AAU

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A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

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NLI signing day for top hoopsters

For former Minneapolis North boys’ basketball standout RICO ALEXANDER, November 12, 2013 was a very special day. It wasn’t only because his daughter, 5-foot-6-inch girls’ basketball standout guard ALEXIS ALEXANDER (Champlin Park), was signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend South Dakota State University next year. It was also the fact that fellow AAU teammates KENISHA BELL (5’-8” guard, Bloomington Kennedy), CHASE COLEY (6’-3” forward, Minneapolis Washburn), TIA ELBERT (5’-7” guard, Tartan), TONOIA WADE (6’-1” forward, Bloomington Kennedy), and CAYLA MCMORRIS (6’-0 guard, Park Center) were also signing their NLIs. “I watched them develop into some fine ladies,” said Rico Alexander, who coached them in North Tartan’s AAU program. “I’m just so proud of them all.”

Bell, who signed with Marquette, averaged 12 points per game, leading Bloomington Kennedy to a runnerup Class 4A finish last spring. Continue Reading →

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The WNBA: where it’s been, where it’s going

Roster size — go to even or stay odd?  

First of a four-part series
 

Although it’s America’s longest running women’s pro league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is still seen by too many as below major league status. The MSR talked about this and related issues with coaches, players, analysts, fans and league officials throughout the league’s 17th season; their insights are included in this multi-part series on the WNBA.  

Injuries perhaps hurt the WNBA more than any other pro league. Each WNBA club has 11-player rosters, and unlike other leagues they do not have an injured reserve list. Continue Reading →

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Mpls native converts success as player into coaching know-how

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Her players haven’t as yet called her “Coach,” but Kachine Alexander says she can’t wait for one of them to challenge her to a game of one-on-one. “I think most players still call me ‘Cash,’ admits the first-year Concordia University assistant women’s basketball coach. “They’ve been itching for me to play with them ever since I’ve got here. I keep telling them they don’t want those problems.”

Alexander’s playing pedigree suggests, however, that the CU players might want to reevaluate their itches: a prep standout at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School, an all-state and all-metro performer, and a Minnesota Miss Basketball finalist in 2007. Continue Reading →

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