Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:
Robert Sarver will sell Phoenix Mercury and Suns
Disgraced NBA and WNBA owner Robert Sarver announced he has begun the process to sell the Phoenix Mercury and Suns following his mandatory one-year suspension after it was found he used racist and misogynistic language around players, staff and employees.
Team USA honors Brittney Griner by excluding her No. 15
No one on the American women's basketball team is wearing Brittney Griner's No. 15 at the FIBA World Cup. For years, they've worn Nos. 4-15. This year, they are using 4-14 and 16.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) September 21, 2022
by @dougfeinberg https://t.co/kNKUZsnA1w pic.twitter.com/QCuYP0NcLt
Stewie 1 Quiet Fire released
The spark that causes fire! @breannastewart has teamed up with @PUMAHoops for the first women’s basketball sneaker in over a DECADE: the Stewie 1 Quiet Fire— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022
Cop yours here: https://t.co/AwDezL0Cr6 pic.twitter.com/kUWKazPJ0B
San Antonio Spurs hire Candice Dupree as assistant coach
The Spurs announced that former WNBA star Candice Dupree will join the team as an assistant coach. Dupree played in the league for 16 years, earning seven All-Star Game appearances.
Dallas Wings fire Vickie Johnson
Despite a successful year, the Dallas Wings fired coach Vickie Johnson at the conclusion of the season.
Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb said, “While our organization has taken steps forward this season, at this time I believe a change provides our team with the best opportunity to achieve our long-term goals of advancing in the playoffs and ultimately competing for a WNBA championship. I would like to thank Vickie for her work on behalf of the organization and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Tina Thompson joins Trail Blazers as a scout
The Portland Trail Blazers announced that former WNBA player Tina Thompson has joined the team as a scout. Thompson enjoyed a wildly successful career in the league, winning four titles with the Houston Comets and appearing on eight All-WNBA teams.
Marine Johannès withdraws from FIBA World Cup
New York Liberty guard Marine Johannès was set to join France to participate in the 2022 FIBA World Cup up until Tuesday, when she announced a thigh injury had forced her to withdraw completely.
Las Vegas Aces win first championship ever
The Aces had a major week for their franchise and the city of Las Vegas when they won the WNBA Finals this week. On top of that, the team is the first in the league to win the championship, have the MVP, the All-Star MVP, the Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and the Finals MVP.
Alyssa Thomas makes history
The Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas became the first WNBA player to record back-to-back triple-doubles. In the first game, Thomas earned 15 rebounds, 11 assists, and 16 points. Three nights later, she repeated the feat, earning 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and 11 points.
Louise O’Neal dies at 83
Former Southern Connecticut and Yale basketball coach and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Louise O’Neal died at age 83. Former coach Joan Bonvicini remembered O’Neal on Twitter and wrote, “Louise O’Neal was a fabulous coach and leader…well ahead of her time. She is a member of @WBHOF and is the reason I became a Women’s BBall Coach. Rest easy Louise.”
O’Neal’s final turn as coach was in 1979, when she led the US National Team to a silver medal win. From there she worked as the Senior Associate of Athletics at Dartmouth until 1990 before moving to Wellesley. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.
USA Basketball announces women’s team for Sydney
USAB announced its roster ahead of the FIBA World Cup in Sydney, Australia, which kicked off on Thursday.
WNBA Playoffs pull in major views
This year’s WNBA Playoffs were extremely successful in terms of viewers and social media. The playoffs created 1 billion impressions, 11 million engagements, and $23 million in social value.