Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Guru's Quick News and Notes

By Mel Greenberg

HOUSTON _ Hello all.

Yes, the Guru is on the scene for Friday night's WNBA encounter between the Houston Comets and expansion Chicago Sky which will create the unique opposition of point guard Dawn Staley on the Comets against rookie Candice Dupree of the sky.

It's unique in that it's the first time a college head coach in the league such as Staley is with Temple will go against a former player such as Dupree is with Chicago.

But it has been pointed out to us among a burst of emails emating from the blackberry once our plane touched down this morning that we've already had a college coach, per se, matchup against a former player.

That event happpened also with the Comets involved in 2001 when Coquese Washington, who was also a Notre Dame assistant, represented Houston, and former Irish star Niele Ivy played for the Indiana Fever.

Also, a fan of Dupree's is Rhode Island, who I believe one time was an assistant coach at Temple and is now with the Rams, noted that Dupree's injury her freshman season was to her foot, not shoulder, as we mentioned in print.

Furthermore, it might be in Saturday's print story, since I saved this fact, Staley has already played against a former player in 2004 in Athens when the USA squad meet Greece, who had Athena Christoforakis, one of Staley's first players who helped a quick turnaround of the Owls.

Among the crowd with mixed emotions will be members of Staley's staff -- Mary Wooley and Lisa Boyer, along with former Dupree teammate Stacey Smalls, now an assistant with La Salle, and Natalia Isaac, who recently left the Temple operations position to pursue business opportunities.

Sorry for the senior moments, but maybe a certain person will check in here soon with another younger moments of commentary to answer the number of requests for such commentary, if you all can read between the lines.

In other news involving Staley, the Guru has finally heard from our neighbors at the umbrella Philly.com, so work will begin next week on a Staley page to track her last season.

The guru has already collected a dozen tributes or so from players and coaches to be housed on such a page that will eventually be a grand central terminal link to other places such as the Comets, Virginia, Temple, USA Basketball, etc., who all want to weigh in with something as Dawn's final season as a player winds down.

We'll be in Washington Tuesday night for Staley's final appearance in the nation's capital where Jonathan Tannenwald, now a Penn grad, may make his first contribution to our efforts since last summer.

Discussions are nearing a close to formally announce the USBWA's Maggie Dixion Award.

OK, time to leave this lovely view high atop the Hilton Hotel just around the corner from the Toyota Center and head to the arena to set up for the printed pages in Saturday's Inquirer.

-- Mel

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