October 20, 2015

Alumnae abroad 2015-16

Eight Stanford alumnae have signed contracts with professional basketball teams in Europe and Australia for the 2015-16 winter season, which began a couple of weeks ago.

These seven Stanford alumnae have played abroad recently, but aren't playing this season:

Cori Enghusen ('02) has ended the longest pro basketball career of any Stanford alumna (13 seasons) and begun her career in the business world as a Digital Solutions Manager at CDK Digital Marketing in Seattle.

Sebnem Kimyacioglu ('05), who played pro ball for six seasons in Turkey, during which she took three seasons off to earn her law degree at Santa Clara University, has hung up her sneakers and is about to begin her legal career. Sebnem is currently looking for corporate transactional work in Los Angeles.

Alissa (Cissy) Pierce ('08) may have retired from basketball. She is still living in Germany, but has not signed with any professional basketball club.

Jayne Appel ('10) is an intern in the Sports Information Department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York, as she was last winter.

Chiney Ogwumike ('14), who spent the summer season recovering from microfracture knee surgery, is not playing basketball this winter, but she's not lacking for things to do. This week she's in Brazil with Jason Collins as part of U.S. State Department Sports Envoys program (story).

Candice Wiggins('08) andJeanette Pohlen ('11) aren't playing winter ball, but I don't know their plans for the offseason.

These are the women who are playing aboad this season:

Amber Orrange ('15) has begun her pro basketball career in Italy, playing for Vassalli 2G Vigarano.

Vigarano is in northeastern Italy, about 75 miles south of Venice [map]

Vigarano, which finished in the bottom third of the Italian A1 league last season, hired Amber as, "... a smart player, who can raise the level of her companions."

Amber has already shown her versatility on the court. In her first pro game, she missed all six of her shots, but tallied three rebounds, two assists and a steal. She found the basket (four of five times from beyond the arc) in her second game and led her team in scoring with 14 points.

Mikaela Ruef ('13), after a summer in Tasmania, is back on the Australian mainland, playing for the Adelaide Lightning.

Adelaide is on the southern Australia coast, about 750 miles west of Sydney, where Mikaela played last season [map].

Mikaela was named the SEABL (South Eastern Australia Basketball League) Defensive Player of the Year of the 2015 summer season, averaging 14.7 rebounds a game for Launceston, with 28 more defensive boards than the next best and with four games where she hauled down more than 20.

"I have had only glowing reports of Mikaela as a person and her work ethic, and she has a versatility with her game that will be an asset to our program," said Lightning head coach Tracy York.

In her first two games with the Lightning, Mikaela is living up to expectations with an average of 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Joslyn Tinkle ('13), after two seasons in Europe, is in Australia, playing for the Sydney Uni Flames.

Sydney is on the southeast coast of Australia [map].

Coach Shannon Seebohm believes Tinkle will be a brilliant addition to the team. “Joslyn’s versatility suits our style of play very well since she can score from both in the paint and from the perimeter. She is also going to add great game experience to the team with her time spent playing in some of the best leagues in Europe. We are very excited to have her join the Flames for next season,” he said.

Jos began her season down under with a double-double (14 pts, 11 rbs). In her first three games with the Flames, she's averaging 14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. A third of her shots have been from beyond the arc, from where she's made three of ten.

In the second round of the Australian season, the Flames played the Lightning in Adelaide and won 107-60. Jos and Mikaela each scored 18 points. Jos tweeted, "We may be playing against each other these days, but we are teammates forever."

Sarah Boothe ('12), after two seasons in Poland, is in Russia, playing for Kazanochka Kazan.

Kazan is the eighth most populous city in Russia. It lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers, about 500 miles east of Moscow [map].

Sarah starts at the center for Kazanochka and is averaging 7.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the first three games of the season.

Nneka Ogwumike ('12) is in Russia, playing for Dynamo Kursk for the second consecutive season.

Kursk is in southwestern Russia, about 330 miles south of Moscow [map]

Kursk has won its first three games of the season. Nneka is the leading scorer with an average of 18.5 points per game. She's made 78.6% of her shots.

Kursk is the only "Stanford alumnae team" that's playing in EuroLeague Women this season. Kursk cruised past Fenerbahce 72-40 in their Euroleague Women opener. FIBA journalist Paul Nilsen awarded Nneka "Game Hero" status, saying, "Ogwumike has picked up right where she left off last season. The competition's top scorer last time around went for 22 points off 9-of-13 shooting in this one with 11 of those points coming during the decisive sequence [a 21-2 run] soon after half-time."

Kayla Pedersen ('11) is in Italy, playing for Gesam Gas Lucca for the second consecutive season.

Lucca is in northwestern Italy, just 11 miles from Pisa [map].

Lucca has won their first three games of the season with Kayla starting at the center and playing 30 minutes per game. She has averaged 17.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.3 blocks.

Jillian Harmon ('09), after a championship year in Australia, is back in Italy playing for Gesam Gas Lucca along with her ex-Stanford teammate Kayla Pedersen.

(This is the first time that Stanford alumnae have played on the same international team since Kate Starbird and Jamila Wideman played together in Spain: Letter home from Kate)

Jillian is Lucca's starting shooting guard. In their first three games, she leads the team in playing time (34 min) and scoring (22.7 points).

Kristen Newlin/Kristen Nevlin('07) is in Istanbul, Turkey [map], playing for Gelistirenler.

This is New's ninth season of playing professional basketball in Turkey, her first with Gelistirenler,which was recently promoted to Superleague, the premier Turkish professional basketball league. Her husband, Emre Vatansever, is the assistant coach at Galatasaray, which is also in Istanbul.

Gelistirenler has played just one game this season; New did not play.

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