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.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Guru's Timeout: Meet Julia Harmon

By Mel Greenberg

Well the Guru made the early-evening, all-night drive from Philly down here in 10 hours, 46 minutes, according to the GPS plus some various stops to feed the car and yours truly.

Both were done in Harrisonburg, Va., the home of James Madison University, and if you want to know why coach Kenny Brooks has not jumped at other jobs of which his name has been speculated the Guru found the reason.

Get this. Gas was ranging from $3.39 a gallon down to $3.35. Do the math. The savings off of other locals makes Brooks contract more valuable right where he is.

By the way, those of you who know the Guru's tricks, the 4 a.m. check-in here at the Marriott counts as an early arrival on the starting Thursday reservation.

The Guru is here as a past inductee and to cover this weekend's Women's Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies.

Because of locality, the Guru's efforts will focus more on founding WNBA president Val Ackerman and Lady Vol killer Muffet McGraw, the Notre Dame coach and St. Joseph's graduate who deprived Tennessee of reaching the Final Four by guiding the Irish to an upset in the regional semifinal.

Team media liason Chris Masters has authored a mammoth press release on McGraw, which is longer than five Guru Hall of Fame acceptance speeches combined and probably has posted it by now on the Notre Dame website.

He did send the Guru Muffet's guest list as it continues to develop with some 100 notables from her life.

The Guru will post that here later Thursday.

But now about the headline for this post.

The Guru is pleased to announce that an NFL lockout has transformed into a lock-in of a new Team Guru member.

During the late fall when the Guru was alerted to a new follower on his twitter account he saw the name Julia Harmon, NFL films, from South Jersey.

He could not fathom why Julia would want to follow the Guru, especially after seeing who else was on her list.

Furthermore, contrary to a claim made by the original blogerette in 2006, though everyone may know the Guru, he does not know everyone, though almost.

He thought she might be a coach, former player, etc.

Anyhow, as life went on, one day Julia re-tweeted some Guru posts. So checking further, he discovered she was a basketball manager for the women's team at Missouri, which, as many of you know, gives her some commonality with the Guru, who had similar duties centuries ago at Temple.

So he sent a note inquiring if she had some interest in joining the team, which has been more a team of one in recent times.

Julia did but then as late as it was getting in the football season, the NFL workload became more heavy and she had to beg off for the moment. And also being from Michigan, she might be moving on.

But then last week, Julia contacted the Guru saying she was back in the area and had interest, especially with the football world on hold.

Perfect. So she is coming aboard to help with WNBA coverage, initially off the three key cities but that will not preclude expanding to other areas of the league. Julia will also do some features off the summer league.

And then we'll see where to go from there.

WNBA team media types should add her email juliaharmon32@gmail.com to the distribution list as well as my friends in the WNBA home office and the rest of you can start your own conversations as she gets up to speed.

Her twitter account is @juliaharmon32 and there is a head shot so you will be able to recognize her in arenas.

Next week she will take her rookie flights with the Guru in New York and Washington.

OK, the Guru did enough talking.

Julia would like to say hello and the Guru would like to take advantage of the concierge breakfast and then sleep before Willbill comes by to head off to the traditional Litton's hamburger joint in nearby fountain City.

Willbill again will help here with photo coverage and get the Guru to that nice barber who provided a haircut (I paid) to look good at the parade of past inductees.

By the way the Guru's iPad, purchased here last year during induction weekend, is having its first birthday.

Here's Julia. The Guru will be back before the next sunrise but wanted her to enjoy her name in headlines for several hours.

Here she is:

Hello everybody!

My name is Julia Harmon and I am a graduate from the University of Missouri where I spent four years working as the women's basketball manager.

I grew up a Notre Dame women's basketball fan, but my allegiances will always first go to the Missouri Tigers.

I majored in broadcast journalism and am excited to use those journalism skills again. I've spent the last two years working on the video side of things, but am looking forward to this summer's basketball season and mixing things up a bit.


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