therefore, players on the women’s basketball team can master its approximately 60 plays, Morgan said.
That’s not the case in high school, so she teaches far fewer plays. She doesn’t want to be too complicated because she doesn’t want her girls to have to worry about how to execute a play. It should be automatic.
Nevertheless, she wants her Stanford experience to carry over with a high-execution offense and the mindset that “we’re smart. We’re going to outthink people.” She wants her players to push harder and work harder than their opponents.
Because she was so busy getting ready for the season, she hadn’t had a chance to get advice from Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, who recommended her for the M-A job. Morgan hoped to have a chance to talk with Tara on Nov. 25. That’s when Morgan led a skills clinic for youngsters before the home game against Long Beach State.
M-A practices started Oct. 29. After two scrimmages (the equivalent of exhibition games) this month, her team started its season Nov. 29 and will continue through Feb. 12. If all goes well, competition could extend into March with tournament play.
“We’ve got good shooters,” Morgan said, so she has high hopes for the season.
Morgan, Markisha lead practice
To get a feel for Morgan’s style, I attended a recent joint practice for her varsity team and her dad’s frosh-soph team. All of the girls took part in warmups, which looked familiar to anyone who has watched the Cardinal routine.
They then divided into their respective teams with Collins and his assistant, Shannon McMorrow, working with the younger girls and Morgan and Markisha working with the varsity players. Lindy wasn’t there because of a conflict in her schedule.
Markisha led the varsity team in various dribbling drills, including some when the girls wore goggles as they dribbled across the court for layups. Morgan explained later that the lower half of the goggles is blocked out, forcing the girls to look up rather than down when they dribble. Girls who missed a layup had to do a pushup.
Next the girls sprinted various distances across the court as Markisha timed then. After a water break, the girls split into two groups to practice plays and to scrimmage against frosh-soph players.
There’s a Stanford flavor to one play, which is called Cardinal. In a nod to Stanford’s cross-bay rival as well as Menlo-Atherton’s nickname, another play is called Bears. Still other plays are named after the coaches’ home states – Texas for Morgan, Nevada for Lindy and California for Markisha.
Markisha coached one varsity side. Because a varsity player was absent that day, Morgan, who had changed into shorts, did double duty as the coach and fifth player on the other side. Even though it was obvious that she didn’t take advantage of her 6’4” height and advanced skills, it was fun to watch her to run the court while passing along advice.
When practice ended, Morgan gathered everyone in a circle to talk about the upcoming scrimmage against Lowell High School of San Francisco. Afterward, a few girls stayed to shoot baskets or talk to the coaches.
Morgan said she encourages the girls to watch college games. Lauren Greif, the Stanford team’s video coordinator, has supplied videos from past Stanford games so that the M-A point guards can watch some elite players in action.
All of the M-A players will have a chance to see elite players in person Dec. 15 when they take a field trip to Maples for Stanford’s game against University of the Pacific.
Morgan undertakes other ventures, too
As if her day job and coaching job weren’t enough, Morgan has two other ventures. She’s president and founder of the Bay Area Basketball Academy in Menlo Park, which “is about creating fundamentally sound basketball players … regardless of age, experience or skill level,” its website says.
Among others, her staff includes Lindy, Lauren and Sebnem Kimyacioglu, ’05, who is playing pro ball in Turkey.
Still another venture is a nonprofit, BABA Global (the name is in flux, she said), which aims to teach life lessons through basketball to women in developing areas. Her colleagues in this effort include Lauren and four Stanford grads: Seb, Grace Mashore, ’12, and Eziamaka Okafor, Shelley Nweke, both ’06.
Because of foot problems, Morgan didn’t play during her senior year at Stanford. However, she worked with Tara during practices and in game preparation, Palo Alto Online reported.
“I was really fortunate to have a lot of positive role models growing up, played under several WNBA players and then actually came to Stanford, which to me was the best of academics and athletics,” she told the San Mateo Daily Journal. “I’ve always had a very high standard of both and hopefully can put that on my girls as well,” she said.
Nneka played with USA Basketball for five years as a high school and college student athlete. She recently talked with USA Basketball about playing professional basketball in Poland. Here is that story.
Nneka is playing for CCC Polkowice in Poland. Both she and the team are doing very well. CCC is 7-0 in the Polish league, and Nneka leads the team in both points (18.5) and rebounds (9.5) per game in league play.
CCC's most recent game was a crucial one against Wisla Can-Pak. Both teams were previously undefeated in Polish league play. Nneka led her team to a 56-49 victory with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The rivalry between these two teams appears to be very intense. This story about the game reports that the general manager of Wisla Can-Pak collapsed after the game after getting into a fist fight with celebrating CCC fans.
Here are some photos of Nneka in action from CCC Sport:
"Look into a crystal ball and catch a glimpse of future USA women's teams and you'll probably see not one, but two players that go by the name Ogwumike." Read more...
The 2012-2013 professional basketball season is well underway overseas.
All the national club team leagues have begun play, and last week was the opening round of EuroLeague Women, the highest international professional basketball league in Europe for women’s clubs.
Ten Cardinal hoopsters are playing abroad (two may surprise you), and three that used to aren't. Here they are — oldest to youngest:
Botasspor Adana. This is her eleventh season of professional basketball, her eighth in Turkey.
Botas finished in the middle of the Turkish Women's League (TKBL) in the past two seasons. They've started well this season with two wins and share the top of the standings with traditional Turkish powerhouses Fenerbahce and Galatasary.
Perfumerias Avenida. This is her ninth season of professional basketball, her second in Spain (she played for Perfumerias six years ago).
Perfumerias is in the Spanish Women's Basketball League (LFB) and have split their first two games. They are also playing in EuroLeague Women. They lost their opening round game, but basketball journalist Paul Nilsen predicts that they could possibly challenge for the Final Eight. In his profile of the team, Nilsen writes, "Headlining the new arrivals is undoubtedly Nicole Powell who comes via Wisla Can-Pack, where she underlined her status as one of the best inside-outside players in the EuroLeague Women. It's a good bet she will be a marquee player once again because of her scoring power and ability to win games for teams at this level."
Galatasaray. She has been studying law at Santa Clara for four years and took the bar this summer. Galatasaray invited her to come play ball while she waits for the result. She had played professional basketball in Turkey for three seasons, from 2005-2008.
Galatasaray is one of the teams that dominates the Turkish Women's Basketball League (TKBL). They've been the league champion once and the runner-up twice in the past five seasons. They've won their first two games this season. They're also playing in EuroLeague Women for the third straight season and won their opening round game.
Seb hasn't lost her touch. She scored 16 points in the Euroleague game and has averaged eight ppg in the TKBL games. She's made 67% of her shots from beyond the arc. In his review of the first week of EuroLeague, basketball journalist Paul Nilsen wrote, "There was also a landmark day for Sebnem Kimyacioglu of Galatasaray who grabbed 16 points via some sharp perimeter-shooting ..."
withdrew from the Italy A1 League because of financial problems. There is no news that Brooke has signed with or is playing for another team.
Fenerbahce for the fifth season.
Fenerbahce is the other team that dominates the Turkish Women's Basketball League. They've been the league champion six times and the runner-up once in the past seven seasons. They're playing in Euroleague, for the seventh straight season, but haven't yet played their first round game. They reached the semi-finals last season and basketball journaist Paul Nilsen predicts that they may reach the final this season.
In his profile of the team, Nilsen writes, "One player who will be hoping to be resurrected is Nevin Nevlin. A fundamental part of the success of Fenerbahce for several years, the forward has drifted into the background of late, averaging just nine minutes per game across the last two seasons. With the added kick in the teeth of not being selected by Turkey for the Olympics despite a hugely impressive EuroBasket Women 2011 contribution, I do hope she is given the chance to shine once again."
Racing Luxembourg. Cissy began her professional career with two very successful seasons in Germany, but played in just ten games last season after suffering first a foot problem, then a shoulder injury.
Racing is one of six teams in the Luxembourg Diekirch League (a surprising number of women's professional basketball clubs for a country about 100th the size of Oregon). The team has started the 2012-13 season poorly, losing its first three games. Cissy is a strong addition to the team — she's averaged 18.3 ppg, second-best on the team and #9 in the league.
Lavezzini Parma after three seasons with Pool Comense in Como.
Parma has been in the lower tier of the Italian A1 League for the past several seasons, but are off to a good start this season with two wins in their first three games.
Jillian is averaging a double-double, with 10.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Uni Basel, after working on her masters degree in education, culture and society at the University of Utah
Basel has placed in the bottom tier of the Switzerland Women's Basketball League (LNA) in the past few seasons and have lost their first two games this season.
Michelle is a stong addition to the team. She leads in scoring (21.8) and assists (2.5) and is second in rebounds (9.0).
Henan Elephants. Jayne is the first Stanford alum to play in China. Six other WNBA players are in China for the 2012-13 season, but none of them on the same team as Jayne. Henan is a large city in Central China, about 440 miles south of Beijing. It is said to be the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
There is little news about Chinese women's basketball on the internet. All my sources still show last season's information (Henan finished last in the Chinese Women's Basketball League (WCBA)), but Jayne tweets that they won their first game this season.
Ceyhan Belediyespor. She's been in Ceyhan for about a month, and so far she loves it. Read more about what she's been doing in her blog.
Ceyhan is a middle-tier team in the very strong Turkish Women's Basketball League. They've split their first two games this season.
Kayla has made a good start. She's in the starting five, playing about 26 minutes per game. She's averaged 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals.
Polkowice is in the top tier of the Polish Women's Basketball League (PLKK). They've won their first five games. They're also playing in EuroLeague Women and lost their opening round game.
Nneka is playing her usual excellent game. She's played in just one of the five league games, but leads the team in rebounds (7.0) and is second in scoring (14.0). She scored 21 points in the EuroLeague game, had five rebounds, made all her free throws and sank a three-pointer.
In his review of the first week of EuroLeague, basketball journalist Paul Nilsen wrote, "There is huge expectation for Nnemkadi Ogwumike in her rookie season and she opened her account in the EuroLeague Women with 21 points and five rebounds for CCC Polkowice."
In his profile of the team, Nilsen writes,"The club has given their prospects of emerging from the first phase of the competition a huge boost with arguably the most exciting signing of the off-season, by handing a EuroLeague Women debut to the stellar talented Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Fans who don't follow the game in the USA, in terms of the WNBA or College game, may not yet be familiar with her explosive frontcourt game, but suffice to say, the EuroLeague Women potentially has a major new star of the future stepping onto the floor for the first time this year. Ogwumike has got a fantastic all-round game and frighteningly, she can still get a whole lot better due to the fact she is still relatively young and will mature with the experience of life in the EuroLeague Women. I expect she can have the same level of impact as players who have hit the ground running in previous seasons, such as Tina Charles for example. Signing Ogwumike should fill CCC Polkowice fans with huge levels of anticipation and excitement although she is only narrowly the best signing they have made!"
Jeanette missed just one game due to injury in her college career — a sprained right ankle.
But she suffered a serious injury in the second game of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday night — a torn ACL in her right knee.
She had signed a contract with a Turkish team for the 2012-13 season, but will presumably miss that as well as the rest of the WNBA finals.
Jeanette led the league in 3-point percentage last season at 0.468. She averaged 0.421 this season and was 5-of-5 from the arc in the playoffs
Jeanette joined Katy Douglas on the bench in Indianapolis as they cheered on their team during the third game of the finals.
Although neither Candice nor Jeanette is a star player in the WNBA, each has played a significant role in her team's contention for the league championship.
Candice has been a spark off the bench for the Minnesota Lynx all season. She's played about 22 minutes per game, and averaged 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals. On or off the court, she contributes her unmatchable "Where there's a Wiggins, there's a way!" spirit to her team's success.
Jeanette has been a role player for the Indiana Fever — their 3-point specialist. In game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Jeanette was one of those who stepped up to the challenge of beating the Connecticut Sun after Katie Douglas went down with an ankle injury five minutes into the game. She stepped up big, hitting 100% of her five shots, four of them from beyond the arc.
So it's Candice vs Jeanette as Minnesota faces Indiana in the first game of the finals tonight.
What's been predicted all season was confirmed today as Nneka was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year. It was a near-unanimous opinion—she received 38 or 39 of 41 or 42 votes (reports vary)
Sparks coach Carol Ross was named WNBA Coach of the Year.
The day didn't end happily for the Sparks—they lost their second conference playoff game to the Minnnesota Lynx 79-80.
By Beth Harris (Associated Press):
The Sparks will play the San Antonio Silver Stars (the team Jayne is on) in the WNBA Semifinals. The schedule is:
Game 1: Thu, Sept. 27 @ LA, 7PT, ESPN2
Game 2: Sat, Sept. 29 @ SAN, 3ET, NBATV
Game 3 (if necessary): Mon, Oct. 1 @ LA, 7:30PT, NBATV
Here is the complete schedule. (Click tab "Conference Semifinals".)
By Eric Woodyard (MLive Media Group):
The Tulsa Shock has slightly improved from her rookie year, but there's still a massive amount of work that needs to be done in order to mold the franchise into a winning organization.
"I think I've learned more of what it takes mentally to compete at this level," said Pedersen. Read more...
Tara is sure that Bobbie will maximize her opportunity as head coach at the University of Wisconsin, but, “It always will take a little time. I just hope that people are patient.”
Read more in this article by Tamira Madsen in the Madison Magazine.
Joseph D'Hippolito, in an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle, writes that the best indication of her impact on the Los Angeles Sparks might not lie on a basketball court or in statistics. Read more...
Kate Starbird (Stanford '97) was honored by the Seattle Storm at last week's game as part of their 2012 Women of Inspiration Awards. Starbird was one of four women chosen by the Storm for their remarkable achievements.
As part of their coverage of the 2012 Women of Inspiration Awards, the Seattle Storm profiled and interviewed Starbird on their website.
Sebnem Kimyacioglu (Stanford '05) has returned to Turkey to play professional basketball for Galatasaray this season.
She played pro ball in Turkey for three seasons after graduating from Stanford, then returned to the Bay Area where she has been studying law at Santa Clara University and working in various law offices since 2009.
She will be honored by having her No. 43 basketball jersey retired during a ceremony next Tuesday evening. She is the first Riverton High School girl to have her number retired, and only the second person in the school's history to be so honored.
Read more in this report from the Fremont County Ranger. (Note that you can access that report just once without subscribing to the Ranger's eNews service.)
Uni Basel Basket strengthened their roster. They agreed on terms of contract with Michelle Harrison (190-F-87, college: Utah). The forward will start her pro career in Switzerland. Michell Harrison graduated from the University of Utah in 2011. The forward notched 4.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in her senior season. She was MWC Tournament winner with the Utes. Previously Michelle Harrison studied and played for Stanford University. She played in NCAA Final Four in 2009. In 2010 Michelle Harrison made it into NCAA Final with the Cardinal. She was PAC-10 Tournament Winner in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
All that experience has led to a second job for Morgan — girls' basketball coach at Menlo-Atherton High School. She will take over for Pam Wimberly, the winningest girls' basketball coach in Northern California history, who had coached at Menlo-Atherton for 41 years.
It has been reported that Menlo-Atherton wants a more modern, fast-paced style of play. Morgan is well-prepared to provide that.
Morgan will continue her career with Autonomic Technologies while pursuing her passion for coaching with the new challenge at Menlo-Atherton.
There is more information in this Palo Alto Online report.
She had a great time writing this great article about Nneka and her flawless transition to the pros.
She led the WNBA in 3-point shooting in her rookie year at 46.8% (29-of-62). Midway through this season, she's standing fourth at 52.4% (22-of-42).
Her team, the Indiana Fever, is on pace to break records with their 3-point shooting this season. Read more...
After the third week and a 25/12 double/double in the Sparks' fourth straight win, she was named the WNBA Westen Conference Player of the Week.
Candice's joy on the court is a spark for her team. An article from the Lynx website features Candice's energy, "... when the game is on the line it’s a solid bet Wiggins will be in the middle of the celebration. She brings a joy and passion to the game that makes fans reminisce about playground pickup games growing up."
Nneka continued the splendid start to her professional basketball career as she scored with 2.5 seconds remaining to lift the Sparks to a 67-65 victory over Seattle on Sunday night: