Catching up on some World Championship coverage and more on an off day. Coming soon, Swin Cash chats on ESPN.com about the World Championship, the Storm’s championship and more at 9:15 a.m.
- Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press is over in the Czech Republic and wrote a great story about a couple of UConn fans (she’s 90, he’s 88) who made the trek to Europe to watch the many Huskies who make up this year’s U.S. team, including Cash and Sue Bird.
Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, who’s guiding the U.S. team, was astounded when he learned about the couple. He knows the UConn fan base is passionate, but still found it incredible they made the trip.
“It’s unbelievable. I was shocked when I heard they were here,” he said. “I think it makes what we’re doing at Connecticut seem that much more rewarding and important because you have people take it that seriously that they’d come halfway around the world.”
- The Sydney Morning Herald wrote about how Storm star Lauren Jackson is continuing her studies during the World Championship.
It’s not exactly ideal preparation for the 29-year-old, who just finished a gruelling campaign with Seattle in the WNBA before jetting to the Czech Republic to join her Opals teammates.
But gender studies and helping victims of domestic violence are topics that drive Jackson and ones she intends to pursue when her playing days are over.
Jackson told how she sponsors a woman from Rwanda who is a victim of sexual abuse.
- This is interesting. Feinberg also reported that FIBA is convening a summit to discuss the timing of the World Championship and the calendar for women’s hoops, which is perennially crowded.
“The Americans would prefer a world championship in January,” outgoing FIBA President Bob Elphinston said. “The Europeans would prefer a world championship in June. Australia and the Asia group think September works for them. So far, we haven’t found a common time in the year.”
- ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel moved right from covering the WNBA Finals to analyzing the World Championship, and her columns are daily must-reads. Here’s her take on the USA’s win over Australia yesterday.
The rivalry between the United States and Australia has been percolating for a while now, since Jackson became a force for the Aussies a decade ago, but Team USA has won every meeting between the two in either the Olympics or world championships.
Regardless, the Aussies are thought of as a serious threat. And because there are so many connections between the Aussie and American players who compete together in the WNBA, there are added subplots.
- Opals Head Coach Carrie Graf was disappointed by her team’s first-half performance, according to the Australian.
“We were disastrous on the glass and that sets the tone for the game.
“We got out-muscled off everything and it was un-Australian to do that.
“Credit to our team we adjusted to the physical nature of the game and raised our intensity, but you can’t let great teams get out to huge leads like that.”