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, May 27, 2011

Guru Report: Princeton's Addie Micir Top Pick Of Summer League Draft

(Guru's note: There is a WNBA item above this post covering the week's events and the Washington Mystics' exhibition game).

By Mel Greenberg

Though he has kept trying to retire as commissioner of the prominent now-called Philadelphia/Suburban Women’s Summer League, David Kessler was at the helm of his 18th season as commissioner for Thursday night’s draft integrating some 114 players onto rosters.

Kessler, a former batboy for the Phillies, confesses to know little about the sport, which might be why he keeps getting asked to stay aboard.

The league is sanctioned by the NCAA, which, however, does not want its name used as part of the title. It is the continuance of the same one that used to be run under the umbrella of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

There is still room for more players to sign up before the league opens play the middle of next month.

The session was conducted at the Kelly Bolish Gymnasium, home of the AAU Renegades, where the league will play on Tuesday and Thursday nights for the second straight season in Horsham after previously being located at Northeast High.

The Guru will post the rosters here in the next several days considering the inexact science that was used to complete the draft made it impossible to keep up with the various nuances.

For example, Division II and Division III players can be on the same squad across the board from the same school but only two Division I players can be together, except additional ones can be added if they are incoming freshmen.

There also was the attempt to provide balance among rosters and also to make sure each team had some decent height and backcourt players to go hand-in-hand.

Completed rosters will each go under a color such as Red in terms of team names. But for the purpose of the draft, for example, Team Moore was allowed to request a whole unit.

Team Moore is actually named for Ari Moore, the former Temple star who has a bunch of former Owls stars from the Dawn Staley era such as Stacey Smalls – the former La Salle assistant and Cheltenham star – Tynecia Pam, Ashley Morris, and Khadijah Bowens. Former Rhode Island star Shayla Johnson is also on the squad.

“You can get this all close to perfect but it falls apart of players don’t show up, especially enough to cause a forfeit,” Kessler said.

“Some (college) coaches are more interested in other things than wins in requesting who they want playing together. Sue Troyan sent 10 of her Lehigh players and she was specific about how they should be paired.”

West Chester and Philadelphia University both have entire units, while Holy Family has a large portion of players who will be on the same team.

Just the way things worked out because one team needed to catch up in terms of numbers, technically, one could say recently graduated Princeton star Addie Micir was the No. 1 pick, but again don’t think of this system anywhere near as what you see in the pro leagues.

Tigers junior post player to be Megan Bowen will also represent Princeton.

As noted there are players of the past who will play such as former Drexel star Michelle Maslowski, who was the Dragons’ all-time scorer until Gabriela Marginean came along through her graduation in 2010.

Villanova has a bunch of players in Jesse Carey, Laura Sweeney, Rachel Roberts, Megan Pearson, Emily Leer, and Devon Kane. Recently graduated La Salle star Ashley Gale will return this summer.

St. Joseph’s offers Katie Kuester, the league’s top player last summer; Erin Shields, Shelby Smith, and incoming freshman Mariah Lesure.

Launa Hochstetter was a major star at Valparaiso.

Incidentally, Katie Rutan from Ambler and Springside High who has starred at Xavier, is not listed, but on Thursday Maryland announced she will be transferring into the Terrapins with eligibility for her final two years beginning a season from now.

Lafayette also has a large contingent on rosters.

-- Mel


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