CHICAGO -- Phoenix Mercury coach Sandy Brondello personally has little in common with uber-successful Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma other than both having had the privilege of coaching women's basketball great Diana Taurasi. The 2014 WNBA Coach of the Year, who just became the first former WNBA player to win a title as a WNBA head coach, doesn’t have an assistant coach tasked with keeping her away from the referees. And unlike Auriemma, Brondello's comments, delivered in a brisk and broad Aussie accent, tend to be somewhat understated.
Life contains many learning experiences and the Chicago Sky got a big one in their opening game against the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Championship Series on Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. Motivation is nice. Confidence is good. But when the whistle sounds to start the game, it’s skill and execution that really matters.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- On Sunday night, minutes before Game One of the WNBA Finals was set to tip off, WNBA president Laurel Richie was wrapping up her "state-of-the-league" press conference in which she touted the increased attendance and TV viewership numbers the league was enjoying thanks to what she described as "an incredible postseason leading up to today." Noting the increased talent and competitiveness throughout the league, and that both conference finals had gone to three games for the first time since 2009, Richie predicted an enticing and competitive Finals series.
MORROW, Ga. -- Not every event on the girls' basketball summer club circuit crowns a champion. Summer Slam, held in late July at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, is one in that category. With over 100 teams, mostly from the South and East with a few from the West and Midwest, the purpose of the event is simply to serve as an exposure vehicle for college coaches.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Team USA will face Canada Sunday in a bid to secure its eighth -- and seventh consecutive -- FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women gold. The United States, which had already secured its berth in next year's FIBA Americas U19 World Championships, advanced to the finals with a 97-51 victory over Argentina in Saturday's semifinal.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The preliminary rounds of the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women are in the books, and Team USA has sliced through the competition like a hot knife through butter, advancing unbeaten to face Argentina in Saturday's semifinals and securing a berth in next years FIBA U19 World Championships. The United States, which put more than 100 points on the board in each of their three opening round games this week and defeated each opponent by 30 points or better, is the lone undefeated team remaining in the competition.
The San Antonio Spurs announced Tuesday that Becky Hammon has been hired as an assistant coach. Per club policy terms of the contract were not announced.
Hammon, who is currently in her 16th WNBA season, announced on July 23 that she would retire as a player at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All-Time in July of 2011, Hammon ranks seventh in WNBA history in points (with 5,809), fourth in assists (1,687) and sixth in games (445).
It’s go time! We are officially in the stretch run of this year’s WNBA season, and the playoff picture could not be more exciting. Two-and-a-half games separate the second-place team from the last-place team in the Eastern Conference. Three-and-a-half games separate the third-place team and the last-place team in the West. The bottom line: Phoenix, Minnesota and Atlanta (the only three teams in the league whose records are in the black) have already clinched their berths, but every single team in the league still has a shot to make the playoffs.
What a WNBA All-Star Game and weekend! It was the first overtime game in WNBA All-Star history, Griner slammed down yet another dunk, and rookie Shoni Schimmel put on one of the greatest shows in the history of this summer classic. Just what the doctor ordered to continue to build awareness of just how great this league is!