Did you know…? At least four decades before Jackie Robinson, the St. Paul Colored Gophers, an all-Black baseball team, played in the Twin Cities. The team took the field in 1907 and disbanded four years later.
Did you know…? Before Gabby Douglass became the first Black female to win the all-around gymnast title at last summer’s London Olympics, John Baxter was a member of the U.S. gold-winning 1,600-meter relay in the 1908 London Games. This made him the first Black to win a gold medal for this country, three and a half decades before Jesse Owens won four at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Did you know…? Tom Molineaux fought his way to freedom by boxing. Born a slave in Georgetown, Virginia in 1784, he boxed other slaves as plantation owners made bets on the bouts. He later was given his freedom and $500 after defeating a man from another plantation.
Molineaux left for England in 1809 where he won two fights and was set up for a title shot against British heavyweight champion Tom Cribb.
Cribb won the first match in 1810 when Molineaux collapsed from exhaustion after 39 rounds, and defeated him again a year later with an 11th-round knockout. Those two fights, however, made Molineaux a celebrity in England, after which he fought only sporadically in sparring exhibitions until his death in 1818.
Globe-tracking the Lynx
Shanxi (China) won the WCBA Finals last week. Maya Moore finished the series with a 41.5 ppg average, and played all 160 minutes in the series.
Spartak (Russia) won the EuroLeague Group A play with a 10-2 record. Seimone Augustus posted a team-high 31 minutes, scoring 13 points and six assists in the clinching victory. Her team resumes play Feb. 19.
Galatasaray (Turkey) is the fourth seed for EuroLeague second-round play, which begins Feb. 19. Lindsay Whalen had eight points, five assists and six rebounds in her last game.
Rebekkah Brunson recorded a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes) in her last game for USK Praha (Czech Republic).USK Praha will play Galatasaray on Feb. 19.
Amber Harris leads the Korean league in scoring (20.8 ppg) and blocked shots (2.1) and is second in rebounds (11.0). She plays for Bichumi (South Korea).
Monica Wright (Dandenoug, Australia) is averaging 14.5 points, including nearly 18 points a game in her last seven games. She had 17 points and a blocked shot in her last outing.
Jessica Adair’s Townsville club is fourth in the WNBL. She had 22 points and 13 rebounds in her last game.
2013 WNBA schedule released
The league announced last week that the WNBA’s 17th season will open May 24. ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and NBA TV are slated to show over 80 contests, including playoff games and the All-Star Game scheduled for July 27 in Uncasville, Conn.
Minnesota opens its regular season June 1 at home against Connecticut.
WNBA and NBA present and past stars join forces this weekend at All-Star Saturday Night in Houston.
In the Shooting Stars competition, Minnesota’s Maya Moore and Tina Thompson (Seattle), along with James Harden (Houston), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), and former NBAers Sam Cassell and Robert Horry, will represent the West against the East: WNBAers Swin Cash (Chicago) and Tamika Catchings (Indiana), NBAers Chris Bosh (Miami) and Brook Lopez (Brooklyn), and former league players Muggsy Bogues and Dominique Wilkins.
Information from the African American Registry in Minneapolis was used in this report.
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.