May 30, 2018

Karlie released by Sparks

The LA Sparks were very short-handed a couple of weeks ago. Two players had not returned from overseas play and Candace Parker was out with a day-to-day injury. Under a special WNBA hardship ruling, the Sparks were allowed to extend their roster and signed Karlie.

Now the three veteran players are back and Karlie's contract has been waived.

Karlie made a fine showing in her short stint in the WNBA. She played in four games for about ten minutes per game. She tallied 14 points, five rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocks. She made 45.5% of her field goal attempts and 40% of her three-pointers.

This isn't the end of basketball for Karlie. She's signed a contract to play in Belgium in the 2018-19 season.

May 24, 2018

Alumnae Abroad: 2017-18 Season-end report

Four of the ten Stanford alumnae who played abroad in the 2017-18 season took home a medal (or two).

Amber, with Keltern, won the German DBBL regular season and the league championship:

(Click photos to enlarge)

Bird, with Atomeromu was the Hungarian A Division regular-season co-champion, took the gold in the Hungarian Cup (an interleague competition), and won the silver in the league championship:

Sarah, with Montana 2003, won the bronze medal in the Women's Adriatic Basketball Association (WABA) championship.

Nneka, with Dynamo Kursk, won the bronze medal in FIBA Euroleague Women, was the Russian PBL League regular-season co-champion, and won the silver in the league championship.

Erica McCall ('17), Atomeromu KSC Szekszard (Hungary)

Atomeromu had an excellent season.

The team went 4-2 in FIBA EuroCup group play, and advanced to the Round of Eight — not bad for its first-ever international competition!

Bird averaged 10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 0.4 assists in the EuroCup games.

Atomeromu won the Hungarian Cup, which is kind of a preview of the league playoffs. It's a competition among the top 8 teams in the Hungarian A Division played before the last regular season game.

Atomeromu was the Hungarian A Division regular season co-champion with Sopron; each had a 14-2 record and one of its losses was to the other.

Atomeromu fell to Sopron again in the league playoff finals, where it was swept 3-0 in the best-of-five series and earned the silver medal.

Bird led her team in scoring (13.6 ppg, sixth-best in the league), rebounding (7.0 rpg, tied for eighth-place in the league) and blocked shots (0.5 bpg) in the Hungarian league games.

Bird was named to the All-Hungarian 2nd Team and All Imports Team by

Briana Roberson ('17), PEAC Pécs (Hungary)

PEAC went 2-4 in FIBA EuroCup group play, and did not advance to the playoffs.

It placed seventh in the Hungarian A Division with an 8-12 record and ended its season in seventh place in the league playoffs.

Bri was PEAC's starting point guard. She averaged 12.5 points, 1.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game in EuroCup; 10.4 points, 2.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in the Hungarian League.

Amber Orrange ('15), Gruner Stern Keltern (Germany)

Amber and Keltern had a splendid season!

The team went 1-5 in FIBA EuroCup group play, and did not advance to the playoffs. But at home, it won the German DBBL regular season with an 18-4 record and took home the gold medal at the league playoffs with a 3-0 sweep of 4-year reigning champion Wasserburg in the best-of-five final round.

As Keltern's starting point guard, Amber was a strong member of the team. She averaged 23 points and four steals per game in the final round and was named the Finals MVP.

For the season, she led the team in scoring (15.4 ppg, tenth-best in the league) and steals (2.3 spg, third-best in the league). She added 3.2 assists (eighth-best in the league) and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Amber was named to the All-German DBBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team and was named the DBBL Player of the Year, Guard of the Year, and Import Player of the Year by

Mikaela Ruef ('14), Toulouse Metropole (France)

Toulouse placed third in the French LF2 Division with a 15-7 record and ended its season with a loss in the playoff quarterfinals.

Mikaela was Toulouse's starting center and a huge asset for the team. She was the second best scorer (17.5 ppg) and rebounder (12.0 rpg) in the LF2 league. She was also Toulouse's leading shot-blocker (0.6 bpg) and thief (1.7 spg). She tallied 14 double-doubles and was named Eurobasket LF2 Player of the Week six times.

Regrettably, Mikaela's season ended in Toulouse's second game of the playoff quarterfinal round with a suspected ACL injury. She is expected to be sidelined for a year.

Mikaela was named to the All-French LF2 1st team and was named the French LF2 Forward of the Year and Import Player of the year by

Sarah Boothe ('12), Montana 2003 (Bulgaria)

Montana played in the Bulgarian NBL league and in the Women's Adriatic Basketball Association (WABA). About 1/3 of the Montana players participated in both sets of games; the remainder played only in one set or the other. Sarah played only in the WABA games.

Montana placed first in the Bulgarian NBL league with an 11-1 record and won the gold medal in the playoffs.

Montana placed third in the WABA competition with a 9-5 record and won the bronze medal in the playoffs.

Sarah helped win the WABA bronze medal with a double-double, scoring 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. She averaged 14.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.8 assists in the WABA games

Sarah was named All-WABA Player of the Year and Center of the Year and named to the All-WABA First Team by

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

Reigning FIBA EuroLeague Women champion Dynamo Kursk advanced to the playoffs as the only unbeaten team in the competition, but dropped the semifinal game to its Russian rival UMMC 77-84. It defeated Turkish team Yakin Dogu in the consolation final and ended with the bronze medal.

Nneka averaged 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the EuroLeague games.

Dynamo Kursk tied for first place with UMMC in the Russian PBL league with a 19-1 record. Their only loss was to each other. They met again in the league playoff final — UMMC swept Dynamo Kursk in the best-of-five series, so Dynamo Kursk went home with the silver. (In the deciding game of the series, Brittney Griner scored 35 points and Maya Moore scored 26, including 10 of 10 free throws for UMMC.)

Nneka led her team in scoring in the Russian PBL games with 12.7 ppg, which ranked ninth-best in the league. She also tallied 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game (tied for sixth place in the league).

Nneka was named to the All-Russian PBL 2nd Team and Imports Team by

Kayla Pedersen ('11), Dandenong Rangers (Australia)

Dandenong, which has been among the top three teams in the Australian WNBL league for the prior six seasons, was hit hard by injuries this season. They lost ten of their last 13 regular season games after their star player, Sara Blicavs, suffered a devastating knee injury. and finished the season in seventh place with a 7-14 record.

Kayla held down the front court all season as Dandenong's starting shooting forward. She was their leading rebounder with 8.2 rpg, which ranked sixth-best in the league. She added 11.1 points and 2.4 assists per game and tallied six double-doubles.

Kayla was named the Defensive Player of the Year and the WNBL Robyn Maher defensive player of the year (See video).

Jillian Harmon ('09), Dike Napoli (Italy)

Napoli placed fourth in the Italian Serie A1 league with a 12-10 record and ended its season with a loss in the semifinals of the league playoffs.

Jillian had an outstanding season. She led her team in scoring with 18.3 ppg (best in the league) and in rebounding with 9.4 rpg (fourth-best in the league). She also dished 3.2 assists per game (No. 8 in the league). She played an average of 38 minutes per game and tallied a double-double in twelve of them.

Jillian was named the All-Italian A1 Forward of the year and to the 1st team and All-Imports team by

Jillian was named Female Player of the Year for the second year running by Basketball New Zealand.

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

Goettingen had a tough go in its first season in the DBBL, the premier German league. It finished 10th in the league with a 6-16 record and did not advance to the playoffs.

Alissa started as shooting forward for the Violet Ladies. She averaged 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

Kristen Newlin ('07), Bottasspor Adana (Turkey)

Botas placed fourth in the Turkish KBSL League with a 15-9 record and ended its season with a loss in the quarterfinals of the league playoffs.

New had a very good season as Botas' starting center. She averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists while playing 28 minutes per game.

May 23, 2018

Sarah is playing in Australia again this summer

Sarah Boothe ('12) is playing basketball with the Bulleen Bombers again this summer.

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.

She played as the Bombers' starting center last summer and, as their leading scorer and rebounder helped them win the silver medal in the State Championship

Sarah is the Bombers' starting shooting forward this summer and, after playing for Hungary in the winter season, joined the team for its last five games.

Sarah is one of the most experienced players at Bulleen, has averaged 12 points and 17 rebounds per game, and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.

May 20, 2018

Karlie signs with Sparks at the last minute

On Thursday, Karlie's name appeared in the large last group of women whose WNBA training camp contract was waived.

The cut came as a surprise because Karlie had put together a stellar preseason in which she averaged 9.7 points on 68.8 percent shooting (11-of-16) and a 62.5 percent clip from behind the arc (5-of-8).

This morning, the Los Angeles Sparks tweeted:

*** You can watch Karlie play this afternoon at 2:00pm PT on ESPN2.

May 18, 2018

Who's playing ball this summer?

Just a very few Stanford hoopsters.

Neither Karlie Samuelson ('17) nor Brittany McPhee ('18) made it through training camp. They were both waived just before the regular season started.

Jeanette Pohlen-Mavunga ('11), who had played for the Indiana Fever for six seasons was also waived at the end of training camp.

Kayla Pedersen ('11), has retired from the WNBA to pursue ministry opportunities.

The leaves just:

  • Erica (still "Bird") McCall ('17) back for her second year with the Indiana Fever after a very successful 2017-18 winter season in Hungary.

  • Chiney Ogwumike ('14) for her third season with the Connecticut Sun.

  • Veteran Nneka Ogwumike ('12) for her seventh season with the LA Sparks.

May 9, 2018

One-on-one with Chiney

David Barron (Houston Chronicle) chats with Chiney: One-on-one with Chiney Ogwumike, basketball star, announcer

And here's a video of Chiney from WTNH (a Connecticut TV station) after the Sun's first game of the 2018 season: Ogwumike looking good after being lost for the last two season-- due to some major injuries.

Bethany Donaphin Named Head of WNBA League Operations

The WNBA announced today that Bethany Donaphin (Stanford '02) has been promoted to Head of WNBA League Operations. Bethany has been serving as Associate Vice President, NBA Basketball Operations for almost two years.

As head of operations, Bethany will oversee all on-court basketball operations, including playing rules, scouting, scheduling and venue compliance. She also will oversee the management of referee operations and the administration of player-related policies and programs.

Read more in the WNBA announcement.

May 7, 2018

Karlie's plans for next season

Karlie Samuelson ('17) is currently at WNBA training camp, competing for a spot on the LA Sparks roster. She won't know whether she makes the cut for a couple of weeks, but a reliable source reports that she would have made it last summer, had she not re-injured the ankle that she had sprained in the Final Four a couple of months earlier.

Regardless of the WNBA outcome, Karlie will play professional basketball in Belgium (the first Cardinal alumnae to play in that country) in the 2018-19 season. She has signed a contract with Mithras Royal Castors Braine , which is located in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium (see map), and is expected to arrive there at the end of September or in early October.

Castors Braine is an excellent team. It had a perfect 2017-18 season (22-0) and won the Belgian Top Division championship for the fifth consecutive season.

May 3, 2018

Britt's dream comes true

“It’s a dream come true,” said Britt on how she felt after inking a training camp deal with her hometown team."

Read more: McPhee Continues Family Tradition of Basketball in the State of Washington

May 1, 2018

Chiney's careers are flourishing

In a couple of weeks, Chiney will finally return to her primary career as power forward for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

But also, as reported by Ben Carfardo (ESPN): Chiney Ogwumike Becomes Full-Time Multi-Platform ESPN Commentator