Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:
Brittney Griner holds press conference, announces plan to work with Bring Our Families Home
Brittney Griner’s press conference was the biggest news of the week, as the superstar Phoenix Mercury center talked about how she was able to overcome the challenge of being wrongfully detained in Russia. Griner and the Mercury announced an official partnership with Bring Our Families Homes, an organization that is working to bring home all 54 Americans who are wrongfully detained.
At her press conference, Griner also broke news that she has put an end to her overseas career, opting to only play abroad as a member of Team USA.
The @PhoenixMercury and Brittney Griner are teaming with the Bring Our Families Home organization to bring attention to the current 54 American hostages and wrongful detainees. The BOFH logo will be on Mercury’s home court, replacing BG42 logo previously there. … pic.twitter.com/Z5mQ7z8hEl— M.A. Voepel (@MAVoepel) April 27, 2023
Transfer portal news
Former Oregon point guard Te-Hina Paopao has committed to South Carolina, she announced Monday on social media. https://t.co/9QFftvqDUt— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 25, 2023
Guard Lexi Donarski announced on social media Monday that she is transferring to play for North Carolina. She has two seasons of eligibility left. https://t.co/Z8KpetIzSM— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 25, 2023
PER IG: Former @OSUWBB forward Taylen Collins (@taylen14_2) has announced her commitment to @AuburnWBB.— Gabriella Lewis (she/her) (@_gabriellalewis) April 25, 2023
Collins averaged 9.5 ppg & 9.1 rpg last season. Good get for Auburn which had quite the transfer exodus.#SECWBB @TheNextHoops https://t.co/8zpitgUtta https://t.co/Ij5rM9ecmX
Penn senior guard Kayla Padilla becomes the second @IvyLeague WBB grad transfer in as many days to choose @USCWBB & @CoachLindsayG, after Harvard’s McKenzie Forbes.— Jenn Hatfield (she/her) (@jennhatfield1) April 24, 2023
Between them, in 5 combined seasons playing in Ivy: 4x All-Ivy, 1x Ivy ROY, 2x Ivy Tournament Team. @TheNextHoops https://t.co/dgBxryd5SD
PER RELEASE: @UGA_WBB signs former @UCF_WBB’s Destiny Thomas out of the portal for her final year.— Gabriella Lewis (she/her) (@_gabriellalewis) April 25, 2023
The Atlanta native averaged 10.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 1.7 bpg last season. Even after Coach Abe’s left those UCF connections are strong.#SECWBB @TheNextHoops https://t.co/8zpitgUtta
Jewel Spear — the ACC's top scorer as a sophomore in 2021-22 — is in the transfer portal out of Wake Forest, a source confirmed to ESPN.— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 26, 2023
Lauren Gustin, who led NCAA Division I women's basketball in rebounding average this season, has entered the transfer portal after playing the past three seasons with the BYU Cougars. She has one year of eligibility left. https://t.co/tp3KCD4iv5— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 24, 2023
A source familiar with the situation tells @TheNextHoops that Trinity San Antonio of @CBUwbb has entered the transfer portal. She was named first-team All-WAC this season, and recorded the program's first Division I triple-double back in February.— Jacob Mox (@JacobMox) April 26, 2023
Miami (OH) coach DeUnna Hendrix steps down because of improper relationship with player
Former Miami of Ohio coach DeUnna Hendrix resigned on Wednesday after the university became aware of intimate text communications between her and a player.https://t.co/8xNV2FOWeH— The Athletic WBB (@TheAthleticWBB) April 28, 2023
Emily Engstler waived by Fever and clears waivers
Emily Engstler was the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft and averaged 5.2 points and 5.2 rebounds as a rookie.
The Indiana Fever waived forward Emily Engstler on Wednesday, making her the fourth lottery pick since 2019 that the WNBA team has waived, released or traded. https://t.co/cnAkCXEjdo— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 26, 2023
Mercury leaving cable agreement
The Mercury are saying goodbye to cable and hello to 2.8 million households instead of 800,000. Their games will be streamable on Kiswe and locally in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma.
The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury have struck a deal that removes their long-held television rights from cable. Starting with their next seasons, the teams' games will be broadcast for free and streamed online on a new direct-to-consumer service. https://t.co/js0dZ1i4PE— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 28, 2023
Way Veney the new head coach at Central Connecticut
Veney comes over from Temple, where she was the associate head coach for seven seasons. She is the sixth head coach at Central Connecticut.
RIP Jan Collinson, founder of WNBL’s Boomers
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Jan Collinson – acknowledged as the founder of Boomers in 1984 and a visionary in women’s basketball who paved the way for hundreds of players and the community which we cherish today.— Deakin Melbourne Boomers (@MelbBoomers) April 29, 2023
Athletes Unlimited now has trading cards
An awesome collab: @AUProSports has partnered with @Topps to create trading cards for all four AU sports: basketball, softball, lacrosse & volleyball. The 200-card base set is available beginning today at major retailers, as well as through Topps and Fanatics. pic.twitter.com/4sELoXoxGW— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) April 28, 2023
Washington State WBB team meets Shania Twain
After Washington State adopted Shania Twain's “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” as its anthem during the season, the Cougars saw the legend herself Friday in concert as Twain gifted them about 30 tickets near the front of the stage. https://t.co/fhIaCVTrLd— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) April 29, 2023