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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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