May 26, 2016

Watch Nneka vs Chiney this afternoon

The Los Angeles Sparks play the Connecticut Sun this afternoon (May 26) in Mohegan at 4:00 PT.

You can watch the game online for $1.99.

Here's the game preview, with links to the webcast and upcoming game info.

May 17, 2016

Alumnae Abroad: 2015-16 season-end report

The 2015-16 season is over for the eight Stanford alumnae who played abroad. Here's how it went for them.

Una grandissima vittoria

Lucca had an excellent season. They were co-champions, with Familia Schio, of the Italian Serie A1 league with a 23-3 win-loss record, their best finish ever since joining the A1 league in 2011. But Schio swept the league playoff finals to take their fourth consecutive A1 title, leaving Lucca a proud winner of the silver medal.

Jillian Harmon ('09), Lucca (Italy)

Jillian, who joined Lucca as their starting shooting guard this season, was a major factor in Lucca's success. She led her team in scoring with 18.9 ppg (#5 in the league). She scored in double digits in all but three games, more than 20 points in 14 games and 30 or more three times. She also tallied 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game.

Jillian was named to the All-Italian A1 First Team and All-Imports Team by

Kayla Pedersen ('11), Lucca (Italy)

Kayla had a fine season as Lucca's starting center. This was Kayla's second season with Lucca and she switched positions, from the '4' to the '5'. At 6'4", she was Lucca's tallest player.

Kayla was Lucca's best shot-blocker (0.3 bpg), second-best rebounder (7.1 rpg), and third-best scorer (11.0 ppg).

Kayla received Honorable Mention in the All-Italian A1 awards.

Amber Orrange ('15), Vigarano (Italy)

Vigarano, in just their second season in the Italian Serie A1 league, ranked eleventh with a 9-17 win-loss record and ended their season with a loss in the first round of the playoffs.

Amber had a promising rookie season as Vigarano's starting shooting guard. She didn't perform very well at the beginning, but came on strong as the season progressed and scored in double digits in all but two games in the last half of the season.

Amber had a great performance in the first round of the playoffs as she helped Vigarano upset the #6 seed by scoring 24 points (including all eight of her free throws) and 10 rebounds. In the second game of the round, she tallied 19 points and 5 steals, but that wasn't enough to save the game for Vigarano.

Amber led her team in steals with 2.3 per game. She was second in scoring (11.9 ppg) and assists (1.5 apg) and third in rebounds (5.3 rpg).

Nneka Ogwumike ('12), Dynamo Kursk (Russia)

Dynamo Kursk had a very good season, although not quite as good as last season when they made their first-ever appearance in EuroLeague Women and won the bronze medal. This season, they lost to eventual silver medallist Nadezhda in the Elite Eight.

They ranked fourth in the Russian PBL league with a 17-5 win-loss record. In the league playoffs, they lost to Nadezhda in the semifinals, then went on finish their season with a victory in the consolation final and the bronze medal.

Nneka was outstanding in both competitions.

She ranked in the top 10 EuroLeague players in 15 of 21 statistical categories — everything except 3-pointers, offensive rebounds, assists and steals. She was first in field goals made (7.0 per game) and 2-point field goal percentage (58.4%), second in scoring (17.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (55.7%), third in double-doubles (6).

Nneka was named the All-EuroLeague Forward of the Year and Import Player of the Year by

In the PBL games, Nneka was the league's top scorer with 19.7 ppg. She made 66% of her field goal attempts and 84% of her free throws, led her team in rebounding with 7.7 per game (seventh-best in the league), and tallied five double-doubles.

She was named the All-Russian PBL Player of the Year, Forward of the Year. and Import Player of the Year by

Sarah Boothe ('12), Kazanochka Kasan (Russia)

Kazanochka finished in a three-way tie for next-to-last place in the Russian PBL league with a disappointing 4-18 win-loss record.

Sarah did a great job for Kazanochka as their starting power forward. She was their best scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker with game averages of 11.9, 7.9 and 1.0 respectively. She was the sixth-best rebounder in the league (0.2 ahead of Nneka) and the fifth-best shot-blocker.

She took 1/4 of Kazanochka's total field goal attempts and made 48.5% of them. She tallied double-doubles nine times.

Sarah has also contributed to the community by teaching basketball to school girls in Kazan.

Mikaela Ruef ('13), Adelaide Lightning (Australia)

The Adelaide Lightning finished seventh in the Australian WNBL league with a 10-14 win-loss record.

Mikaela had a very good season as the Lightning's starting shooting forward. She led the team in rebounds with an average of 11.8 per game (#2 in the league) and blocked shots (0.8 per game). She was third on the team in scoring (13.1 points per game) and assists (2.2 per game). She tallied double-doubles in the last eight games of the season and in three earlier games.

Mikaela received Honorable Mention in the All-Australian WNBL awards.

Two of her teammates are named Mikaela and Mikayla, and, according to the Lightning coach's end-of-season poem, she's known as:

... We lifted and played with energy abound
Watch out though as Ruefy would take your rebound ...

Joslyn Tinkle ('13), Sydney Uni Flames (Australia)

The Flames finished fifth in the Australian WNBL league with a 13-11 win-loss record.

Joslyn had a good season as the Flames' starting power forward. She led the team in blocks, with an average of 2.7 per game (#4 in the league) and in rebounds, with an average of 13.9 per game. She was also their fourth-best scorer, with an average of 11.4 points per game.

Kristen Newlin/Kristen Nevlin('07), Gelistirenler (Turkey)

Gelistirenler ranked eighth in the Turkish KBSL (used to be TKBL) league with an 11-15 win-loss record and ended its season with a loss to #1 seed Fenerbahce in the first round of the league playoffs.

New was Gelistirenler's starting power forward. She led the team in rebounding (7.8 per game), was second in blocked shots (0.4 per game) and scored 10.5 points per game.

May 16, 2016

Olympics for Seb?

Seb (Sebnem Kimyacioglu '05) has put her sneakers back on and returned to the Turkish Women's Basketball National Team as they prepare to compete for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Seb is a member of Turkey's 15-player preliminary squad, which began training this week.

Twelve teams will compete in the Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the remaining five spots in the Olympics. New Zealand and Turkey are in different groups, so Jillian and Seb won't be playing against each other.

Click here for more information about the WOQT.

May 14, 2016

Who's playing ball this summer

Jillian Harmon '09 will be in Hew Zealand with the Tall Ferns, the New Zealand senior women's national team, working to secure a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games. After team trials in early May, the Tall Ferns will play in several friendly tournaments in Europe and China, before assembling 13-19 June for the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Nantes, France. Tall Ferns ready to get down to business

Jayne Appel-Marinelli '10 is in her seventh season with the San Antonio Silver Stars. Same number, new name.

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

Mikaela Ruef '13 is in Tasmania playing with the Launceston Tornadoes as she did last summer. Mikaela loves Australia, so much so that she has already signed with the Canberra Capitals for next season.

Chiney Ogwumike '14 is back on the court for the Connecticut Sun after spending last year recovering from microfracture knee surgery. Sun Ready To Be Contenders Again, And It All Starts With Ogwumike

And who's not:

Kayla Pedersen '11, who recently obtained her Master of Arts degree in human counseling, is taking the summer off to pursue new challenges.

Jeanette Pohlen '11 was waived by the Indiana Fever.

Follow the WNBA this summer with Michelle Smith: Inside the W