April 28, 2017

Triple Threat

"Imagine a franchise composed of a three-player core of scoring point guard Damian Lillard, combo guard Jerry West, and dominant power forward Draymond Green. The three seem wildly different in terms of personality and style, yet as it turns out ..."

Alexandre Bucquet (Stanford Daily) tells the stories of the Cardinal's most recent alumnae: Triple Threat

April 25, 2017

April 23, 2017

Good and not-so-good news of Chiney

The good news: Chiney has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Connecticut Sun.

The not-so-good: Chiney has been suspended and will not play this season.

It's all explained in the Mohegan Bulletin: Sun offer Chiney Ogwumike contract extension, suspend her for season

April 19, 2017

Karlie signs contract with LA Sparks

Karlie has signed a training camp contract with the Los Angeles Sparks, as reported by Stanford Athletics: Sparks sign Samuelson

She joins several other Stanford alumnae: Nneka Ogwumike (who is a five-year veteran with the Sparks), Mikaela Ruef (who signed with the Sparks in March), and Bobbie Kelsey (who was hired as assistant coach in April).

Karlie faces some tough competition for her position — the Swish Sisters from Oregon State. The Sparks picked Sydney Wiese in the draft, and Jamie Weisner signed with them in February (she was waived by the Washington Mystics after several games last season).

April 17, 2017

Vanessa named as USA Basketball U16 coach

USA Basketball announced today:

Carla Berube, Steve Gomez And Vanessa Nygaard Named As Coaches For 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team

The announcement includes Vanessa's impressive qualification for the position:

Having recently completed her fifth season at the helm of Windward [High School in Los Angeles], Nygaard owns a 130-25 record (.839 winning percentage) as the program’s head coach. She took the reins in 2012-13, after serving as an associate head coach there for three seasons (2008-09 to 2011-12).

April 16, 2017

Nneka's team wins FIBA EuroLeague Women championship

Dynamo Kursk made FIBA history three seasons ago — in its first-ever appearance in EuroLeague Women, it advanced to the Final Four where it won the bronze medal.

Dynamo Kursk made FIBA history again this season with a truly magnificent run to glory as it capped a perfect 18-0 season with a victory in the championship game today.

Kursk defeated Turkish team Fenerbahce 77-68 to take the gold. There were three familiar game heroes for Kursk:

  • Nneka Ogwumike had the only double-double of the day (19 points and 10 rebounds) plus three assists, two steals and a block. She played the full 40 minutes, the only player on either team to do so.
  • Angel McCoughtry was the top scorer of the day with 20 points and was named MVP.
  • Epiphanny Prince added 18 points, seven assists and four steals.

Here is the game story from FIBA: Dynamo Kursk crowned EuroLeague Women champions for the first time and the complete game report, which includes statistics and a gallery of photos.

You can see the complete live game at livebasketball.tv. (They charge $9.99 for a month subscription. The video quality was good, and the English-speaking commentator was excellent.)

April 14, 2017

Fever are ecstatic to get Bird

So say Indiana Fever head coach Pokey Chapman and president Kelly Krauskopf in:

Fever Secure a Steal in Stanford’s Erica McCall

(Is she still "Bird"? I hope so.)

April 13, 2017

Bird drafted by the Indiana Fever

Congratulations to Bird!

She was selected by the Indiana Fever with the 17th pick of the 2017 WNBA Draft (the fifth pick of the second round). It was the Fever's first pick of the draft.

Bird will find at least two familiar faces in the Fever locker room: Jeanette Pohlen Mavunga (Stanford '11) and Candice Dupree (her sister-in-law, spouse of Bird's sister DeWanna Bonner).

Three other Pac-12 alumnae were drafted: Kelsey Plum, #1 to San Antonio Stars; Sydney Wiese #11 to Los Angeles Sparks; and Chantal Osahor #21 to Chicago Sky.

Here is more about Bird and the draft:

Ridgeview grad McCall taken in WNBA Draft, from Bakersfield.com

Cardinal Fever, from Stanford Athletics

The complete draft board

Bird's dream is about to come true

McCall ready for her big moment at WNBA Draft from Bakersfield.com

Remember to share Bird's big moment: the draft show is on ESPN2 at 4:00 this afternoon.

April 11, 2017

Arizona welcomes Nicole home

After three years as an assistant to Kelly Graves, Nicole Powell ('04) is "beyond excited" to return home to the Arizona West Valley for her first head-coaching job at Grand Canyon University.

Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university in Phoenix. The 'Lopes (Antelopes) compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

Read more about Nicole's appointment in Ex-Mountain Pointe standout Nicole Powell named GCU women's basketball coach from the Arizona Rebublic and in GCU Athletics' Twitter page.

Nicole has joined a very enthusiastic basketball community. GCU's student section, the GCU Havocs, prides itself as the rowdiest in the country.

April 7, 2017

Bird is on her way to the WNBA

The WNBA has released a list of 10 prospects that will be on hand for the 2017 Draft next Thursday in New York City. Bird is one of the ten.

Here is the Stanford Athletics announcement: McCall to attend WNBA draft

April 6, 2017

Nneka is player of the month again

Nneka has been named the eurobasket.com MVP of the month for the second time this season:

Nneka Ogwumike (189-F/C-90, college: Stanford) of Dynamo Kursk (Russia) was selected as the MVP of March by eurobasket.com. Ogwumike led her team to perfect 5-0 record that past month (4-0 in Euroleague and 1-0 in Russian PBL). She averaged 15.0ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.0apg. In her best game she scored 27 points in a win against Bourges.
Dynamo Kursk cruised into the EuroLeague Women Final Four with a perfect record to their name after sweeping Bourges Basket in the Quarter-Finals, thanks mainly to outstanding performances by Angel McCoughtry and Nneka. In addition to her 27 points in that game, Nneka tallied six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

Dynamo Kursk will play USK Prague in the Euroleague Women semi-finals on April 14. The championship game is on April 16.

Dynamo Kursk tops the Russian PBL League with an almost perfect record (19-1). Nneka contributed six points, twelve rebounds and three steals to their semi-final victory over Dynamo Moscow in the PBL Playoffs.

Dynamo Kursk will play UMMC (the PBL co-champion, also with a 19-1 record) in the second round of the semi-finals on April 9.

March 25, 2017

Vanessa revels in victory

Vanessa Nygaard ('98) coached her high school team Windward to the Division I state championship, beating Sacramento McClatchy 53-41.

Vanessa isn't shy when she's happy. She ran onto the court during the presentation of the CIF championship plaque and jumped into the arms of Athletic Director Tyrone Powell.

Watch the video

March 9, 2017

Nneka is Europe Player of the Month

Nneka was named the Europe Player of the Month for leading her team to seven victories in February, three in the Russian PBL League and four in EuroLeague Women:
Nneka Ogwumike (189-F/C-90, college: Stanford) of Dynamo Kursk (Russia) was selected as the MVP of February by eurobasket.com. American center who also holds Nigerian passport, led her team to 7 victories last month while averaging 12.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 0.3 bpg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 80.0%. Her best game was on Feb.26 against the rivals from UMMCA when Ogwumike registered double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Nneka has continued her outstanding performance in March as Dynamo Kursk won its first EuroLeague Women quarterfinal game, thanks in large part to her 22 points and 14 rebounds.

March 8, 2017

Top 25 Oregon girls who came to Stanford

Girls basketball in Oregon has come a long way since it became an OSAA sport in the mid-1970s, producing high school and college all-Americans, Olympians and professional stars.

The Oregonian takes a look at The top 25 players in Oregon girls basketball history

These seven came to Stanford (Click photos to enlarge):

24. Tara Harrington
Mazama 1993
6-0, Forward

The sweet-shooting Harrington was a three-time, first-team all-state selection and the player of the year as a senior, when she averaged 27.3 points and had a 52-point game in which she made 20 of 29 shots. Gatorade named her the Pacific region player of the year in 1993. In four varsity seasons, she averaged 19 points and amassed 982 rebounds, 634 assists and 515 steals as the Vikings went 87-13 and won three consecutive conference titles and their first state trophy, finishing third in 1993. She had 15 steals in one game. She also was a three-time all-state soccer player. A 4.0 student, she played at Stanford and professionally in Europe before coaching in college and becoming a doctor.

22. JJ Hones
Southridge 2006
5-10, Point guard

Southridge’s championship teams of 2005 and 2006 were stocked with Pac-10 caliber talent, but Hones was the engine that made it all go. She was the state player of the year as a senior, averaging 12.6 points and leading the team in assists and steals while shooting 53.2 percent. She could get her points when needed, as evidenced by a 25-point first half in a semifinal win over Ashland in 2006. The Skyhawks went 56-2 in her last two seasons, finishing ranked seventh in the nation by USA Today in 2006, and set the stage for a run of five titles in six years. Hones played in two national championship games for Stanford before being dismissed from the team as a fourth-year junior.

20. Kailee Johnson
Central Catholic 2013
6-3, forward

Long and athletic, Johnson was a force on offense and defense for the Rams, helping lead them to their first state championship in 2013. She was the state player of the year as a senior, averaging 18.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals while shooting 63 percent. In a quarterfinal win over Westview in 2013, she had 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks, while cooling off a red-hot Jaime Nared, holding her to 4-for-25 shooting with six turnovers. She also was a standout volleyball player, winning two state titles. She played in the McDonald’s All-American Game before heading off to Stanford, where she started 15 games in three seasons before opting to forgo her senior year.12.

12. Katy Steding
Lake Oswego 1986
6-0, Forward

A three-time, first-team all-state selection, Steding was named the player of the year as a senior, when she averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds. She helped lead the Lakers to the semifinals in 1984, 1985 and 1986, making the all-tournament first team each year. In a playoff win over Crescent Valley as a sophomore, she scored 36 points. She was a three-time all-Pac-10 pick at Stanford, where she was a member of the school’s first NCAA title team in 1990. She won a gold medals with Team USA in the 1991 World University Games, where she averaged 10.3 points, and the 1996 Olympics. She played in the WNBA until 2001 and currently is the coach at Boston University.

11. Trisha Stevens
Philomath 1987
6-2, Center

Stevens dominated in Class AA – the second-highest level – leading Philomath to state titles in 1986 and 1987 and a 61-game winning streak. In the 1987 final against Marist, she made 19 of 22 shots and had 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks. She finished her career as the state’s all-time leading scorer and currently stands third. She still owns the state single-game rebound record with 33. She was a two-time all-Pac-10 selection at Stanford, where she led the 1990 national championship team in scoring (17.6) and field-goal percentage (54.9), and was inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. She played in two Final Fours, was named to the NCAA All-Regional team twice and finished her college career second on Stanford’s all-time scoring list (1,649). She also was a member of the USA U-18 National Team in 1989. Stevens was the Boise State coach from 1996 to 2002.

8. Jillian Harmon
Lakeridge 2005
6-1, Forward

Harmon was a three-time state player of the year, the first girl or boy to accomplish the feat. She was an offensive force for the Pacers, scoring inside and outside to amass 2,157 career points, No. 8 on the all-time list. She averaged 21.8 points as a senior, including 28.4 in five postseason games. She had a 43-point, 16-rebound performance in a playoff win over West Salem. She led Lakeridge to a state runner-up finish as a junior. Harmon made an instant impact at Stanford, averaging 8.5 points and making the Pac-10 all-freshman team, and was a member of two Final Four teams, finishing runner-up in 2008.. She played in the 2008 Olympics for New Zealand, scoring 22 points in one game, and won a gold medal at the USA Youth Development Festival. She has had a successful professional career playing in Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

5. Lindsey Yamasaki
Oregon City 1998
6-1, Forward

An outstanding leaper, Yamasaki could dominate with pure athleticism. She won four state championships at Oregon City and is the program’s No. 2 career scorer (1,682) behind Tammy Arnold. Despite sharing the spotlight with other elite players, she averaged 20.5 points as a junior and a school-record 24.6 points as a senior, earning player of the year honors. She was MVP of the WBCA High School All-America Game, scoring 16 points. Yamasaki also was player of the year in volleyball as a senior and headed to Stanford with dreams of becoming a two-sport star. She led the basketball team in scoring (14.0) as a freshman, and after redshirting her first year, returned to volleyball and helped lead Stanford to the NCAA final. She gave up volleyball to focus on basketball and became a Pac-10 first-team selection, finishing as the program’s No. 9 all-time scorer (1,497 points). She was the 29th pick in the 2002 WNBA draft and played in the league for two seasons.

March 7, 2017

Kayla is Italian Player of the Week

Kayla was named the Italian Serie A1 League Player of the Week:
27-year old forward Kayla Pedersen (193-F-89) had a great game in the last round for league's best team Lucca and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 19. She had a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, while her team outclassed Battipaglia (#11, 3-16) with 27-point margin 77-50. It allowed Lucca to consolidate first place in the Italian Serie A1. Lucca have a solid 17-2 record. It's Pedersen's second year at Lucca and it's hard to imagine this team without her. Kayla Pedersen averages this season 9.4ppg and 6.9rpg.
This is Kayla's top score in her two years with Lucca and her third double-double of the season.

March 2, 2017

Professor Starbird speaks about "fake news"

University of Washington professor and researcher Kate Starbird touches on the many definitions of "fake news," its effects on mainstream media, and how both technology designers and consumers could address these issues.

Click here for video.

February 23, 2017

Jillian and Amber excel in Italy

For the third time this season, Jillian was named the Italian Serie A1 League Player of the Week:
The 29-year old guard had the game-high 23 points adding six rebounds for Lucca in her team's victory, helping them to crush La Spezia (#12, 2-16) with a 19-point margin 71-52. It allowed Lucca to consolidate first place in the Italian Serie A1. Lucca has a solid 16-2 record. In the team's last game Harmon had a remarkable 66.7% from 2-point range. It's her second year at Lucca and it's hard to imagine this team without her.

Jillian is the fourth-best scorer in the league with an average of 17.6 ppg. Her 2.6 steals per game is eighth-best in the league.

Amber's performance for Vigarano — 18 points, four rebounds and four assists — was judged the fifth-best of the week.

Amber ranks ninth in the Italian league in scoring (15.1 ppg), fourth in assists (3.1 apg) and fourth in steals (3.4 spg).

February 21, 2017

The dark side of Candice's WNBA career

Candice Wiggins: She was bullied in WNBA because she’s straight,
by Tod Leonard (San Francisco Chronicle)

Imani Boyette, University of Texas 2016, who currently plays for the Chicago Sky, responded with an open letter to Candice.

Mechelle Voepel (espnW) reports: WNBA has no comment, but many players dispute Candice Wiggins' allegations of bullying culture

As president of the WNBA Player Association, Nneka responded:

Our union is only as strong as our loyalty to and support for one another. What is key to that loyalty and support is our commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a union, we should and we will continue to celebrate the diversity that makes us special and lead by example. We must respect the rights of those we don’t agree with when they speak their mind. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the comments made recently by a former player or whether one has seen or experienced anything like what she has described, anything that impacts an inclusive culture should be taken seriously.

January 21, 2017

Alumnae Abroad: 2016-17 mid-season report


The Italian Serie A1 league has completed round 14 of 22. The regular season ends the last week of March.

Jillian HarmonLucca

Lucca and Familia Schio were co-champions of the Italian league last season. Lucca is having another excellent season and is currently in first place with a 12-1 record, one game ahead of Familia Schio and Venezia. Their only loss was by one point to Napoli. They have defeated both of the second-place teams and are scheduled to play them once more in the regular season.

Jillian, Lucca's starting shooting guard, is a key factor in their success. She leads her team in scoring (17.5 ppg, which is 4th best in the league). She makes just over 50% of her shots, has scored in double digits in all but one game, and has one double-double. She is Lucca's second-best rebounder (6.7 rpg) and ball thief (2.8 spg). She draws the most fouls and makes 81% of her free throws.

Kayla PedersenLucca

Kayla starts at the center for Lucca and is also having a very good season. She leads her team in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and is the third-best scorer (9.3 ppg). She makes just a bit less than 50% of her shots. She gets fouled almost as often as Jillian, but unfortunately makes only 62.5% of her free throws. She's had two double-doubles.

Amber OrrangeVigarano

Vigarano is not doing so well. They stand 10th in the 12-team league with a 3-10 record.

Amber is having a very good second season as Vigarano's starting point guard. She leads her team in scoring (14.9 ppg, which is 9th best in the league), assists (2.5 apg, 9th best in the league) and steals (3.8 spg, 2nd best in the league). She has improved considerably over her rookie season in all three of these categories.


The Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) is in Round 15 of 21. The regular season ends the first week of March.

FIBA EuroLeague Women, in which Nneka's and Kristen's teams are playing, has completed nine rounds of group play and has five more to go. Playoffs begin on March 15.

Nneka OgwumikeDynamo Kursk

Dynamo Kursk is the only undefeated team in EuroLeague Women with a 9-0 record. They stand second in the Russian PBL with a 12-1 record.

Nneka is playing very well in both competitions, although she's not as dominant as last season. She is the second-best of all EuroLeague players in rebounds per game (10.1) and fifth in points per game (16.1) . She's made 53.5% of her field goal attempts, scored in double-digits in all but one game and has tallied three double-doubles.

Nneka has made 63.4% of her shots in the PBL games. She's third on the team in rebounds (6.4 rpg) and scoring (11.6 ppg).

Sarah BootheKazanochka Kazan

Kazanochka stands at ninth in the 11-team PBL with a 4-9 record.

Sarah starts for Kazanochka as the power forward and plays about 20 minutes per game. She's the second-best scorer (8.5 ppg) and rebounder (5.7 rpg).


The Turkish Women Basketball Super League (KBSL) has completed 13 of 26 rounds. The regular season ends the first week of April.

Kristen NevlinMersin

Mersin has had a tough time in their first-ever EuroLeague Women appearance. They've lost all nine of their group play games, so will clearly not advance to the playoffs.

Mersin stands eleventh in the 14-team Turkish league with a 4-8 record.

Kristen has done well in both competitions as a reserve center for Mersin. She has averaged 8.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in the EuroLeague games; 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in the Turkish league games.


The Australian Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) has completed round 15 of 20. The regular season ends in mid-February.

Mikaela RuefCanberra Capitals

The Caps, who are in a rebuilding phase with a new coach and 14 new players, are doing pretty well. They stand fifth in the eight-team league with a 10-8 record.

Mikaela is the starting power forward and plays about 30 minutes per game. She leads her team and the league in rebounding (10.7 rpg) and is third on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (1.9 apg). She's scored in double-digits in 12 games and tallied nine double-doubles.


The German 2.Bundesliga has completed 13 of 22 rounds. The regular season ends in mid-March.

Alissa (Cissy) PierceGoettingen Veilchen Ladies

Goettingen is in a three-way tie for first place in the Northern conference with an 11-2 record.

Alissa is the starting shooting forward for Goettingen. She averages 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.


The Chinese WBCA league has a very demanding schedule — almost three games a week for a total of 32. The regular season ended a week ago.

Chiney OgwumikeHenan Yichuan

Henan had been the top-ranked team in the league before Chiney tore her Achilles tendon in late November. They lost all but one game since then and finished at the bottom.

Chiney played in 13 games before her injury and averaged 33.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. She scored more than 20 points in every game and had nine double-doubles.

Almost every Chinese team has one tall, strong American import, but at the end of the season Chiney still stands as the second-best scorer and the fifth-best rebounder in the league.