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WNBA players’ dilemma: Make money abroad or stay home and rest?

A  “time off bonus” of up to $50,000 a player can earn for “limiting their overseas play to three months or less” is part of the collective bargaining agreement signed earlier this year by the WNBA players and the league. But is 50 grand enough of an enticement to keep them from going overseas or shortening their time there? “I think that all of the athletes can and should take advantage of the situation to stay home and get that bonus,” advises Columbia College Chicago Assistant Sports Management Professor Monique Maye, whose sports management company also represents female pro players. She believes that the players could instead use the WNBA off-season for attending graduate school or working in their collegiate field of study. “There are so many things out there that they can do using their degrees,” continues Maye. Continue Reading →

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Prep football gets statewide realignment

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) approved a new statewide high school football alignment, with all 371 teams divided into 18 new districts starting in 2015. As a result, all regular-season schedules will be made by the new 18 districts, with the teams mostly playing intradistrict games — all crossover games with schools outside their district can be scheduled with MSHSL approval. Because these districts are now larger than the former smaller conferences, sub-districts could be set up as well.  

Both the seven Minneapolis City Conference and six St. Paul City Conference schools, along with 15 private and suburban schools, will make up the new 28-team Twin City district next year. Continue Reading →

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It’s hard being a Black coach — and harder yet as a Black female coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of two parts
 
The firing drum that has slowly banged for Mike Woodson since mid-winter reached its crescendo Monday when he was fired as New York Knicks head coach. The final drumbeat came last week when Woodson wasn’t involved in the usual coach-conducted players’ exit interviews. We are midway through the 21st century’s second decade, and we still only use one hand to count the number of Black coaches in any one of the five major leagues: four Black NBA coaches, two males and a female in the WNBA, three Black MLB managers, four NFL coaches. We’re still waiting for a Black coach in the National Hockey League. One-hand counting is still used in college basketball and football at all three NCAA divisions as well. Continue Reading →

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A long way from her Swedish family, Gopher center makes herself right at home

Spotlight on the Gophers 100

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Freshman center Amanda Zahui B.

 

After sitting out last season after arriving at the University of Minnesota, one might think homesickness could be a common reoccurrence for Swedish-born Amanda Zahui B. But she says it’s not so: “I’ve been by myself since I was 15. I’m used to being away from my family,” the 6’-5” redshirt freshman center tells us. Despite her Patti Labelle declaration of being on her own, Zahui still misses her family. Continue Reading →

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High school teammates meet again — on opposing teams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

LaShay Holt and Annessa Hicks played together for one year at St. Paul Humboldt High School. Holt was a freshman and Hicks was a senior. Their prep careers almost mirror each other: Both finished their high-school careers as 1,000-point scorers and were named the St. Paul City Conference MVP in their respective senior seasons. Continue Reading →

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Lynx win again, but dynasty talk still premature

It again occurred literally seconds after the Minnesota Lynx last week won its second WNBA title in three years — the “d” word was vainly uttered. After reading a local newspaper’s Sunday Lynx dynasty story, the team’s longest tenured beat reporter looked up “sports dynasty,” which is subjectively too often overused by uneducated sportswriters. The term “sports dynasty” applies to a team that dominates its sport or league for multiple seasons. Examples are UCLA’s 10-straight national championships in 12 years; or eight straight for the Boston Celtics or the Houston Comets, winners of the first four WNBA titles in as many tries (1997-2000); or Concordia University’s six Division II volleyball titles. Or there’s the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team, two-times-straight national champions, who I watched last Friday win their 52nd straight game. Continue Reading →

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Lynx players, coaches, fans reflect on championship run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday’s Minnesota Lynx championship celebration looked more like a bon voyage send-off, especially given that every player soon will leave for off-season overseas jobs. “It’s awesome having our fans out here and be able to say good-bye to them,” said Lynx guard Monica Wright, who heads to South Korea by month’s end.  

Added Israel-bound rookie Sugar Rodgers of her first overseas assignment, “I’m going down to take care of a little business, to see my family before I head out.”

 

“It’s a long off season, and I will miss this group,” noted Maya Moore, who will play again in China. Mounds of confetti became a temporary asphalt blanket on Monday as the procession that carried the 2013 WNBA Champions Lynx moved slowly along Nicollet Avenue, with adoring fans providing escort as they made their way to their downtown Minneapolis basketball home. There, inside, a large crowd impatiently awaited the arrival of the only local pro team that boasts a championship trophy these days. Continue Reading →

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