Los Angeles Sparks

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Local leading coach nominated for national honors

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

DeLaSalle Girls’ Basketball Coach Faith Johnson Patterson is among this year’s nominees for USA Today national girls’ coach of the year.  Johnson Patterson in 2012 became the first Black female basketball coach to be inducted into the Minnesota Girls’ Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “They [USA Today] go around to different states, looking for the top coaches,” Johnson Patterson said exclusively last week to the MSR. “People are selected from each region. My name was brought up several times. “It’s a two-to-three week period where you have to vote, and the top coach from each region is selected as a finalist. I think the winner gets a [cash prize] and a banner to be placed at the winner’s school,” surmised Johnson Patterson. Continue Reading →

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WNBA 2012 wrap-up

 
Rookie of the Year Ogwumike ‘freakishly athletic’

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

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 →

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WNBA assistant coaches work hard behind the scenes

 

Shelley Patterson is one of seven Black assistant coaches in the WNBA — only Tulsa, Seattle and Indiana have no Blacks on their staffs. Last season, her second on the Minnesota Lynx bench, Patterson became the first Black woman since 2009 to be on a championship-winning ball club. “I’ve been with some good teams, but from [Lynx] player one to player 11, I love every single one of them. They respect each other and respect us,” she points out. Unlike the NBA, which seemingly has a coach for every three players, a WNBA coaching staff consists only of a head coach and a maximum of two assistants. Continue Reading →

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