May 21, 2017

Alex is playing for the Southern Tigers

Alex Green (2015) has, for the time being, set aside her plan to pursue a career in athletic administration. She's playing basketball instead.

Last summer she played for the Dallas Lady Diesel, a non-profit sports club that is a member of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League, a professional development league for women basketball players.

This summer Alex has gone pro and is playing basketball in Australia with the Southern Tigers, which is located a few kilometers south of Adelaide (map).

The Southern Tigers are a member of the Premier League, which is one of seven Australian State Basketball regional leagues. They play from April to the end of July.

The Tigers are 5-1 for the season. Alex has played in all six games and has averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

Matt Turner (Southern Times) interviewed Alex soon after she arrived in Australia and wrote this story:

Green now in yellow chasing the silverware

Alex Green has put injuries behind her and is determined to make the most of her debut overseas basketball stint by helping Southern Tigers win a Premier League title.

The Dallas-raised point guard joined the Tigers as an import last month after graduating from an injury-riddled five years at Stanford University.

Green tore her left achilles tendon in her first season at the Californian college, side-lining her for 15 months, and then missed nine months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament during her final campaign last year. She tore her other ACL during her last year of high school.

With the injuries and frustration now over, Green is intent on leading Southern, a preliminary finalist last season, to its first women's championship in 21 years.

"It was definitely challenging but everything I've gone through has made me a stronger person," Green says.

"The knee's going great, I haven't had any issues and I feel stronger than I was before my injuries.

"Speed, quickness and running into position are strengths. I just want to be a great teammate, just do whatever the team needs me to do ... and win games. We want to win it all and get better each game."

Green started playing club basketball in primary school, combining it with soccer until she was 11.

"Soccer was my main sport growing up but I reached a certain age where I had to choose ... and I ended up choosing basketball. I thought it was more fun."

Green knew nothing about the Premier League and had never heard of Adelaide before joining the Tigers.

"It was an opportunity to play basketball at the next level and to travel and meet new people."

"It's been awesome. Everyone's been so welcoming and nice."

May 18, 2017

Sarah is playing for the Bulleen Boomers

Sarah Boothe ('12)has made a huge cultural and geographic leap — from Kazan, Russia to Bulleen, Australia (map)

She's playing basketball this summer with the Bulleen Bombers, who are located just a few kilometers northeast of Melbourne.

The Bulleen Bombers are a member of the BigV (Victoria) League, which is one of seven Australian State Basketball regional leagues. They play from mid-March to the end of July.

Sarah is their starting center. She's played in the Bombers' last two games and has averaged 12 points and 17 rebounds per game.

May 17, 2017

Kayla signs with Rangers

Kayla broke her thumb in the Italian playoffs and was waived by the Connecticut Sun.

She has since signed with the Dandenong Rangers in Australia for the 2017-18 season.

Kayla played for the Rangers in 2013-14 and was named their Defensive Player of the Year. They're thrilled by her return, as reported here: Kayla Pedersen returns to Dandenong for 2017/18 season.

May 14, 2017

Azzi and Lacob reminisce on San Jose Lasers' 20th anniversary

Two decades ago, Joe Lacob owned his first pro basketball team — the San Jose Lasers.

Today he owns a more successful team — the Golden State Warriors.

Mark Purdy (San Francisco Chronicle) brought Jennifer Azzi and Lacob together to reminisce: Joe Lacob lost $10 million on the first basketball team he owned — with no regrets

The story is accompanied by 43 historic photos — from the first point scored by the Lasers to the day the league folded.

May 13, 2017

Who's playing ball this summer

And who's not

  • Mikaela Ruef '13 was waived by the Los Angeles Sparks at the end of training camp.

  • Karlie Samuelson '17 was waived by the Los Angeles Sparks at the end of training camp, during which she injured her ankle.

  • Chiney Ogwumike '14 is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. She has signed a multi-year contract with the Connecticut Sun, but has been suspended for the season to free up a roster spot (story)

  • Kayla Pedersen '11, who was slated to return to the Connecticut Sun, has been waived for the season because she broke her thumb in the Italian League championship game. (story).

WNBA Games on Twitter

The WNBA has added Twitter to its viewing options this season. They will live stream 20 regular-season games at wnba.twitter.com. Click here for the story and schedule.

As in past seasons, some games will be shown on national TV (ESPN and NBATV). Click here for the National TV schedule.

Other games will be shown on various local TV stations and on League Pass (WNBA's live game streaming service, which costs $16.99 for a season subscription).

The WNBA Full Schedule shows the various viewing options for each game. Click 'Game Info' for links to Twitter and League Pass.

May 12, 2017

Alumnae Abroad, 2016-17 Season-End Report

The 2016-17 season ended with gold medals for four of the eight Stanford alumnae who played abroad.

Lucca had an excellent season. They were the regular season co-champion with Familia Schio of the Italian Serie A1 league for the second consecutive season. The two teams met again in the league playoff championship. Familia Schio, the three-year reigning league champion, had swept Lucca in the championship series last season. But Lucca triumphed 3-1 over Schio this season, and won their first Serie A1 gold medal.

Campion d'Italia¹

Jillian Harmon ('09), Lucca (Italy)

Jillian, Lucca's starting power forward, was a major factor in Lucca's success. She led her team in scoring with 17.2 ppg (third-best in the league) and scored in double digits in all but one game. She was Lucca's second-best rebounder (6.7 rpg) and also tallied 1.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

She scored an average of 17 points in the league championship series and was named the tournament MVP.

Jillian was named All-Italian A1 Player of the Year and Forward of the Year and was named to the All-Italian A1 1st Team and the All-Imports Team by Euroleague.com.

Kayla Pedersen ('11), Lucca (Italy)

Kayla had a fine season as a center for Lucca. She came off the bench, but played an average of about 30 minutes per game. She was Lucca's best rebounder (7.7 rpg) and shot-blocker (0.4 bpg) and their second-best scorer (11.0 ppg). She also tallied 2.2 steals per game.

Kayla's performance in the championship series was notable. She averaged a double-double (11.5 points and 10 rebounds).

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

Amber Orrange ('15), Vigarano (Italy)

This was Vigarano's third season in the Italian Serie A1 league. They finished in a three-way tie for eighth with a 6-16 record and ended their season with a loss to the league leader in the playoff quarter-finals — a nice step up from #11 last season.

This was Amber's second season with Vigarano. She started as their point guard this season. She played the most minutes of anyone on the team (36.2 per game) and was among the top-10 performers in the league — first in assists (3.7 per game with just 3.3 turnovers), third in steals (3.3 per game) and ninth in scoring (14.8 ppg).

Amber had a great performance in the victory that took Vigarano to the quarter-finals. She led the effort with a double-double (21 points and 11 rebounds), eight assists and four steals.

Amber was named to the All-Italian A1 2nd Team by Eurobasket.com

Серебро с золотым отливом²

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

Dynamo Kursk was almost perfect this season, losing just one game in the regular season. They won a gold medal and a silver medal and were the regular season co-champion.

Dynamo Kursk made FIBA history in EuroLeague Women as they wrapped up a perfect 18-0 season with a victory in the championship game. See Nneka's team wins FIBA EuroLeague Women championship for more about the title game.

Dynamo Kursk went 19-1 in the Russian PBL league and were co-champion with UMMC Ekaterinburg (whose roster includes Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner). Each team's single regular season loss was to the other.

In the league playoffs, the battle between Dynamo Kursk and UMMC came down to the last minute of the fifth game of the championship series. The score was tied at 80-80 with 1:06 left to play. Then Diana Taurasi sank a 3-pointer to put UMMC ahead 80-83. At the 0:09 mark, UMMC committed an intentional foul; Anna Cruz made both free throws and Kursk was within one point of victory, but they weren't able to score in the final seconds. So UMMC won the gold, and Dynamo Kursk won the silver. Nneka was named to the All-Tournament team as best small forward.

Nneka was outstanding in both competitions, although not as dominating as last season.

In EuroLeague Women, she ranked first in double-doubles (8 in 17 games) and second in efficiency (21.4) and rebounds (10.2 rpg). She was the ninth-best scorer (15.1 ppg) and 16th in field goal percentage (.500).

Nneka was named All-EuroLeague Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and Import of the Year by Eurobasket.com.

In the PBL games, Nneka made 55% of her shots for an average of 12.8 points per game (which was eighth-best in the league). She was ninth in the league in rebounds (7.1 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg).

Nneka was named All-Russian PBL Forward of the Year and was named to the All-Russian PBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team by Eurobasket.com.

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

Kazanochka finished in the next-to-last place in the Russian PBL league with a disappointing 6-14 record.

This was Sarah's second season as Kazanochka's starting power forward. She averaged 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game.

Mikaela Ruef ('13), Canberra Capitals (Australia)

The Caps, with their new coach and 14 new players, did quite well in their re-building season. They finished in a tie for fifth place in the Australian WNBL League, their most successful season in six years.

Only the top four teams advance to the playoffs in Australia, so that was the end of the Caps' season.

Mikaela led the league in rebounding with 11.0 rpg. She was the Caps' third-best scorer with 12.4 ppg. She was one of only two players in the league to average a double-double per game and racked up one in half of their games this season .

Mikaela was named to the All-Australian WNBL second team by Australiabasket.com.

Kristen Nevlin (Newlin) ('07), Mersin (Turkey)

Mersin played in EuroLeague Women for the first time ever and had a tough time. They went 2-12 in group play. Kristen averaged 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.6 blocks per game.

Mersin ranked seventh in the Turkish KBSL league with a 12-14 record and ended its season with a loss to #2 seed Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals of the league playoffs.

Kristen was Mersin's starting center. She averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.6 blocks per game in Turkish league play.

Veilchen Ladies sind erstklassig³

Alissa (Cissy) Pierce ('08), Veilchen Ladies Goettingen (Germany)

The Violet Ladies were double champions this season. They won the regular-season championship of the Northern division of the German 2.Bundesliga league with a 19-3 record and took the gold in the post-season playoff with a 3-0 sweep of the second place team.

Alissa was Goettingen's starting power forward. She was their third-best scorer (13.8 ppg) and second-best rebounder (5.8 rpg).


¹ Champion of Italy
² Silver with a hint of gold
³ Violet Ladies are first class

May 9, 2017

Sun waive Kayla because she broke her thumb

As reported in The Day on May 9:
The Connecticut Sun waived post Kayla Pedersen on Monday as it continued to pare its roster down to the WNBA’s 12-player limit by Friday’s deadline.

Pedersen hadn’t reported to training camp yet due to her commitments with Lucca of Italy’s LegA Basket Femminile. She had 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds on Sunday as Lucca beat Familia Schio, 65-50, to win the league title in four games.

Connecticut acquired Pedersen in exchange for a 2014 second-round pick from the Tulsa Shock in 2013. She played in 89 games for the Sun. She was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft and took last season off to work in a youth ministry.

As reported in the Norwich Bulletin on May 11:

Veteran forward Kayla Pedersen was supposed to join the Sun following the Italian League Serie A championship.

But Pedersen broke her thumb in the championship series and the 6-foot-4 forward was not going to be available this season.

The Sun waived Pedersen on Monday.

Here's the whole story: Sun roster in flux as WNBA season approaches

May 3, 2017

Bird's first WNBA minutes

She played 14 minutes in the Fever's preseason game against the Washington Mystics, made two of six field goal attempts, and snared six rebounds.