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.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

WNBA: Rutgers Reunuion

(Guru’s Note: Kathleen Radebaugh, a student at St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia who writes for The Hawk, the school newspaper, is on the scene with us this weekend at the WNBA All-Star game and handling the main blog coverage while we attend to, ahem, print matters which we rely on for our main salary. Our story at Philly.com focuses on former Temple star Candice Dupree.)

By Kathleen Radebaugh

WASHINGTON _ Two former Scarlet Knights squaring off against each other in front of a sold out crowd.

That is pretty good basketball.

Tammy Sutton-Brown ’01 and Cappie Pondexter ’06, former players for Rutgers University, will play Sunday’s WNBA All-Star game here at the Verizon Center, which is the home of the Washington Mystics. Brown is in her sixth season for Indiana Fever and Pondexter enters her sophomore season for the Phoenix Mercury.

Both still have not found time for sight seeing around the nation’s capital.

“My sister is sight-seeing now,” said Sutton-Brown. “Not me. The only thing I have done is gone out to dinner with the girls, and I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the restaurant’s name.”

Sutton-Brown was on the first team in 2000 to ever reach the NCAA Women’s Final Four at Rutger;s University. Now, Sutton-Brown starts as center for the Indiana Fever and entered the season ranked eighth in career blocked shot leaders for the WNBA. On June 6, she scored season high 17 points in a win against the Houston Comets. During the summer, Sutton-Brown was able to play with Pondexter for Fenerbahce in Turkey.

Scarlet Knights like to stick together.

“Nobody can rebound like Tammy can, said Pondexter. “She is a great basketball player and playing with her overseas was great.”

Like Sutton-Brown, Pondexter excelled playing for Rutgers. Pondexter ranks first in three-point percentage and is second in scoring, free throws made, field goals made, and field goals attempted. Now Pondexter, 2006 WNBA All-Rookie Team selection, is second on her team in scoring at 16.9 points per game and is part of the highest scoring duo (with Diana Taurasi) in the WNBA for the second-straight year.

For both Sutton-Brown and Pondexter, this is their second All-Star appearance. Veteran Sutton-Brown first appeared on the roster when she played for the former Charlotte Sting, now in her seventh season will represent Indiana.

Impressive, Pondexter is just in her second season in the WNBA and finds herself playing Sunday with Phoenix teammates Penny Taylor and Taurasi, the former Connecticut star, for the West Conference. This is the first time Mercury has three players on the All-Star team.

More than anything, both are excited about competing in a sold out crowd at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

“I am really more excited for the league that this is a sold out crowd,” said Pondexter. “It shows just how much people are starting to take notice and pay attention to the WNBA.”

No matter where these players travel, they take what they first learned with them at Rutgers University under Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. Pondexter has a tattoo on left leg saying “Scarlet Knight” along with her number. No tattoo for Sutton-Brown, but she still laughs at how far she and her teammate have come since playing in Piscataway, N.J.

“Through all the traveling and being in the middle of the season now, being apart of the All-Star game gives us a chance to enjoy the game more and just play some really good basketball,” said Sutton-Brown. “You are playing with the best of the best.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More, more, more from Kathleen Radebaugh ... a sports fan in Exton

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the next installment from Kathleen ... another sports fan from Exton

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