With the NCAA Tournament wrapping up last night – congrats to Texas A&M for outlasting Notre Dame in a thrilling title game – the women’s basketball community now turns its attention to next Monday’s WNBA Draft. Plenty of links on that and more in the news this week.
- WNBA.com’s Frank Della Femina is talking to each team to preview what they might do in the draft. The Storm was up today, and Head Coach Brian Agler told Della Femina, “When you pick late in the first round, a lot of times you’re looking for a specialist. So we’ll be looking in that kind of direction, but a big thing for us is having good team dynamics and good team chemistry. I’ve seen so many talented teams get off track because people get unhappy, they get distracted, they’re this, they’re that, you just never know what could happen.”
- The busy Della Femina also put together a first-round mock draft and a podcast discussing the draft. He’s got the Storm selecting Stanford guard Jeanette Pohlen, a popular pick for the team’s needs. Our first mock draft had the Storm landing Pohlen, but she was off the board in our most recent version, which predicted that the Storm would select North Carolina forward Jessica Breland.
- Lastly from WNBA.com, the league announced today the 15 players who have been invited to attend the draft at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn. The group tends to be a good gauge of players likely to go in the first round or early in the second. The most surprising name in the group is Texas A&M guard Sydney Colson, who might have boosted her stock during her team’s run to the title.
- Via Facebook and the RebKell boards, Storm legend Simone Edwards is asking for help for her foundation, Simone 4 Children.
I need a bunch of basketball socks, bras and shorts. Please let me know if you can help. These are for abused girls and girls living in poverty who want to learn or play basketball. Please help me make this project a success.
We are just starting this project to help abused girls, especially the ones living in the children’s homes in Jamaica. Basketball clinics for them to learn the game and some other valuable life skills being taught by professionals.
Clothing donations can be sent to: Simone4Children, P.O Box 1743, Centreville, VA 20122. For more ways to help, check out her website.
- Welcome to Seattle new University of Washington Head Coach Kevin McGuff, who was introduced on Tuesday. McGuff’s track record of winning and developing WNBA-caliber talent at Xavier (both Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips are likely first-round picks next Monday) is impressive. Jayda Evans wrote about McGuff’s press conference for the Seattle Times. Like some of you, I remember watching McGuff’s team (without Harris, who was sidelined due to injury) play at Hec Edmundson Pavilion during the 2009 NCAA Tournament when the Musketeers were upset by Gonzaga.
- And welcome back to the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes. Excited to see Sheryl getting another opportunity with the Tulsa Shock.
- A cool honor: The Storm made Mayor Mike McGinn’s list of what makes city living and Seattle in particular so great, as shown in a photo essay for citytank.com.
Bryant is the backbone — really, the heart and soul — of professional women’s basketball in Seattle, serving first as head of the now-defunct Seattle Reign and now running the Seattle Storm. But when she’s not building a successful basketball franchise, she’s quietly working in very personal ways to better the lives of local kids. Bryant has served on the boards of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and Girl Scouts USA. Currently, she’s on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County. In February, she was honored as a Girl Scouts’ Woman of Distinction for her influence in the community.