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.

Fans can vote for Faith Johnson Patterson beginning Feb. 17 by going to the USA Today’s website under sports, and then look for high school.


Faith Johnson Patterson Photo by Charles Hallman
Faith Johnson Patterson
Photo by Charles Hallman

WNBA, Lynx news

Now that the Los Angeles Sparks ownership situation is resolved, the 2014 WNBA schedule is now completed. The 2013 W champion Minnesota Lynx start their regular season at Washington on May 16, and their first home game is May 18 versus Connecticut at 4 pm.

Minnesota’s 17-game home schedule features 10 weekend games, and they will play nine of 12 games at home between June 20 and July 25, including a four-game homestand in mid-July.

WNBA games this season will be on national television — at least 80 games on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and NBA TV, including seven doubleheaders on ESPN2. The Lynx will be on national television six times this year.


Just the facts, please

It’s sad when some sports media refuse to do simple fact checking before making a statement that’s totally false and misleading — such as stating that the Seattle Seahawks are that city’s first pro champions since 1979. Funny how the Seattle Storm, the city’s pro women’s basketball club that won WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010, was conveniently ignored in the hyperbole thrown about after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win two Sundays ago.

I guess women winning championships don’t count, huh? Where’s Jack Webb when you need him?

History overlooked

The news went unnoticed when the ownership group headed by Earvin Johnson that now owns the L.A. Sparks in the WNBA replaced the team’s previous ownership, headed by Paula Madison, a Black female.

This might be the first time in U.S. pro sports history where team ownership changed hands and both the former and the new owner were Black.

“We are thrilled to welcome Magic Johnson and Mark Walter to the WNBA,” said League President Laurel Richie in a Feb. 5 press statement. “With their proven track record in the business realm…we look forward to partnering with our new owners to usher in a new era for this iconic team.”

The Sparks is one of the league’s original eight teams and is the last WNBA team to won consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002. (Houston won four straight, but the Comets unfortunately are no longer in business.)

Also gone unmentioned is the fact that Johnson becomes the second W Black owner who owns two teams in two different leagues — he co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sheila Johnson owns both the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Capitals (NHL).


Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com


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