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, April 02, 2011

Guru's NCAA Notebook: Fame To Smile on Stanford's VanDerveer

By Mel Greenberg

Win or lose in the NCAA Women's Final Four, whose national semifinals will be played here Sunday night in Conseco Fieldhouse, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer will be making her own news Monday morning when the 2011 induction class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame housed in Springfield, Mass., at the men's Final Four.

VanDerveer, one of two finalists from the women's game, is expected to be named, according to multiple sources familiar with the announcement. She is already a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and will join such multiple past honorees as Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, former LSU and WNBA coach Van Chancellor, the late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow, former Southern Cal star Cheryl Miller, and former Old Dominion star Nancy Lieberman, to name a few.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose team will meet Big East rival Connecticut in Sunday night's second national semifinal game, will be inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in June.

VanDerveer's Stanford team meets Final Four rookie Texas A&M in the opener (7 p.m., ESPN).

This is the time news gets leaked to local outlets of the inductees, though word had not yet gotten to reporters from the Bay Area in Northern California of VanDerveer's honor.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman told reporters late this week he had been selected and to report to Houston, where the formal announcement of the new class will be made at the site of the men's Final Four.

Vanderveer, of course, who guided the Olympic team to the 1996 Gold Medal at the Atlanta Games and has already led the Cardinal to NCAA titles in 1990 and 1992, is here for a fourth straight Women's Final Four appearance and 10th overall for Stanford.

This is the first time that a situation has occurred where a women's selectee is going after a national title for her team the same weekend as the Naismith announcement.

Teresa Edwards, the all-time Olympic women's hoops great who was an all-American at Georgia, was also a finalist but plans to remain home recovering from recent surgery.

Edwards is the new player-personnel director of the WNBA Tulsa Shock, which will play its second season in Oklahoma after being relocated from Detroit, which saw three WNBA titles occur under former coach Bill Laimbeer.

Though Tulsa was a continuation of the Detroit franchise under coach-general manager Nolan Richardson last season, the team was reduced to expansion-ilike status after trades and roster defections.

The Shock finished with the worst record but lost out to Minnesota for the number one pick, which will be Connecticut senior Maya Moore who will be concluding a sensational collegiate career that was cited here Saturday with her unprecedented third Wade Trophy from the Women;s Basketball Coaches Association.

Tulsa will pick second when the draft is conducted at ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., on April 11.

-- Mel


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