Since graduating in 2002 from the University of Minnesota, Alana Glass has diligently mapped out a path that she hopes someday leads her to her ultimate goal. “My big dream is to be a WNBA owner,” admits Glass, now a lawyer in Detroit. She always has been involved in some level of sports, either as a basketball player in high school and college, through internships with the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, coaching girls’ basketball, or as an agent.
A 2010 Economic Policy Institute report pointed out that the Twin Cities’ Black unemployment rate is three times that of Whites — the highest Black-White jobless ratio in the nation. Last week the Minnesota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights heard testimony on racial disparities in the Twin Cities from community residents and local officials at the University of St. Thomas Law School’s downtown Minneapolis campus.
While local reporters and others openly lobby for Lindsay Whalen as this year’s WNBA most valuable player, the MSR last week asked Chicago Sky Coach-General Manager Pokey Chatman her opinion on the subject. “Seimone,” she said simply as she referred to Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, Whalen’s teammate. While she recognized point guard Whalen’s accomplishments this season, it is her former college star’s effort that stands out most prominently in her mind.
The Minnesota Lynx soon will be in unfamiliar territory — the post-season. They have home court advantage throughout this year’s WNBA playoffs, but it won’t mean squat unless the Lynx do take full advantage of it. “You’re measured by what you do in the playoffs,” explained Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve.
U of M 2011-’12 hoops season begins
By Charles Hallman
Gopher basketball officially begins this week: The women play this Friday afternoon at Arkansas and the men later that evening at home against Bucknell.
Both teams respectively completed their annual two-game exhibition slate. Other than making some money for the host school, these games mean nothing except to eliminate first-game jitters and give coaches something to really evaluate what they have before their teams go against when-it-counts competition.
The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is hosting the North American Society of Sport Sociology’s annual meeting November 3-6. In lieu of its annual fall lecture, the center hosted an all-day conference on girls and women in sport November 2 at the Gophers football stadium.
I am on the Tucker Center’s mailing list and have regularly reported on their various activities over the years.
I won’t waste time on whether the Minnesota Vikings’ longtime argument for a new football stadium is valid or not. Instead, I’ll share my thoughts that their latest scare tactics might backfire on them.
A gangster-like move took place last week when NFL officials arrived in town to strongly hint that if state lawmakers don’t soon approve a stadium plan, then the NFL club will have no choice but to look elsewhere for a place to play.
I always instinctively seek out Blacks and other people of color at big events because their thoughts and views are often overlooked by mainstream media. That’s how I worked last week’s parade crowd celebrating Minnesota’s first pro basketball championship in 57 years.
Cece Mcalester of Brooklyn Center and her children were among the estimated 16,000 people who lined Nicollet Mall to enjoy the victory parade.
But dynasty talk is way premature
WARNING — Those who have recently complained that I am too negative about the Minnesota Lynx or that I write too much about race, and who can’t stand honest non-bandwagon analysis, please stop reading.
It’s been one day since the Minnesota Lynx became the first local pro team since 1991 to have a parade in their honor in downtown Minneapolis.
They also became the first WNBA team since 2009 to have a Black coach (Assistant Coach Shelly Patterson) stand on the winning podium; the first Black player since 2008 to win Finals MVP (Seimone Augustus); and the first major league champion to have a Black league president (WNBA President Laurel Richie) hand over the championship trophy.
By Charles Hallman
Not since the 1995 NCAA Women’s Final Four championships, and not since the Minnesota Timberwolves played a couple of games in the 2004 Western Conference title series, has the downtown Minneapolis arena served as host of a national championship event. But Sunday the nation’s spotlight — well, actually, as much spotlight as the male-dominated sports media will allow — was on the Twin Cities as the 2011 WNBA Finals began. The Minnesota Lynx and the Atlanta Dream have earned their places in the best-of-five series for the right to be the last team standing.