Laurel Richie

Recent Articles

WNBA joins effort to build Black girls’ self-esteem

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Procter & Gamble last week announced a new partnership that solely focuses on Black girls. My Black Is Beautiful was started in 2007 by the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Company, and in April they released Imagine a Future, a 30-minute documentary on Black women in America and Africa. A program of the same name was started as well and now will connect with the WNBA, the world’s longest running women’s professional team sports league, where over three-fourths of the players are Black females. “It’s a slam dunk,” said P&G North America Brand Operations Director Julie Eddleman in a July 22 press release. Although the specifics have yet to be released, the WNBA-P&G partnership will be woven into the league’s WNBA Cares program. Continue Reading →

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A few WNBA All-Star firsts

 

 

 

UNCASVILLE, CONN. — “Her-stories” were aplenty here last Saturday at the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game. “I think it is very reflective of the 17th season of the WNBA,” said League President Laurel Richie. “We have a wonderful mix of rookies and first-timers but also many of our veterans coming back.”

 

Her first 

After a couple of near opportunities that for one reason or another didn’t materialize, Shelley Patterson was finally a West All-Star assistant coach. “It’s taken me a long time,” admitted the Minnesota Lynx’s only Black assistant coach. Continue Reading →

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Tina Thompson, last of the originals, takes a final bow

 

 

Tina Thompson (Seattle) is the WNBA’s last original player. Fittingly, the 38-year-old Thompson, the league’s first player selected in 1997 who since has played in every season, was named as an All-Star replacement player by WNBA President Laurel Richie. As a result, Thompson, the 2000 All-Star MVP and the W’s all-time leader in points, field goals and minutes played, last weekend set a league record ninth All-Star appearance in 12 seasons. “Anytime you get asked to play in the All-Star Game, it is a great honor,” she said. “I actually didn’t know that I set the record for appearances until I got here.”

“She is a great person to come in and let everybody, let all the fans give her that last [applause],” said Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus of Thompson. Continue Reading →

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Diversity report shows NBA leading sports industry — Except in Minnesota, where it still lags far behind

 

 

 

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) annually publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC) reports on professional and college sport to measure racial and gender improvement, stagnation and regression in decision making, and other key positions. The MSR annually devotes more attention to RGRC author Richard Lapchick’s grades than does any other media in town. No speculation as to why the local pro teams and the state’s largest university diversity efforts don’t merit the same smell test analysis by mainstream media that it does here. TIDES last week continued its annual RGRC series with the 2012-13 NBA. The Major League Baseball RGRC was released earlier this year, and we briefly reported it.  A quick recap: The Minnesota Twins, as usual, failed in its diversity grade. Continue Reading →

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Tayler Hill moves on up to the big time

 

 

 

Tayler Hill soon will earn her human economy degree from Ohio State. A few weeks ago, she went on a few interviews and last week got her first job offer. “I never have been on a job interview, so I’m not sure exactly how that works,” admitted the Minneapolis native before interviewing for and accepting her first job as a professional basketball player. The Washington Mystics selected her as their first-round pick in this year’s WNBA draft, and she starts her post-college job in May. Hill briefly explained the interview process, which for a WNBA prospect is a lot different than NFL and NBA potential draftees: no 40-yard timings or individual workouts beforehand. Continue Reading →

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ESPN extends deal with WNBA; financial details kept $ecret

 

 

Two big changes were recently announced by the WNBA: an extension of its current deal with ESPN for six years, and a new logo was unveiled. “This new extension,” proclaimed ESPN President John Skipper at the March 28 press conference in New York, “ensures we will be together a minimum of 26 years. We have been with the league since it started in 1997.”

“I feel like we’ve spent the last three or four months meeting with literally every department within ESPN to talk about how these two great companies can come together and really take women’s sports to the next level,” added WNBA President Laurel Richie. Up to 30 W games, including playoffs, the draft, and the all-star game, will be shown on ESPN during the extended deal that now runs through 2022. That adds up to only 180 games over the life of the contract in comparison to the 220 NBA games telecast each season on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV. Continue Reading →

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In final analysis, Title IX created ‘unprecedented opportunities’

 

After 40 years of existence, Title IX still raises the hair on the necks of those critics who strongly feel the federal law hurts men’s sports. These naysayers continue to propagandize this lie. However, more often than not it seems that White females have been the main beneficiaries of the equity legislation since its passage 40 years ago. “I think it has been a law that helped all women,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison law student Valyncia Raphael. “But I think right now the conversation does not acknowledge that there are different types of women who have benefited from the law in different ways.”

Raphael made her observation during a national Title IX conference held last spring at the University of Michigan. Continue Reading →

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W’s goin’ through them changes

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The WNBA last week did a Buddy Miles “Them Changes” and announced several new moves for the upcoming season.  

W draft in prime time 

After years of having their annual draft shown during daytime soap opera hours, the 2013 WNBA Draft will be shown for the first time next spring in prime time. ESPN2 will show the first round at 7 pm Central time on Monday, April 15. The second and third rounds then will be shown on ESPNU. Both league and network officials cite the historic change due to an anticipated star-studded first round that is expected to include Baylor center Brittney Griner and Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins. Continue Reading →

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Athletes encourage youth to stay active, healthy

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Around 100 local boys and girls worked with WNBA stars October 15 on staying active and living healthy. The five Minnesota Lynx starters — Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Taj McWilliams-Franklin — along with WNBA Legend Teresa Edwards worked with Southside Family Charter School students on basketball fundamentals at the WNBA FIT Dribble to Stop Diabetes clinic on the team’s home court. “It warms my heart, and it says a lot of the character of the women,” Edwards noted of the five Lynx players whom she beforehand introduced individually to the students. Each of them had played a game the night before but spent part of their off-day with the kids. “Having the young kids here and being able to interact with them” was important for the Lynx players, added McWilliams-Franklin. Continue Reading →

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Out-coached Lynx settle for runners-up

 

To win one championship is magical, but it takes more to repeat. I watched Houston win four consecutive WNBA Finals, still a league record, and interviewed each of their Big Three: Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, as well as their Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor. Borrowing from former U.S. Senator and once vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, I must say, “Minnesota, you’re no Houston.”

That was a dynasty. Winning two in three years by Los Angeles, and later the same for the Detroit-now-Tulsa Shock, are certifiable dynasties. But for those who foolishly compared the Lynx to the now-defunct Comets, winning one title only makes you a faux-dynasty. Continue Reading →

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