May 26, 2014

Markisha replaces Morgan as head coach at Menlo-Atherton

After two years as girls' head basketball coach at Menlo-Atherton high school, Morgan Clyburn ('09) resigned.

Markisha Coleman ('07), who was Morgan's top assistant, has been named as the Bears' new head coach.

There's more information about Markisha in this announcement from Palo Alto Online.

May 23, 2014

Chiney leads Sun to first win of the season

Chiney helped Connecticut to its first victory of the season — 71-59 over the Seattle Storm.

Helped indeed! She tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Chiney has been the Sun's leading scorer in each of its four games this season. She had her first pro double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds) in the Sun's game at Minnesota last week.

Here is the game recap, which links to the box score, play-by-play and a gallery of photos.

May 22, 2014

Jillian signs with Australian team

After playing professional basketball in Italy for five seasons, Jillian Harmon ('09) is ready for the challenge of a new league.

Next season she'll be playing in the WNBL, the Australian Women's National Basketball League, for the Townsville Fire.

Townsville is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia, about 200 miles south of Cairns (map).

Here's the WNBL announcement: Fire sign latest Olympian

May 19, 2014

Chiney honored by Stanford Alumni Association

Chiney was honored by the Stanford Alumni Association today as one of two graduating seniors to receive the 2014 J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for outstanding service to Stanford.

Read more here:

May 15, 2014

Who's playing ball this summer?

Six Stanford alumnae are playing in the WNBA this summer. In order of seniority:

Nicole Powell '04 is playing in her eleventh WNBA season before devoting full time to her job as assistant coach at the University of Oregon. In a last minute switch, she signed with the Seattle Storm after being waived by the Tulsa Shock. Story: Seattle Storm Signs Nicole Powell

Candice Wiggins '08, in her seventh WNBA season, is playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Jayne Appel' 10 is in her fifth season with the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Kayla Pedersen '11, in her fourth WNBA season, is back with the Tulsa Shock after half a season in Connecticut last year playing for the Connecticut Sun.

Nneka Ogwumike '12 is in her third season with the Los Angeles Sparks.

Chiney Ogwumike'14 is in her rookie season with the Connecticut Sun. Stories: Chiney Ogwumike adds identity to Connecticut Sun and Sun's Ogwumike will brighten your day

Not playing are:

Jeanette Pohlen '11 tore her Achilles tendon two weeks ago while practicing for her fourth season with the Indiana Fever and has been waived. Story: Indiana Fever waive Jeannette Pohlen

Joslyn Tinkle '14 played with the Seattle Storm in the postseason last summer and was invited to training camp this summer, but was waived.

Mikaela Ruef '14 was drafted by the Seattle Storm and attended training camp, but was waived.

The WNBA regular season begins tomorrow (Friday, May 16) and runs through August 17 (schedule).

Only a few of the games will be shown on national television, but most of them will be streamed live to the internet. A season subscription costs $14.99. Register here: WNBA Live Access

May 12, 2014

Best wishes to Kristen and Emre

Patricia and Mick Newlin of Riverton are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Kristen Newlin, to Emre Vatansever of Istanbul, Turkey, son of Turkan and Fehmi Vatansever of Istanbul, Turkey.

The bride-elect is a 2003 graduate of Riverton High School and a 2007 graduate of Stanford University where she graduated with a degree in cultural and social anthropology. She plays professional basketball for Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu in Istanbul, Turkey.

The prospective groom is a 2001 graduate of Cinar High School in Bursa, Turkey, and 2005 graduate of Istanbul’s Marmara University, where he majored in sports academy. He is employed as an assistant coach for Galatasaray Odeabank professional women’s basketball team in Istanbul, Turkey.

The wedding is planned for June 21, 2014, at Stanford Memorial Church in Palo Alto, California. A reception will follow at the Sheraton Palo Alto in Palo Alto, Calif.

May 9, 2014

Alumnae Abroad: 2013-14 season-end report

The 2013-14 season is over for the ten Stanford alumnae who played abroad. Here's how it went for them.

Sebnem Kimyacioglu ('05), Galatasaray (Turkey)

Seb and her teammates had good reason to look triumphant (that's Seb, third from the left). They had just defeated arch-rival Fenerbahce 69-58 in the FIBA EuroLeague Women gold medal game.

Galatasaray is the first Turkish team to ever win the EuroLeague Women championship.

The turning point of the game came when Seb "... stepped into EuroLeague Women history and Galatasaray basketball folklore as she came off the bench with four minutes remaining and sank a huge triple from the wing. Minutes later, she converted again from downtown and effectively won the game for her team."

Seb said, "... they were the biggest two shots of my career."

For more details, see the game report, which includes a game highlight video that shows Seb (still #33) literally jumping for joy.

Galatasaray also won the Turkish league (TKBL) regular season championship with a 24-2 win-loss record.

Galatasaray capped its season this week with another triumph — a victory over Fenerbahce 73-54 in the fifth and final game of the Turkish Championship series. Galatasaray has now won the Turkish Championship Cup twelve times — Fenerbahce has won it eleven times.

Seb is Galatasaray's 3-point specialist. She led Galatasaray in 3-point percentage in both the TKBL and EuroLeague. In the TKBL, she took 67% of her shots from beyond the arc and made 41% of them. In EuroLeague, she took 69% of her shots from beyond the arc and made 40% of them.

Kristen Newlin/Nevin Nevlin ('07), Fenerbahce (Turkey)

Fenerbahce, the other Turkish powerhouse team, played second fiddle to Galatasaray this season. It placed second in the TKBL with a 23-3 win-loss record and was the runner-up for the EuroLeague Women Championship and the Turkish League Championship.

Fenerbahce, inexplicably, has five centers on its roster. It also has two naturalized Turkish citizens — Kristin and center Quanitra Hollingsworth, who joined the team last season. FIBA regulations restrict a team to just one naturalized citizen in a EuroLeague Women game.

So Kristin had limited playing time this season. She played in ten of Fener's 21 EuroLeague games, where she averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. She played in only five of Fener's 36 Turkish league games, where she averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Cori Enghusen/Korel Engin ('02), Tarsus Belediyesi (Turkey)

Tarsus finished 10th (of 14) in the Turkey TKBL league with a 9-17 win-loss record.

Tarsus, in its first appearance in EuroCup Women, advanced to the eighth finals (the sweet sixteen).

Cori, in her 12th season of professional basketball, averaged 5.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 1.0 blocks in the TKBL games and 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.1 blocks in the EuroCup games. She ranked #10 in blocked shots in the TKBL and #8 in Eurocup.

Joslyn Tinkle ('13), Hat-Agro Uni Gyor (Hungary)

Uni Gyor had a fair season — perhaps better than expected taking into account the tragic circumstances (the bus crash in September). It finished fifth (of 10) in Hungary Division A and ended its season with a loss in the quarter-finals of the league playoffs. It did not advance to the second round of EuroLeague Women.

Jos had an outstanding rookie professional season. She led Uni Gyor in scoring (19.8 ppg, #1 in the league), rebounding (10.1 rpg, #3 in the league), steals (2.2 spg, #2 in the league) and blocked shots (0.9 bpg, #5 in the league).

She had nine double-doubles, took the most free throws and made 92% of them, and made 39% of her 3-point shots.

Jos was named the All-Hungarian League Player of the Year, the Defensive Player of the Year, the Import Player of the Year and a member of the 1st Team and the All-Imports Team.

Candice Wiggins ('08), Maccabi Bnot Ashdod (Israel)

Maccabi Ashdod had a very good season. It finished second in the Israeli D1 league with an 18-3 win-loss record and then won the league championship by defeating #1 Elitzur Ramia.

Candice averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

She was named to the All-Israeli League 1st Team and the All-Imports Team.

Candice blogged about her experiences in Israel in Israel:A Great Teammate to the United States

Jillian Harmon ('09), Lavezzini Parma (Italy)

Parma finished sixth (of 12) in the Italy A1 league with a 10-10 win-loss record and ended its season with a loss to Umbertide in the quarter-finals of the A1 playoffs.

Jillian was Parma's second-best scorer (14.8 ppg, #8 in the league) and second-best rebounder (9.0 rpg, #8 in the league). She had six double-doubles.

Jillian was named to the All-Italian League 2nd Team.

Sarah Boothe ('12), Widzew Lodz (Poland)

It was not a good season for Widzew — it finished ninth (of 10) in the Polish BLK league with a 6-18 win-loss record.

Sarah did a good job for Widzew in the post. She was the #3 shot blocker in the league (1.5 bpg) and Widzew's second-best rebounder (7.1 rpg, #10 in the league). She also averaged 6.5 points and 1.6 assists per game.

Kayla Pedersen ('11), Dandenong Rangers (Australia)

The Dandenong Rangers had a good season. They finished second (of nine) in the Australia WNBL league with a 16-8 win-loss record. They advanced to the final four, where they lost to Bendigo (the eventual champion) in the semifinal.

Kayla was the Rangers' best rebounder (8.3 rpg, #5 in the league) and shot blocker (0.8 bpg, #10 in the league). She scored an average of 12.2 points per game. She had five double-doubles.

Kayla was awarded All-Australia WNBL Honorable Mention.

The Rangers named Kayla the Defensive Player of the Year, with this tribute:

With a couple of players in line for this award Kayla went above and beyond in her defensive efforts this season. Consistently coming up against the WNBL's biggest and baddest players, she was often undersized but never took a backward step when it came to the defensive end.

Nneka Ogwumike ('12), Guangdong Dolphins (China)

Guangdong finished fifth (of 12) in the China WBCA league with a 14-8 win-loss record and finished its season with a loss in the quarter-finals of the league playoffs.

Nneka led Guangdong in scoring (27.5 ppg, #4 in league), rebounding (8.5 rpg, #9 in league), steals (2.3 spg, #2 in league) and blocked shots (0.6 bpg, #10 in league).

She made 65% of her field goal attempts and 87.2% of her free throws. She scored more than ten points in every game, more than 30 in nine games and more than 40 twice. She had nine double-doubles.

Nneka was named the All-Chinese WBCA Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the 1st Team and the All-Imports Team.

Jayne Appel ('10), Liaoning Hengye (China)

Liaoning finished sixth (of 12) in the China WBCA league with a 12-10 win-loss record and finished its season with a loss in the quarter-finals of the league playoffs.

Jayne led Liaoning in scoring (23.2 ppg, #7 in league), rebounding (11.1 rpg, #4 in league) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg, #4 in league).

She made 63.9% of her field goal attempts and 82.4% of her free throws. She scored more than ten points in every game, more than 30 in three games and more then 40 twice. She had seven double-doubles.

Jayne was awarded All-Chinese WBCA Honorable Mention.

May 8, 2014

An interview with Chiney

Listen to Connecticut CPTV Sports host Joe Zone, Joe Jacobs of the Hartford Courant and Mike DiMauro of the New London Day talking to Chiney.

The video is about a half hour long. The segment in which Chiney appears starts at about 11:05. Tune in a bit earlier (9:50) to hear Mike DiMauro and Connecticut Sun head coach Ann Donovan enthuse about Chiney.

May 7, 2014

No WNBA for Jos, Mikaela or Jeanette

As the start of the WNBA season approaches, the teams are paring down their rosters to at least the allowed maximum of 12 players.

Mikaela, who had received a surprise third round pick in the draft, was waived by the Seattle Storm yesterday.

Jos, who played with the Seattle Storm during the 2013 postseason, was waived earlier this week.

Jeanette tore her left Achilles tendon in practice last Saturday and will miss the 2014 season.

Jeanette was preparing for what was anticipated to be her first full healthy season since suffering a torn left ACL during the WNBA Finals in 2012. She appeared in 13 games in the second half of last season following her rehabilitation from the ACL injury. Read more...

May 6, 2014

Mel changes coaching venue and starts a new venture

After just one year as head coach of the Gunn girls' basketball program, Melanie Murphy has left to become the new girls' head basketball coach at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton.

Read more in this report from Palo Alto Online.

Also, within the past few months, Melanie founded a basketball training and skill development program for girls and boys — Torch Basketball Academy.

Aly Beebe is a coach at TBA.

May 4, 2014

Chiney's first pro game

Chiney made her professional basketball debut today in a preseason game between the Connecticut Sun and the New York Liberty.

The Sun won 75-54. Chiney played for 17 minutes, during which she scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds, stole the ball once, got hit in the mouth and, as she tweeted:

    Cut lip.
    Lost contact.
    All worth it.
    Had a blast hitting the court for the first time!

Here's a game report: In Sun Exhibition Opener, A Look At The Future by John Altavilla (The Hartford Courant),

The box score and the play-by-play,

And photos of Chiney and one of her teammates by Stan Godlewski (The Hartford Courant):