By Charles Hallman
This 2012 WNBA season is now history. Throughout the league’s 16th season the MSR brushed with several historical “firsts” — persons who did something that hadn’t been done before and, in some cases, hasn’t been duplicated.
Tamara Moore — the first Minneapolitan
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had with the Lynx,” says the team’s first and only Minneapolis-born player. A former 2002 first-round pick by Miami, Moore was traded to Minnesota in June 2002 for Betty Lennox and a future first-round pick, which at the time was considered a controversial trade. “To be the first…and being part of the program and seeing where it is right now is a great experience,” Moore says. Continue Reading →
Rookie of the Year Ogwumike ‘freakishly athletic’
By Charles Hallman
More often than not, if you are a pro rookie in your first professional season, and if you were the top overall selection in the draft, either you’re expected to be THE man if it’s the NBA or THE woman if it’s the WNBA. Los Angeles Sparks forward Neeka Ogwumike, who led all WNBA rookies in points and rebounds, was named Rookie of the Year on Sunday. It marked the fifth straight year that the league’s number-one pick also won the award at season’s end. Also, Ogwumike, who got all but two of the 41 votes cast, is the fifth consecutive Black female to win the award. “She knows the value of playing on a team where she doesn’t have to carry the burden, and does exactly what she should be doing,” notes Sparks Assistant Coach Jim Lewis of the 6-2 Ogwumike, who was picked first by Los Angeles this past spring. Continue Reading →
A fascinating hour in African and African American history visits the Twin Cities with the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Fela! coming to St. Paul’s Ordway theater. In 1969 Nigerian musician-composer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, visiting the U.S., encountered Sandra Smith of the Black Panther Party. Smith’s (today her last name is Isadore) fiery commitment to flying in the face of social and political oppression so inspired Kuti that on returning home, he fostered the genre Afrobeat, a fusion of African and American styles that, most significantly, incorporated political commentary. Continue Reading →