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, August 23, 2014

WNBA Feature: Mo'ne Davis' Aspirations Impressed The Pros All the Way to the Top

( Guru's note: The following was submitted early in the week to the local chronicle but apparently never saw the light of day due to the crush of other stories. So back to you, Guru followers. :)

By Mel Greenberg

NEW YORK --
The growing legend of Taney Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis has reached all the way to the WNBA, a place she says she aspires to play women's pro basketball in the future.

"I thought it was great," said WNBA president Laurel Richie here Sunday night here in Madison Square Garden after the New York Liberty and playoff-bound Indiana Fever helped wrap up the league's 18th regular season.

"Clearly, she's a very talented athlete. We'll see what the next couple of years hold for her and if she's ready and still interested, the league will be there for her."

Then Richie smiled and added, "But apprently, she's very good."

What won't be around in the currently group of elder veterans who will be in the stands by the time Davis could be making her WNBA debut nearly a decade from now.

Still, they're pleased over Davis' comments and several stars of both teams who have been following her exploits are pleased that what they have done has made Davis' awareness of the league possible.

"I think it's cool," Indiana All-Star Tamika Catchings, whose father Harvey Catchings played for the 76ers and several other NBA teams, said.

"I think's a tremendous opportunity for her, using the fame that she's got, and using that moment to talk about something she dreams and aspire's to be," said Catchings, a former Tennessee all-American and ongoing member of the USA Senior National Women's Team.

"It's great, not only for her but also for our league."

The Liberty's Cappie Pondexter, a former Rutgers standout who grew up in Chicago, said, "It says a lot. It just means the younger generation, they're paying attention to the best women's league in the world.

"They're interest and theyre aspiring to be here and I think it's great. I am going into my 10th season next summer and when I grew up I didn't really have anything to aspire to in the play in the NBA. So it's great that she has that."

Davis has also said she would like to play her college ball at powerful Connecticut, which has won an NCAA-record nine titles in women's play and is coached by Geno Auriemma, who grew up in Norristown.

A spokesman for the UCONN program said comments reacting to remarks such as those by Davis are not permitted under NCAA rules.

However, Liberty veteran Swin Cash, who was on several UCONN champions and is a past Olympic gold medalist, can talk.

"Hey, by then she may have to be talking to (assistant coach) Shea (Ralph)," Cash laughed.

"It makes me feel good. One -- she's from Pennsylvania, so a shoutout to Pa, I'm a Pittsburgh girl.

"And two, because she's doing all these amazing things and getting all this attention but she's very clear at what she wants at that age," Cash said.

"Baseball is fun and she's enjoying it, but she sees UCONN, she sees playing there as something she wants to do, so I am so happy to see how she's carrying herself. That's what really makes me smile."

On Monday, former Duke star Monique Currie of the playoff-bound Washington Mystics, changed her twitter avatar to Mo'ne.


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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