Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:
Brittney Griner’s conviction in Russia being appealed
As ESPN’s T.J. Quinn mentions in the tweet below, there is little hope of getting the nine-year sentence reduced, but Griner’s lawyers could prevent her from getting sent to a penal colony. Efforts to bring her home in an agreement between the United States and Russia also continue.
NEW: Brittney Griner's legal team files appeal, as they said they would. What do you need to know:— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 15, 2022
1. The point isn't to win an appeal, it's to prevent her transfer to a penal colony, where life is a lot rougher.
5. All optimism is tempered by the reality that talks could blow up at any time, for any random reason.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 15, 2022
6. Griner's lawyer quoted as saying if Russia wants them to drop the appeal to facilitate a deal, they will.
ACC fixture Charlene Curtis passes away at 67
Curtis was the first Black head coach of an ACC women’s basketball team, coaching the Wake Forest Demon Deacons from 1997 to 2004. She passed away from cancer on Thursday.
In addition to coaching, Curtis was the ACC supervisor of officials for 11 years. As a player, she reached 1,000 points before any other Radford player, man or woman. She is in the Radford sports Hall of Fame and coached there and at Temple.
Kia Vaughn retires
An undisputed legacy.— Rutgers W.Basketball (@RutgersWBB) August 15, 2022
Following a decorated career with the Scarlet Knights, in the @WNBA and playing overseas, Kia Vaughn has announced her retirement from basketball!
Congrats on all of your accomplishments, Kia #GoRU | #RUWBB pic.twitter.com/C3z4sxKYm1
Vaughn played six seasons with the New York Liberty, four seasons with the Washington Mystics, two seasons with the Phoenix Mercury and the 2022 season with the Atlanta Dream. In her Most Improved Player season of 2011 she started all 34 games for the Liberty and registered career bests with 28.1 minutes, 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Vaughn played in the NCAA national championship game as a sophomore at Rutgers.
Liz Cambage taking indefinite amount of time off from WNBA
Cambage left the Sparks in a contract divorce, which was announced on July 26. According to a Yahoo! article by Chris Haynes, she left the visiting locker room at Michelob ULTRA Arena after a Sparks loss on July 23 saying, “I can’t do this anymore. Best of luck to you guys.” Haynes’ article goes on say that Cambage taking the jersey No. 1 away from Amanda Zahui B. “ruffled feathers within the locker room.” He also describes film session arguments that went “unresolved.”
ESPN’s Alexa Philippou reports that this is the first time that Cambage has publicly commented on the contract divorce.
Fred Williams sticks with Auburn path, LA Sparks looking for new head coach
Fred Williams is officially departing to take on the role as associate head coach at Auburn, the Los Angeles Sparks announce.— Alexa Philippou (@alexaphilippou) August 17, 2022
The Sparks are conducting a "national search" for the next head coach, and are also looking to name a new general manager
On May 4, it was announced that Williams was set to work at Auburn as the associate head coach of women’s basketball starting in the fall of 2022. Now it has been confirmed that he has not changed course. He will not be remaining with the Los Angeles Sparks, the WNBA team he became the interim head coach of when Derek Fisher was fired.
Invitees to USA Basketball training camp announced
The following players have been invited to a USA Basketball training camp set for Sept. 6-12.
- Ariel Atkins
- Shakira Austin
- Aliyah Boston
- Kahleah Copper
- Elena Delle Donne
- Diamond DeShields
- Stefanie Dolson
- Allisha Gray
- Chelsea Gray
- Dearica Hamby
- Myisha Hines-Allen
- Natasha Howard
- Rhyne Howard
- Sabrina Ionescu
- Brionna Jones
- Betnijah Laney
- Jewell Loyd
- Kayla McBride
- Angel McCoughtry
- Arike Ogunbowale
- Kelsey Plum
- Aerial Powers
- NaLyssa Smith
- Breanna Stewart
- Alyssa Thomas
- Courtney Williams
- A’ja Wilson
- Jackie Young
The FIBA World Cup is Sept. 22-Oct. 1.
Sylvia Fowles the first WNBA player to be atop two teams’ rebound list and first to 4,000 boards
With her 6th rebound today, @SylviaFowles is the first player in @WNBA history to record 4,000 rebounds.— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) August 14, 2022
She's also only player to lead two franchises in all-time rebounding, at Minnesota (2,168) and Chicago (1,832).
(h/t: @WBBTimeline) pic.twitter.com/rasBQucwwL
Chicago Sky register biggest blowout in WNBA playoff history
A big Chicago Sky win...— Across the Timeline (@WBBTimeline) August 20, 2022
- 100-62 is the largest win in WNBA Playoffs history (was 36, by CHI)
- CHI made 20 more FGs than NY, a new WNBA postseason record
- 22 players appeared in the game and all logged 10+ minutes, a new WNBA postseason record (was 20, in CHI/PHO last year)
Aces’ historic Saturday night (8/20)
- Team made 23 threes (WNBA record, including All-Star Games!)
- Five players with at least three made threes (WNBA record)
- Eight players with at least one made three (WNBA postseason record)
The Aces' 82% effective field goal percentage is the highest single-game mark in WNBA history. It surpasses the previous high of 79%, set by the Lynx during the 2012 regular season. It also exceeds the Liberty's previous playoff record of 73% in 2002. https://t.co/8253kDuXIV pic.twitter.com/VDh3toKqcx— Positive Residual (@presidual) August 21, 2022
A record day in the WNBA Playoffs...— Across the Timeline (@WBBTimeline) August 21, 2022
- 37 points is the 2nd-largest margin of victory in WNBA postseason history, behind the Sky's 38 today.
- The Aces are the first team to finish a WNBA postseason game better than 60% from the field, 60% from three, and 85% from the FT line.
Chelsea Gray is now the first player in WNBA postseason history to have— Across the Timeline (@WBBTimeline) August 21, 2022
8+ AST and
in a single game.
117 points by the Aces ties the largest point total in a regulation game in WNBA Playoffs history.— Across the Timeline (@WBBTimeline) August 21, 2022
The Mercury had 117 against the Aces in last year's Semifinals.https://t.co/CnDeWQXyy1
A’Ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum the first pair of teammates to both eclipse 700 points in the same season
Sue Bird achieves 1,000 career treys
Veronica Burton perfect from the free throw line over whole regular season
Veronica Burton just the 2nd player in WNBA history to make all of their free throw attempts in a season (on 30+ attempts), joining Becky Hammon in her final season (2014).https://t.co/iI6y5FWVWV https://t.co/ggjnBFU2Fk— Across the Timeline (@WBBTimeline) August 15, 2022
A’ja Wilson already holds two key Aces franchise records at age 26
Mercury make playoffs for active-best 10th straight season
Sustained excellence for the last decade. pic.twitter.com/i7M6WvrPUK— X - Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) August 15, 2022
Jewell Loyd reaches most threes in a single Seattle Storm season
GOLD MAMBA TOUCH— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 13, 2022
With her 73rd three-pointer of the season, @jewellloyd set a franchise record for most threes in a single season! ⛈️
She passes Sue Bird's 72 three-pointers in 2016.#Go1dMamba pic.twitter.com/Bx7RLKEAhn
Player of the Year — Breanna Stewart
Coach of the Year — Tanisha Wright
Comeback Player of the Year — Alyssa Thomas
Most Improved Player — Jackie Young
Defensive Player of the Year — A’ja Wilson
Rookie of the Year — Rhyne Howard
Sixth Woman of the Year — Brionna Jones
All-WNBA First Team — Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Candace Parker, Kelsey Plum, Sabrina Ionescu
All-WNBA Second Team — Jonquel Jones, Nneka Ogwumike, Alyssa Thomas, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Courtney Vandersloot
All-Rookie Team — Rhyne Howard, Shakira Austin, Rebekah Gardner, NaLyssa Smith, Sam Thomas