Yesterday was a slow day overall, but there was some news about USA Basketball: after years of being snubbed, Phoenix Mercury forward Candice Dupree would appear to have the best shot she has had in years as she will be one of two players from the 2014 WNBA Finals to join the women's national team in Paris.
We'll start there and move to some other worthwhile reads from around women's basketball.
- John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant reports that Phoenix Mercury stars Candice Dupree and Diana Taurasi will be joining the women's national team in Europe. That leaves the remaining candidates from the 2014 WNBA Finals -- Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner and Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot -- on the outside looking in. But Altavilla reports that the status of Mercury star Brittney Griner and Sky star Elena Delle Donne is still up in the air. "Expected to join the team this week in Paris are Taurasi and Candice Dupree, who helped the Phoenix Mercury win the WNBA title while the national team was training last week...If Delle Donne and Griner are cleared, and Dupree and Stewart, the UConn junior, are added to the team, they would account for the final four spots." Read more >>>
- The NBA, WNBA, USA Basketball announced "a comprehensive multiyear marketing and merchandising partnership" with Harman International. Harman will be the NBA's "audio partner", which will include every coach and player getting Harman's JBL products. "HARMAN also will conduct significant activities at many other marquee events across the NBA, WNBA, NBA D-League, and USA Basketball, including: NBA All-Star Jam Session, Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star, NBA D-League All-Star, and the USA Basketball Global Exhibition Tour."Read more >>>
- WNBA Radio took some input from Swish Appeal's own James Bowman, "...to flirt with the idea of possible WNBA expansion after back to back seasons of fan interest and growth, plus the guys then share their lists of possible destinations for future WNBA franchises. I already have an answer to the question they tweeted out, but no need to belabor that point. Listen to the full show >>>
#WNBARadio Question of the Night: Which city (or former WNBA city) would like to see get an expansion franchise and why?
— Sparks 365 Network (@LASparks365) September 18, 2014
- Dana Caldwell of theNaples Daily News wrote a great article about the struggles of mid-major giant-killer FGCU to schedule games with power conferences, but has learned that patience can pay off. The entire article is worth a read, but the specific insight offered about scheduling is interesting in it's own right. "Most of the time with the bigger-name schools they need somebody really late, and they realize they’re not likely to fill it with anybody else...Not every time, but most of the time the bigger name schools have come as a result of just being patient and still having availability when the bigger schools still need games." FGCU has already set up home-and-homes with Auburn and Ohio State. Read more >>>
- Craig Handel of the News-Press reports that FGCU's Gulf Coast Showcase tournament will have higher profile this year with a field of UConn, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Villanova, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Wisc.-Green Bay, College of Charleston. "We want the women’s tournament to be the Maui Invitational that the men have," said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global, the tournament organizer. "I can see schools like Tennessee and other dominating programs like Louisville just lining up to get down there". Read more >>>
- Mickey Furfari of the Register-Herald reports that West Virginia coach Mike Carey is not afraid of the challenge he faces this season after graduating five seniors last year, including center Asya Bussie and Taylor Palmer (Janay Palmer Rice's sister). "When people don’t think you can succeed, that always fires me up. It motivates me and keeps me going. So this is a challenge going into this season. It is a big challenge for us. It’s something I look forward to." Read more >>>
- The Big East Digital Network is supposed to announce its women's basketball schedule today with over 30 games slated for broadcast. Read more >>>
- Jeff Welsh of the Billings Gazette shared with us a feature story about Deb Prevost, who was a high school trailblazer in Montana, a AIAW All-American, and a founding player in the WBL in 1978. Since her playing days ended, Prevost has been coaching and teaching in her hometown of Sidney, retiring from the same school she began at 33 years ago. "I think the most important thing we did is prove that it could be done," she said. "Girls could handle playing and, if they worked at it, could be competitive." Read more >>>
Miscellaneous Sports & Society
- Anna Hrushka of Sports Business Daily reports that Washington Mystics President and Managing Partner Sheila Johnson gave a keynote address at the 2014 Game Changers conference in New York and discussed the history challenges facing women's sports and current challenges facing the WNBA: "We need more people to rally behind this league if we want it to flourish and grow," she said. "We've seen countless women athletes' dreams deferred and destroyed because even though they're willing to invest their lives in the sport, society is not willing to invest in them." Read more >>>
- Kate McDonough of Salon reported on the ongoing drama surrounding Florida State's handling of Jameis Winston, which has put the university under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Of interest to our understanding of Title IX, McDonough described how the legislation is in place to protect students from sexual assault as well: "Under Title IX, universities that receive federal funding are required to investigate sexual assault claims by taking 'immediate action' to address the allegations. And according to the OCR, schools are required to investigate sexual assault claims even if police don’t have enough evidence to charge or convict a student accused of sexual assault. And according to those same guidelines, 'A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve the school of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.'" Read more >>>