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, December 15, 2006

Teresa Edwards - The Time Is Right

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA _ While sitting in heavy traffic in the suburbs here on Thursday afternoon, we checked in with our good friend Teresa Edwards, the five-time Olympian and former Georgia star, who has signed on as an assistant to new Minnesota Lynx coach Don Zierden in the WNBA.

Edwards played for Minnesota under former coach Suzie McConnell Serio for two seasons.

So what made Edwards finally succumb to life on the sidelines after resisting previous offers all these years?

"I think the time is just right," Edwards said. "Roger had called me during their coaching search and I just think the world of him plus I had a great experience in Minnesota and a lot of fun."

Roger is Roger Griffth the chief operating officer of the Lynx.

"And coach`Z,' I just think I can learn a lot from him," Edwards said.

The native of Cairo, Ga., is the only male or female player from the United States to compete in five Olympics, beginning in 1984.

The storied point guard is now united with a future all-timer in former LSU all-American Seimone Augustus, the overall No. 1 pick of last year's draft who became the WNBA's rookie of the year.

Edwards is a good friend of Temple coach Dawn Staley from their days competing together in USA Basketball.

"She's out there trying to get them into college, I'm trying to look at them out of college as potential players for us," Edwards laughed while talking about the differences in recruiting desires.

Edwards was a founding player of the former American Basketball League and also spent a short season here with the Philadelphia Rage before the league collapsed under bankruptcy in December, 1998.

In fact, the Guru has been indebted to Edwards for showing him the secret of the freight elevator in Temple's Liacouras Center, enabling him to take short cuts to the court when he's lugging his computer and other equipment from the parking garage out back to cover games.

We mentioned that the WNBA is going to have to darken Minnesota's schedule the weekend of June 8 and 9 when Edward's college coach Andy Landers is inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

"Don't worry," Edwards laughed. "I'll be there. I'm a coach so I can take days off."

Edwards also became a member of the women's hall's board of directors last spring.

Update: AP Poll Voters Go Public

This is probably going to be rocket science until we see it in operation, but here is the latest information regarding Wednesday's previous post about the Associated Press revealing the votes each week of its voters in the men's and women's basketball polls, as is already done in the football poll.

In terms of links, we mentioned that AP could go to several places from each voter's name to lead to their coverage of their sport. Data central informed me Thursday, they can link to only one site, so the Guru chose this blog. (You all already know how to find the print versions on Philly.com).

Also, there's no direct link into the AP site. You get there through an AP member paper's link. So we'll see what kind of streamlining we can do on Monday. I'm sure many of you techno-artists out there will figure it out long before the Guru sees daylight.

Celebrity Watching at Rutgers

When Rutgers' was squandering a 20-point lead to Mississippi on Tuesday night before gaining a triple-overtime victory, the Guru noted to a colleague on press row that the abundance of experienced talent sitting in the house was wearing street clothes as opposed to coach C. Vivian Stringer's youth squad wearing the uniforms.

Observers from WNBA teams included Seattle Storm coach Anne Donovan, a former Olympic gold medalist, New York Liberty coach Patty Coyle, who starred for the Scarlet Knights. Additionally, former Rutgers all-American June Olkowski, in the area on business, also took in the game.

On the other side, Stringer's assistances include former Iowa star Jolette Law, former Immaculata all-American Marianne Stanley, former Rutgers star Chelsea Newton, who now plays for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA, and Michelle Edwards, another former Iowa star under Stringer.

The Hawkeyes, incidentally, will visit Rutgers Saturday night to return the Scarlet Knights' visit to Iowa City last season.

And of course Mississippi coach Carol Ross was a star for the Rebels under former coach Van Chancellor.

Temple Nostalgia

Candice Dupree, the all-American who led Staley's Owls to their best effors in the program's history before graduating to the WNBA last summer, was among former Temple stars at the Maryland game Sunday.

"We were trying to do things she could never do," Staley laughed. "Beat Stony Brook and also the No. 1 team in the nation."

The Owls got their revenge against the New Yorkers but fell just short of the Terrapins on Sunday.

-- Mel


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