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.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Guru Report: Ex-Temple Star Becomes a Harlem Globetrotter

By Mel Greenberg

Now South Carolina coach Dawn Staley somewhat has a distinction recently held by former Kansas coach Marian Washington and the late LSU coach Sue Gunter, both Women’s Basketball Hall of Famers.

Washington held it for guiding the same individual in having coached a WNBA and Harlem Globetrotter star when Naismith and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Lynette Woodard, also an Olympic gold medalist, became the first female to join the Globetrotters in 1985.

Gunter coached Joyce Walker, who was signed several weeks later after Woodard, and in later years was a coach of Seimone Augustus, who on Friday night became the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA finals after helping to lead the Minnesota Lynx to their first title by sweeping the Atlanta Dream, 3-0, in the best-of-five series.

Jackie White, who played at LSU one year just prior to Gunter’s arrival in 1982, was also a Globetrotter.

Staley, off her eight-year era at Temple, has also now coached two individuals doing one of each. WNBA All-Star Candice Dupree of the Phoenix Mercury became one of the Owls’ two most notable great players, joining Marilyn Stephens, cirrently the Cheyney head coach, from the early 1980s, from 2002-06 when she helped lead Temple to three straight Atlantic 10 titles.

Fatima Maddox has just been announced as a member of this year’s Globetrotter rookie class and she becomes the first woman on the entertainment squad since 1993, when Manny Jackson took ownership and became the first Afro-American to own a sports/entertainment organization, according to the Globetrotters’ website.

Maddox becomes the ninth woman to play with the Globetrotters.

A 5-foot-6 guard, Maddox will play under the nickname TNT, which is interesting because the only time a blast was associated with her name at Temple is when Staley, one of the prolific point guards of all time, would explode at practice if Maddox wasn’t running a drill correctly.

But understandably all point guards who play for Staley could suffer that fate.

Maddox is a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., the home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center and transferred from New Mexico to play for Temple from in 2005-06 through 2006-07.

That actually made her a teammate in Dupree’s senior year in 2006 and, ironically, the Globetrotters, when not touring, are headquartered in Phoenix, the home of Dupree’s WNBA team.

It is not known if they will cross paths because with the WNBA season concluded Dupree plays in Europe in the winter.
Maddox, who averaged 11.4 points per game as a senior, recently played professionally in Sweden.

Additionally, Sandra Hodge of the University of New Orleans played for the team and last winter while recuperating from her third knee injury, Germantown Academy grad Caroline Doty from Doylestown, who made a couple of trick shot videos, worked out with the Globetrotters at UConn’s Gample Pavilion, where she’ll be a redshirt junior this season.

Sign Of The Rutgers Times

You know Midnight Madness is almost here when leaves start to fall and the Rutgers women going into a season of promise suffer a key injury before games get under way.

On Friday the Scarlet Knights announced that Chelsey Lee, a 6-foot-2 senior forward from Miami, will miss the season, but will return next season.

Lee, the team’s leading rebounder the last two seasons, including a 7.5 average in 2010-11, recently underwent shoulder surgery for an injury suffered in a co-ed pickup game.

The Madness Before Midnight Madness Begins

So the pro season, as mentioned, is over with the WNBA finals concluding in Atlanta, and already the coming week is filled with events and options on the Guru’s grid leading to the season opener.

For example, on Wednesday, the same day the Apple IOS 5.0 operating system becomes available on devices such as the Pad, iPod, and iPhones, Hofstra is hosting a media day and so is UConn.

On Thursday, Maryland is hosting a media day while the annual Jimmy V preview dinner will be held in New York with this year’s women’s opponents being defending NCAA champion Texas A&M meeting UConn in Connecticut.

The Aggies’ Gary Blair, who is making his second appearance, and UConn’s Geno Auriemma, are expected.

Friday night is the Red Carpet advance screening of the Immaculata movie The Mighty Macs in downtown Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center. The movie hits theaters on Oct. 21 a week later.

On Sunday at Villanova at 10 a.m. is the annual Women’s Big Five and Drexel-sponsored Coaches vs. Cancer Clinic. All six squads are expected to participate. Check any of the Big Five school website for further details.

Barnes Foundation

No, this is not about the fine arts organization in the Philadelphia area.

New Washington assistant (as in state) Adia Barnes to incoming coach Kevin McGuff isn’t any less busy now that her other job as color analyst for WNBA Seattle Storm games are done for the season.

As mentioned previously, Barnes is running a major fundraising event for a good cause on Oct. 22 in Seattle to benefit a cancer victim.

Here’s the link to her foundation for information.

Help The Guru

Among the Guru’s many duties, despite those of you fooled a year ago by the word retirement upon leaving The Inquirer, is to serve as the women’s representative on the board of directors of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
There are some quiet behind-the-scenes discussions going on about finally putting names on some of the major awards and establishing some new ones to equate some of the men’s USBWA honors.

For example, their player of the year award is known as the Oscar Robertson Award and likewise there is the Hank Iba Coach of the Year Award.

Sponsorship would be a nice idea, also, if any of you followers/readers know a way to go.

As recently mentioned, a women’s national player of the week will join the men’s winner, which is selected from a group of all the conference player of the week honors. That stands alone as just that.

But here are a few things cooking and while the group at this end will make final decisions, the Guru tosses some democracy out there by allowing you to communicate nominations either through discussions with links to this paragraph the Guru can follow to back to your message boards or by commenting in the appropriate places at either melgreenberg.com or on blogspot.

The theme, as announcements are made later in the season, is going to be The Year of Legacy and the Guru and media friends are looking to put names from the past that will be on honors given the notables of the present.

On exception, if someone from the past already has a major award in their name, then they are already are in good steed.

Here is some, but not all, of the considerations to get you started.

Player of the Year (Existing award but adds a name).
Coach of the Year (Existing award but adds a name).
Freshman of the Year (Existing award but adds a name).
All Freshman Team (new if approved).
Good Guy (New but perhaps called something else due to gender considerations.)
NCAA Scoring and Rebounding Champions (New with names, especially if a sponsor can be found.)
Most Courageous (Existing for men and women and is known as it is already stated).

That’s it for now.

-- Mel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mel - a former player and voice from your past...what's your email?

4:43 PM  
Blogger Mel Greenberg said...

Just saw this. The email is listed here but in case it is not poll416@gmail.com is the main one these days.

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