Lindsay Whalen, about this time two years ago, stood alongside her Black teammates wearing black T-shirts to protest the Philando Castile shooting in Falcon Heights, a similar shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and other such tragedies.
Harvard Business Administration Professor Anita Elberse, who first started and teaches the semester-long course with NBA players, pairing them with MBA student mentors. This year a new program was opened to WNBA players.
“It was my first [pro] team,” Betty Lennox recalled in a recent MSR phone interview. Just the season before, she and Grace Daley became only the second rookie duo ever to combine for the most made three-pointers (72) for the same team. Now 42, she is the women’s basketball coach at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lindsay Whalen (Hutchinson, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Lynx), Tayler Hill (Minneapolis South, Ohio State University, Washington Mystics), Nia Coffey (Hopkins, Northwestern University, Las Vegas Aces), and Rachel Banham (Lakeville North, University of Minnesota, Connecticut Sun) have all made their marks thus far in the WNBA’s 20th season.
Amber Stokes is one of two Black female coach/GMs in the WNBA. Now in her second year in Chicago, Stokes told the MSR that she has adjusted to her dual role.
Serena Williams’s 2009 Body Issue cover still ranks as ESPN’s best seller – hers was one of six alternative covers used for the inaugural issue. This year it’s called BODY10, which hit newsstands June 29.
This season there are 25 WNBA players officially listed as centers, and seven others are listed as center-forwards. Williams, who has coached in the W for 15 seasons, says, “You need a big to alter shots or at least have [an] opportunity in the paint, a person with length who can move off screens and can play good defense. You got about five or six bigs who are top scorers in our league.”
The older sister heads the players union. Her younger sister, a middle child in a family of four daughters, is virtually working two jobs at the same time. Both are WNBA stars. They are the sisters Ogwumike, Nnemkadi and Chinenye.
The Minnesota Lynx’s first WNBA off-season saw two key players changing addresses. All-Star Tonya Edwards and long-on-potential but even-more-problematic Brandy Reed were traded to Phoenix in separate trades.
“I told Kwame this game has broken my heart for the last time. I’m never going to play basketball anymore. He left me alone for about a year.”