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This Week in Women’s Basketball: WBB makes the move to national TV

March Madness will reach a bigger audience on ABC for the first time.

Phoenix Mercury v Connecticut Sun Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

ABC will broadcast the NCAA women’s basketball championship game for the first time

On August 23, 2022, national TV network ABC announced plans to broadcast the women’s NCAA championship game for the first time ever. ESPN’s Burke Magnus explained that the move has been a long time coming. As he said, “Scheduling the Division I women’s basketball championship on ABC has been a goal for quite some time in our ongoing efforts to maximize the exposure of women’s sports in collaboration with the NCAA.”

Magnus added, “Women’s NCAA championships continue to generate strong audiences across the ABC/ESPN networks and this move represents yet another unique opportunity to showcase this marquee event and the student-athletes who are competing for a national championship.”

Jadyn Donovan will join the Duke Blue Devils

Jadyn Donovan, the number three women’s basketball recruit in the 2023 espnW 100, announced that she will play for Duke instead of Notre Dame.

Donovan said, “I chose Duke for a number of reasons, most notably that Duke academics is second to none and I want to use my degree to take me as far as I can go because the ball stops bouncing one day. It is also close to home and my family.”

Donovan added that she chose the school in part because Coach Kara Lawson has a background in communications and journalism, an area that Donovan is interested in pursuing for herself.

The Chicago Sky’s James Wade is named the WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year

Chicago Sky’s General Manager and Head Coach James Wade earned the honor of being named 2022’s WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year this week. Wade was named on a total of eleven ballots.

The Sky also announced that Wade has recently signed a contract to stay on as coach until the 2025 season. Wade said, “I’m very excited and pleased that the organization has entrusted me to lead this franchise and it’s very humbling to know that I get to coach this group of players and work in this great organization for an extended period of time. I’m very honored and I feel very blessed.”

The Phoenix Mercury expect to have Skylar Diggins-Smith back next year

Despite leaving the 2022 season early, Skylar Diggins-Smith is expected to rejoin the Phoenix Mercury for the 2023 season. General Manager Jim Pitman told ESPN, “Sky’s under contract for next year. She’s obviously not with us for personal reasons that I really can’t talk about, but she is under contract, so, yes.”

Illinois State honored former player Simone Goods

Simone Goods, who played at Illinois State from 2017 to 2019, passed away from cancer this week. Her coach, Kristen Gillespie, explained that everyone who knew Goods has been devastated by her loss.

Gillespie said, “I know I speak for our entire woman’s basketball program, and all of Redbird Nation when I say that I am beyond heartbroken by the news of Simone’s passing. Simone was a fierce competitor on the court and was a kind soul to all that she encountered. She was a winner in all phases of her life. Her memory will always be close to our hearts, and we will honor her in all we do moving forward.”

South Carolina’s Coach Dawn Staley will drive a NASCAR pace car

In the sports crossover you might not have seen coming, South Carolina’s Coach Dawn Staley shared that she will be driving the pace car for the first NASCAR race of the season on September 4, 2022.