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Top WNBA teams hope to peak in playoffs

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The 2013 WNBA Playoffs begin this week: Washington-Atlanta and Indiana-Chicago in the East, and Minnesota-Seattle and Los Angeles-Phoenix in the West in the four best-of-three first-round matchups.  

“When we get into the playoffs, it’s our own destiny,” notes Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous, a member of the 2012 defending champions. The Fever, the only sub-.500 club among the eight playoff teams, has been injury-riddled all season. “We’ve gotten some good wins and some tough losses as well,” explains forward Tamika Catchings. “I think we’ve gotten better from the beginning of the season to now.”

 

“We are going to make a good run,” predicts Zellous. Continue Reading →

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WNBA rookies learn the ropes

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Wearing a visitors’ uniform in her hometown is nothing new for Tayler Hill. Although she wore the Washington Mystics’ red road colors in the August 8 game against Minnesota, the host crowd warmly greeted the Minneapolis South and Ohio State graduate as she entered the contest near the three-minute mark left in the opening quarter. “The [Minnesota] fans never boo me,” says Hill. “I’ve always have been on opposite teams, and they still support me.”

The last time she talked with the MSR was a few hours after the Mystics selected her with their top pick (fourth overall) back in April. “We joked about it that she was the first draft of the other draft,” says Mystics Coach Mike Thibault on the Hill selection after the top three overall picks. Continue Reading →

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All-around athlete excelled in many sports – Local prep star memorialized with Stacy L. Robinson Field

STACY ROBINSON, the former St. Paul Central football, basketball and track standout who went on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, was honored a couple of weeks ago after a field was renamed after him. Robinson, who played as a youth at Jimmy Lee, died of multiple myeloma in May 2012 at age 50. The community and Robinson’s family looked on as Jimmy Lee Fields at Oxford Community Center was renamed Stacy L. Robinson Field after the man nicknamed “Bird” for his outstanding athletic ability. Robinson helped raise around $200,000 to improve the facility, which now has synthetic turf, bleachers, and a scoreboard bearing his name. Continue Reading →

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Park Center-Osseo rivalry showcases b-ball talent

 

Last year in late December a friend of mine, former Minneapolis North and University of Minnesota women’s basketball player ELLEN HEBERT, suggested that I attend a boys’ basketball contest between Park Center and Osseo on Friday, January 6, 2011. I will admit I blew the invitation off at first. I live in St. Paul, and the thought of driving through traffic was enough for me to want to attend a game closer to my home. Not sure if it was voices I kept hearing or a gravitational pull that turned my car west on I-94 instead of east. Continue Reading →

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Former Gopher star now promoting U of M ‘engagement’

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Quincy Lewis says a large part of his new role as an associate development officer at the University of Minnesota is to create and maintain “the passion” among the school’s many supporters. He also wants to improve relations between the school and the city’s Black community, which historically have generated mixed feelings over the years. “As for the African American community, we have to do a better job of asking for engagement, and when we get engagement then we have to perform,” proclaimed Lewis in a recent interview with the MSR.

With a new president and new athletic director, “I think sometimes when you have change, there’s new opportunities. Now it’s time to step up and come with some fresh ideas, some fresh engagements and some opportunities.  I think it’s a great opportunity for the university to be aggressive” in this area. Lewis said he is keenly aware of the historical distance between the school and the city’s Black community. Continue Reading →

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Up-and-coming hoopster girls to watch

The girls’ basketball season has begun with eight of the state’s top players already signed with Division I schools. If you ever get a chance to get to a game, check these players out. (The college each signed with is in parentheses). NIA COFFEY (Northwestern): While averaging 15.7 points per game, the 5-9 guard led Hopkins to the Class 4A state championship. ALLINA STARR (Auburn): The 5-10 guard averaged 16 point while helping DeLaSalle capture their second straight Class 3A crown. Continue Reading →

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Up-and-coming hoopster girls to watch

The girls’ basketball season has begun with eight of the state’s top players already signed with Division I schools. If you ever get a chance to get to a game, check these players out. (The college each signed with is in parentheses). NIA COFFEY (Northwestern): While averaging 15.7 points per game, the 5-9 guard led Hopkins to the Class 4A state championship. ALLINA STARR (Auburn): The 5-10 guard averaged 16 point while helping DeLaSalle capture their second straight Class 3A crown. Continue Reading →

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Motivational speaker transfers NBA skills to the business world

Walter Bond teaches audiences the importance of connecting

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

After leaving the NBA, Walter Bond was told he didn’t have enough experience during his job searches. “We’re looking for someone with more experience,” he vividly recalls being told by interviewers who didn’t think playing against and with the world’s best athletes in both college and the pros qualified him for the business world. “You won’t find [any]one more experienced than me,” he told the interviewers. Looking back, Bond said that not getting hired was the best thing that could have happened to him. He has been a motivational speaker for over a decade, appearing before nearly 75 major corporations around the country and teaching his audiences around the world basic principles for success through speeches, workshops, and through his books and CDs. Continue Reading →

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U of M hoopsters off to promising start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2012-13 college basketball season is now underway. Both Minnesota teams opened their campaigns last week with wins, but it’s way too early to call the season a success…

The Gophers men’s team also was successful in their home opener versus American University last weekend, but like Borton, men’s coach Tubby Smith said one win can’t be satisfying. His team must be intense from jump ball to final buzzer, he noted. To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:

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Or become an MSR subscriber:

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