Archive for the ‘Women’s basketball’ Category

As I watched Game 3 of the WNBA finals with such admiration for Sue Bird and Swin Cash _ what terrific people they are, not just great basketball players _ I didn’t know that a player who’d competed against them in that unforgettable 2002 Final Four lay dead at age 30.
I was writing late into the evening about the Seattle Storm’s triumph and the Atlanta Dream’s also-fine season when I got a message about Rosalind Ross’ death.


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Off to Atlanta

I actually went home to Kansas City first – good to see the homefront for a day – and now am headed south for Game 3 tonight at Philips Arena.
If the timing works out, I think we may still have an ESPN.com chat today, but at 4 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. Eastern time.
It was fun chatting with Georgia coach Andy Landers about the Miller twins for a feature that should be up soon today on ESPN.com.
By the way, it never fails that if anything women’s basketball-related hits ESPN.com’s front page, that sad breed of “threatened male” jumps to high alert to click on the link to say, “Get this off the front page! Nobody cares!”
It’s a turf thing, of course. You know, it’s bad enough women’s basketball exists … it’s really criminal to actually have a link to coverage on the sacred front page where people, eh, men who aren’t interested (they can’t possibly stress to you enough how NOT interested they are, of course) have it SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROATS!!!
Because it’s so incredibly difficult to just look past a link that doesn’t interest you.
Anyway, I go back and forth about whether it’s even worth commenting on this ridiculous phenomenon. The other day during Game 2, we had a link to the front, and the trolls started migrating to the “Cover It Live” chat to say how much they didn’t care, how no one cared, how utterly awful the sport was, etc.
You can’t help but laugh at people who claim they couldn’t possibly care less about something … and then go to the trouble of crashing into a chat on this thing that they couldn’t possibly care less about.

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You choose

I don’t know about you, but the more choices I have, the worse decision-maker I seem to be.

As an example, when the WNBA finals are over, I’m supposedly going to try to get a new vehicle, and give a break to the one that I’ve got 160,000-plus miles on.

But I have to say “supposedly” because I was going to do this last fall, then couldn’t make up my mind and decided, “Well, one more year.” Now here it is a year later, and I’m being wishy-washy again. It’s not that I can’t choose between a couple of different vehicles. I can’t even seem to get it narrowed down to that.

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Shalee Lehning isn’t the type to point a finger and say, “You were wrong about me.” But if she were, there would be plenty of finger-pointing for her to do.

When you’re from a small town in way-the-hell-out-there Kansas, you become accustomed to being underestimated. People figured that Lehning, who grew up in Sublette,Kan., might go sit the bench at Kansas State. Instead she was an indispensable starter who ended up with the school record for career assists.

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Off to Seattle

I’m flying to the Pacific Northwest today, but … it will sound as if  I am in the studio in Overland Park, Kan., with Brenda Van Lengen doing the “She’s Got Game” show this afternoon. Hmmm ….

Either I have a doppelganger, or we recorded the show Thursday. I’ll let you decide which.

It’s been a while, actually, since I’ve been in Seattle. My last trip there, in fact, was in 2005 for an NCAA women’s basketball tournament first- and second-round site hosted by the University of Washington. Kansas State lost for the third consecutive time in the second round that year, this time to Vanderbilt.

There were some extenuating circumstances, as senior starter Megan Mahoney – who had not missed a game previously in her K-State career – was out for her final NCAA tournament after tearing her Achilles’ tendon in the Big 12 championship game against Baylor.

I always think back to that year as being such a brutal example of how a team/player can go from flying sky-high to crashing in such a short period of time. The Wildcats had rallied from a 17-0 deficit to start their Big 12 semifinal against Texas to advance to the title game. Mahoney and her teammates were jubilant the next day watching a replay of that game.

But then near the end of the final, she crumpled to the floor … and her college career was over. It was a tough, tough way to end her days as a Wildcat. Kendra Wecker played one of the best games of her career in the second-round against Vandy to try to get the Wildcats to the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t to be.

Anyway, there will be another K-State Wildcat in action in Seattle this weekend … Atlanta point guard Shalee Lehning. Interesting how the everything kind of connects together, isn’t it?

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Whenever Seattle guard Sue Bird has done something great in her WNBA career – a not infrequent occurrence, of course – I’m reminded of a certain image of her. And the weird thing is, it’s an image I didn’t actually even see.

Sunday afternoon, on what was not a very good shooting day for her, Bird still made the big shot. How big was her 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left? I’d say it went a long way toward Seattle securing the franchise’s second WNBA title. It was very, very big.

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As the first weekend of college football kicks off and millions of people get all fired up about the schools they attended and/or have longed rooted for, I was thinking about the college ties that bind and how that relates to the WNBA.

I don’t ever watch or write about a WNBA player who went to college here in the United States and not have her college association my mind. By that, I mean it never fades away as just something about her past. It remains a constant part of her identity.


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