December 30, 2018

Lynx star Brittany McPhee shares sunny Christmas with twin Jordan

    Lynx star Brittany McPhee shares sunny Christmas with twin Jordan

    Athletic twins, basketballer Brittany McPhee with her sister Jordan, who is a track and field champion.Picture: Sharon Smith The West Australian

    Twins Brittany and Jordan McPhee have lived in each other’s pockets for most of their lives.
    But tomorrow will be one of the rare times when Jordan has watched Brittany playing basketball from the grandstand.
    Raised in Seattle, the McPhees were inseparable as children.
    They shared a bedroom, went to girl scouts and played basketball, tennis and soccer while growing up. 
    But after graduating from Mount Ranier High School, the pair went to college almost 1400km apart.
    Brittany’s outstanding basketball performances at Stanford University led to her being recruited by the Perth Lynx. 
    Jordan switched colleges and sports this year, focusing on athletics while studying for her masters in business administration at Gonzaga University. 
    A 1500m runner, Jordan flew to Australia last week and will spend the next month in Perth.
    “It’s exciting to just be hanging out again,” Brittany said.
    “We only saw each other for a couple of weeks per year at college. We’re used to being apart now and we still talk a lot but it will be good to get a solid month together. It’s super nice. 
    “I haven’t been lumped in as a twin for a while. I’d like to get back to that. I miss it.”
    Having come from America’s winter, Jordan is relishing Perth’s sunshine. 
    The Lynx play and practise just 500m from the WA Athletics Stadium, which provides Jordan with the opportunity to watch her sister while still training. The 22-year-olds are eagerly anticipating their first summer Christmas and intend to soak up the beach while their family are shivering in America.
    But Christmas pales in comparison to Jordan’s excitement at finally getting to see Brittany playing for Perth. She said tomorrow’s match against the Sydney Uni Flames would be a special moment.
    “Watching her play is one of my favourite things,” she said.
    “I haven’t played with her since high school and that was so much fun. Watching her play is the next best thing. I could never beat her at basketball. I was always better at running.”

December 21, 2018

Christina Bastastini (2000) returns to High School coaching



    WOONSOCKET – The two newest additions to the Mount Saint Charles Academy coaching staff don’t have much in common, but one thing’s for certain:

    They have a strong admiration for the school that they will serve as head coaches.
    For Christina Batastini, who will take over this winter as the girls’ basketball coach, her admiration began last winter, when during her daughter Ryanne’s Catholic Athletic League game in the Mounties’ gymnasium, she took a good look at the facility and the rest of the campus and was impressed with what she encountered.
    For Drew Brissette, who will take the field next spring as the softball coach, he admired the school from afar, when as a teenager in North Smithfield, he privately “envied” the school and his friends who attended it. He wore the Northmen’s Green & Gold as a baseball player during his freshman and sophomore years, but now he’s anxious to don the Mounties’ Red, White, & Blue.
    When it comes to high school girls’ basketball in Rhode Island, Batastini is one of the all-time legends. One of the greatest players to take the court in this state, the 1996 graduate of Classical High, who was a Parade Magazine and a Nike All-American) continued her hoop career at Stanford University, where she starred on three Pac-10 championship teams, and played professionally for four seasons in Europe (in Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland).
    After finishing her career as a practice player for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, she turned her attention to coaching. She started out as an assistant coach at Brown University, before spending seven seasons as the head coach of the Lincoln School. Under her guidance, the Lynx went from a winless team to a four-time Southeastern New England champion. She stepped down after the 2012 season and focused on coaching her daughter’s hoop teams, which ranged from ages 5-9, as well as operating her Batastini School of Basketball, which offers state-wide camps, team clinic, and individual instruction.
    She didn’t think she’d be coaching on the high school level again, but when she visited the campus again, as well as met with the school’s president, Alan Tenreiro, and athletic director Ray Leveille, who was last season’s head coach before stepping down to take over as Mount’s full-time A.D., she knew she really wanted the job.
    “It really sounded like they had a sustainable plan for the future of their students,” she recalled. “It was exciting and it was something I wanted to be a part of. And my daughter is in fourth grade, so the timing was really important to me that I coach at a school that she could possibly attend someday.
    “She visited the school and loved it, and it really felt like a good fit, not only for our family, but in terms of their vision for what they want their athletic programs to look like.”
    “Christina has succeeded as a player and coach at every level: professional, college, high school, and scholastic,” Tenreiro said in a press release. “Between her athletic and academic accomplishments, she embodies the student-athlete ideal we encourage at Mount Saint Charles. Our girls team has a strong winning tradition, and we’re confident they’ll have even more success under Christina’s leadership.”
    Bastastini, who also works for the state’s Department of Health, inherits a team that went 7-11 and returned to the Division II playoffs last season, and with some of the top players from that squad expected to return to the team this season, the new head coach hopes to be competitive.
    “I took a brief look at our schedule and most of those teams that we’ll be playing, at least when I played and was involved coaching high school basketball, were once Division I programs,” Bastastini added, “so it seems like there’s a really strong group of teams in this division.”
    As for her long-term goals?
    “Each year, I’d like to grow on the past year’s success,” she noted, “potentially move up to the top level if it’s feasible, and then ultimately grow the program to where it becomes an absolute ‘have-to’ – in terms of if you are a middle school kid or a student-athlete and you want to play college basketball, that you feel compelled to look at Mount Saint Charles because of the program that we built in the course of time that I’ll be there.”
    While Bastastini was officially named the head coach last Thursday, it wasn’t long before Brissette got the nod to lead the Mounties’ softball program, which will be returning to the Division I ranks after spending the past two seasons in D-II and reaching the finals in 2017.
    Note: Mount Saint Charles is off to a 3-0 start


December 11, 2018

Sarah, Kayla and Brittany down under

Stanford alumnae Sarah Boothe, Kayla Pedersen, and Brittany McPhee  are playing in the WNBL in Australia. Brittany's Perth team leads the league with a record of 9 and 3. She is averaging 16pts and 7 rebounds per game. Sarah's Melbourne team is 2nd with a 9-5 record; she is averaging 5pts and 3 rbs per game in 14 minutes per game. Kayla's team Dadenong  has a 5-6 record, but in their last game upset Brittany's team and Kayla received some props for her performance. Kayla, last years defensive player of the year, averages 10.7 pts and 7.5 rbs per game.


Sarah was interviewed at the start of the season about her expectations for the year.

Roger Pelletier, aka, FBC Feature Writer