Along with the Fourth of the July holiday will come some top-flight action in the WNBA this week. Here are two of the games to add to your "must-watch" list; unfortunately, neither game is scheduled to be televised outside the local markets, but both will be available via the WNBA's Live Access:
Coming Up this Week: June 30-July 6
Chicago Sky @ Phoenix Mercury, Wednesday, July 2, 10 p.m. EST (Live Access)
Members of the Los Angeles Sparks said Tuesday that they are working on issues that have propelled them to the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and that they are pleased with the team's progress so far.
The Sparks picked up only their fifth victory of the season in beating the Seattle Storm, and stepped out of last place in the West in the process. What was even more encouraging for coaches and players alike was the perseverance the team showed in winning.
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Los Angeles Sparks used a fourth quarter push Tuesday to put away the Seattle Storm, 65-57, and climb out of last place in the WNBA's Western Conference.
Four Storm players helped the team outscore their hosts in the third period, cutting their six-point halftime lead to one by the end. The Sparks responded with a fourth quarter run that left Seattle scoreless for long stretches, while their lead swelled to as many as 13 points by the final minute.
University of Arizona head coach Niya Butts issues the original "Chillin4Charity" challenge, calling out fellow Pac12 coaches, in a "chilling" fundraising effort on behalf of the Kay Yow Foundation. Butts' assistant coaches and student-athletes joined in, with challenges of their own, and the challenges have since gone viral. (Video courtesy University of Arizona Athletics)
Like many great ideas, it began simply, and with little expectation.
Los Angeles, Calif. - The San Antonio Stars hung on in the last minute Sunday to edge the Los Angeles Sparks, 72-69.
Stars guard Danielle Robinson made a driving layup with 47 seconds to go to tie the score at 69. Then, with 8.4 seconds remaining she did it again. A foul on the other end of the court sent Robinson to the free throw line with one second to go, and she made one free throw for the final scoring margin.
The 2014 WNBA season is now in its second quarter and the Atlanta Dream is showing itself to be a legitimate contender. But to be more specific here, that's for the WNBA Championship, not just Eastern Conference banner.
Cynics will say that the Dream has been to the WNBA Finals three times before and failed to win a single game. Yet, somehow this year's edition has a different feel to it and appears more ready to go that extra step in 2014.
Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles on the six players, coaches and contributors who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 14 as part of the Induction Class of 2014. The 1976 U.S. Olympic Team will also be honored as "Trailblazers of the Game."
Trace your finger down Lin Dunn’s resume, and the legacy that earned her a place in the 2014 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is quickly revealed.
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Los Angeles Sparks signed free agent guard Samantha Prahalis Wednesday to a contract for which the terms and conditions were not disclosed.
Prahalis, who averaged 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists over the last two seasons with Phoenix and New York, will step in for Kristi Toliver, who is fulfilling professional responsibilities in Slovakia, a Sparks spokesperson said. The team does not know how long Toliver will be gone.
When Jasmina (Jazz) Perazić enters the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this June, she will do so on the merits of her career as a Maryland Terrapin (’79-‘83). During her time in College Park, the six-foot guard led the program to three ACC Championships and the 1982 Final Four. Her 1,396 points ranks her 18th all-time in scoring for the Terps and she is one of only three women to have their jerseys retired by the University.
Quite the accomplishment for someone whose earliest basketball memories include coaches yelling, “What are you doing?”