Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

No Surprise: Maya Moore is ESPN's Preseason PoY

Don't stop us if you've heard this before.

It's not that we can't come up with more complimentary and flowery things to say about Connecticut junior Maya Moore. It's just that in naming her's unanimous preseason player of the year for the second straight season, anything we have to say seems a little … redundant. And not at all surprising...

Great Story on Women's Hoops History

At 92, Vivian Sansom recalls when women played basketball on a half-court. They couldn't dribble more than twice at a time. Nobody dunked. Nobody got on television.

It was a different world in 1940, when she coached her first squad. When she took a teaching job at N.C. College for Negroes - now N.C. Central University - the president asked her why a woman would want to work at all. Once hired, if she needed so much as a basketball, she had to ask the president to fetch it out of a locked closet....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pau Gasol to Skip Worlds?

Gasol to Skip 2010 Worlds?
Will the Lakers Pau Gasol skip next summer's FIBA World Championship? The MVP at the 2009 European Championship, 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2006 FIBA World Championship gold medalist seems to be seriously thinking about it.

Kelly Faris looking to be next Indiana great
The headline above Indiana's Basketball Hall of Fame Web site reads: "In 49 states, It's just basketball…This is Indiana!" This is a tribute to the amazing collection of talent that has come out of the Hoosier state, including greats like Oscar Robertson and Shawn Kemp and recent players like Mike Conley Jr. or Courtney Lee, and perhaps best known of any player coming from this state is Larry Bird.

Tina Charles On the Beat & Nneka Ogwumike and Education

From Mechelle Voepel on

There was a time when Peter and Ify Ogwumike were not especially concerned with the budding athleticism of their oldest daughter, Nnemkadi, now a sophomore forward at Stanford.

The couple, both from Nigeria, met while attending Northern Colorado University in Greeley, Colo., in the 1980s. After marrying while living in Utah, they settled in Texas. Peter, an engineer for Hewlett-Packard whose work takes him between Nigeria and the United States, and Ify, a middle school principal in the northern Houston area, have four daughters. Continue ...


You think of Tina Charles as Connecticut's power inside, a key figure in the hope for a repeat NCAA title, a good bet as the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in April, right?

Sure enough, she's all of that. But it wouldn't really be too big of a stretch to envision her in any of these scenarios.

The imposing yet benevolent figure is walking her beat on the streets of New York City. "Good afternoon, Officer Charles!" a shopkeeper calls. "A lot of weather we're having, huh?" continue...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

USA Men's WUG Team Members in the News

Trevor Booker and Evan Turner, a pair of players on the USA Men's World University Games Team last summer, collected preseason All-America first team accolades from Basketball Times ... Mike DeCourcy writes that Robbie Hummel, another key player on that team, could be a solid NBA player

AP Names Preseason All-Americans (all USA Basketball Alums)

Jayne Appel, Tina Charles and Maya Moore were all invitees at the USA Basketball Women's National Team Fall Training Camp. Today they were also listed on the 2009-10 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team. Charles and Moore, along with USA National Team head coach Geno Auriemma are also part of the No. 1 team in the A.P. preseason poll. Congrats also go out to Jantel Lavender and Monica Wright, also USA Basketball alums, who were also tabbed as preseason All-American first teamers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coach K, USA Basketball moving to new levels together

"Mike Krzyzewski was explaining why he re-upped for three more years of volunteer service to coach the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. He unconsciously fingered the gold medal ring he earned for coaching the U.S. to victory in Beijing while trying to sum up the experience," writes Lesley Visser in a piece on Coach K and the USA Basketball Men's National Team.

DT & Cappie Get Some Blogging Love, Other Olympians in the News

Wil Cantrell blogs about the Sun in "The Bright Side of the Sun." Until this week, he hated everything about women's hoops, even though he's got two talented U.S. Olympians in Phoenix in Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi and a slew of other top-notch hoop stars. Well, he's now an admitted convert and writes about it in his "Man's Guide to the Phoenix Mercury." ... also today Lisa Leslie is noted for being the first person to hit the 6k point mark in the W. On of the original cornerstones of the league, Leslie is in the midst of her farewell season. Something tells me, however, that even after she hangs up her hightops at the end of the year, we haven't seen the last of LL. ... Sylvia Fowles and Candice Dupree, two USA gold medalists (Dupree got hers at the '05 World University Games playing alongside three future Olympic gold medalists in Seimone Augustus, Fowles and Pondexter), are meshing together and doing great things for the Chicago Sky, writes Mechelle Voepel.

Yo's No. 33 Should Be Retired

From Bill Bradley of the Sacramento Bee: When the Kings were preparing to retire the numbers of Vlade Divac and Chris Webber last season, some fans said they was undeserving of the honor because neither had won a championship in Sacramento.

If that's the crucial factor, then I have one jersey the Maloofs should hang from the Arco Arena rafters: Yolando Griffith's No. 33.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Battle Tested Summer

2009 USA World University Games Team member Talor Battle is back at Penn State a much-improved player than he was last year. Not to say he wasn't good before, but after playing with and against some of the toughest college players in the world, Battle will be more of a threat to opponents in the coming season.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Men's Senior National Team Mini-Camp To Start Next Week

Many of the top rising NBA players have accepted invitations to participate in USA Basketball's mini-camp in Las Vegas, which begins on July 22nd. There is a good chance that some of them will represent the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics, writes Steve Carp.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dixon's Success In World Championship Very Special

Jamie Dixon, who is the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, and who also led the USA to their first gold medal in the Men's U19 World Championship since 1991, savored the gold medal he won on Sunday. For Dixon, it was even more special considering he got his start in coaching while playing professionally in New Zealand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

USA Men End 18 Year FIBA U19 Drought, Win Gold

Paced by yet another balanced offensive effort, the USA Men's U19 World Championship Team ended an 18 year drought for the Americans in the competition. It was also the first FIBA World Championship at any level for the U.S. since 2001, writes Mike DeCourcy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

USA Women Defeat Russia, Bring Home Gold

The Women's World University Games team finished off their perfect run, going 7-0 in the tournament and winning gold by beating Russia 83-64 on Saturday. Tina Charles led the U.S. with 28 points and 18 rebounds.,0,4818578.story

U19 Men To Play For Gold

After giving away a 13 point lead, the USA Men's U19 World Championship team rallied to defeat Croatia 81-77 and advance to the gold medal game, where they will face Greece.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Miller Offers Versatility to Men's U19 Team

Darius Miller is bringing defense and versatility to the Men's U19 World Championship team, and is creating matchup problems for opponents, writes Larry Vaught.

Men's U19 Team Rips Canada, Advances To Semifinals

The USA Men's U19 World Championship team hit 14-of-26 3-point shots on the night, and limited Canada to just 34 percent shooting overall in crusing to a 93-73 victory, placing them in the semifinal game against Croatia.

Hummel's Diary of the World University Games

Robbie Hummel, who will be a junior this fall at Purdue University, is keeping a diary of his experiences from training in Colorado Springs, and competing in the World University Games in Serbia. You can check out his first three entries below:,bkc-hummel-0625.article,bkc-hummel-0702.article,bko-hummel-0710.article

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Men's WUG Team Blows By Bulgaria, Into Semifinals

The Men's World University Games Team used 16-of-29 shooting from 3-point range to coast by Bulgaria 96-66. They will face Russia in the semifinals on Friday.

Women's WUG Team Advances To Gold Medal Game

With an 81-66 defeat of Australia, the Women's World University Games Team has advanced to the gold medal game, where they will meet the winner of Russia vs. the Czech Republic.

Houts Playing Key Role For Women's WUG Team

Ashley Houts, who will be a senior at the University of Georgia this fall, has been instrumental in the Women's World University Games Team success in Serbia.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Men's WUG Team Hangs On To Defeat Serbia 68-66

The USA Men's World University Games Team slipped past tournament host Serbia 68-66 in front of 14,000 fans cheering wildly for the host team. The win indicates that the US has passed their first true test, writes Andy Katz

USA Women's U19 World Championship Team Finalized

Among the 12 members who were named to the Women's U19 World Championship Team on July 7th was Skylar Diggins, who is an incoming freshman at Notre Dame.

US Holds off Lithuanina; Advances To Quarterfinals

The USA Men's U19 World Championship Team held off Lithuania 76-69, improving to 6-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals, where they will face Canada.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thompkins Leads Men's U19 Team To Win Over Greece

Howard Thompkins scored 22 points as the Men's U19 World Championship Team stayed undefeated, improving to 4-0 in the 2009 U19 World Championship.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Experienced Carol Owens Leads Women's U19 World Championship Team

Owens, who is the head coach at Northern Illinois University, is coaching for the third straight summer for USA Basketball. After going to Slovakia in 2007 and Argentina in 2008, Owens will head the Women's U19 World Championship Team that will compete for a gold in Thailand, held July 23-August 2.

Don Showalter Earns National Coach of the Year Award

Showalter, who guided the Men's U16 Developmental National Team to the gold medal in the first ever Under-16 FIBA Americas Championship for Men, was name National Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.

USA Opens Men's U19 World Championship With Win

The Men's U19 World Championship Team opened play in Auckland, New Zealand, and cruised to a 106-55 win over Iran.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Klay Thompson Brings Outside Shooting To Men's U19 Team

Klay Thompson, who in 2008-09 completed his first season of college basketball at Washington State, provides the Men's U19 World Championship Team with a steady outside shooter. Luke Winn of sat down with Klay in Colorado Springs before the teams departure to New Zealand to talk all things basketball.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brad Beal Leads The USA U16 Men To Gold

Beal, who provided consistent scoring for the Men's U16 Developmental National Team, was key in helping the USA bring back gold from Argentina last week.

Kelly Faris Looks To Make Women's U19 World Championship Team

Faris, who on May 17, 2009, was named one of 14 finalists for a spot on the 12-member roster of the Women's U19 World Championship Team, will return to Colorado Springs on July 9th to train with the team. The final roster will be announced prior to the team's departure for Thailand, where the U19 World Championship for Women will be held July 23-August 2.

Craig Brackins Looks To Improve His Game

Craig Brackins, who is a member of the '09 Men's World University Games Team, gives Iowa State hope in a tough Big 12 Conference next season, writes Andy Katz.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Men's WUG Team Splits Two Exhibition Games

The Men's World University Games Team opened exhibition play with a win over Canada, before falling to tournament host Serbia...DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson of the Men's U19 World Championship Team make Washington State a contender in the Pacific-10 conference next season, writes Andy Katz.

Seth Curry Leads Men's U19 Team To Win Over Croatia

In the USA's first exhibition game in the U19 World Championship for Men, Seth Curry led a balanced scoring attack in a 97-68 victory.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

USA Names Inaugural Men's U16 National Team

The 2009-10 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team training camp started with 19 players on June 12 and today USA Basketball announced the 12 who would compete in Argentina this summer at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship. With some of the top players in the nation, the team announcement created quite a buzz ... Joel Francisco of Scouts, Inc., broke down the players who were at the camp and his column makes a great starting point ... Jerry Meyer of covered the weekened extensively ... the Quad City Times is following Chasson Randle, keeping close tabs on the standout's selection to the team ... Sterling Gibbs had four exams before coming out for the biggest test last weekend, according to Chris Lawlor of ESPN Rise ... the Gazette highlighted Quinn Cook's selection to the team ...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the coaches are on the court working on drills, preparing for tonight's first session for the women's U16 trials

Monday, May 18, 2009

What a great weekend for USA hoops, so much competition for all the spots. Incredible!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FIBA Launches Men's U19 World Championship Web Site

FIBA has launched the Men's U19 World Championship web site. All the event info you could want is here, but the best part is live stats during the tournament.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation – USA Basketball in the Women's Final Four

Looking at this weekend’s semifinal matchups, USA Basketball sees a sea of red, white and blue. And we’re not talking about the red hues of Louisville, Oklahoma or Stanford or the blue of Connecticut, we’re talking about the navy blue in the United States flag...

EuroLeague Women's Final Four Live!

Catch Sue Bird, Sylvia Fowles & Diana Taurasi and Spartak Moscow Region as they take on Cappie Pondexter and UMMC Ekaterinburg in the women's EuroLeague Final Four semifinals ... LIVE!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation – USA Basketball in the Men's Final Four

Looking at this weekend’s semifinal matchups, USA sees a sea of red, white and blue. And we’re not talking about the hues of Connecticut, Carolina or Villanova (although the white in Michigan State’s uniform does match USA Basketball’s home color), we’re talking about the colors in the United States flag.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Three USA Basketball Athletes Talk About Recruiting Process

Ryan Kelly and Joslyn Tinkle, both of whom spent close to three weeks training and competing for their respective USA Basketball U18 National Teams last summer, as well as 2009 USA Hoop Summit Team member Xavier Henry, were part of a round-table discussion about the college recruiting process yesterday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

USA Players Impressing in McDonald's Practices

The 2009 McDonald's High School All-American Game is coming up fast and the teams are broken down by's Jerry Meyer here and here. Who should you look for in the game? Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Abdul Gaddy, Xavier Henry, John Henson, Mason Plumlee, Renardo Sidney are all getting to know each other a little better before suiting up for the USA in the Nike Hoop Summit on April 11. Additionally, Ryan Kelly, Plumlee, Maalik Wayns, David Wear and Travis Wear all competed together on the 2008 USA U18 National Team that brought home the silver medal and qualified the U.S. for this summer's FIBA U19 World Championship.

University of Texas-bound Bradley won the 2009 McDonald's slam dunk contest, defeating Derrick Favors and Plumlee in the process; while Kelly took the 3-point contest with 20 points over Tommy Mason-Griffin's 18 points.

This will mark the last time, for a few years at least, that Kelly and Plumlee will be on opposing teams. Both are headed to Duke to play for 2008 Olympic head coach Mike Krzyzewski ...

Getting To Know The 2009 Nike Hoop Summit Team: Renardo Sidney

At 6-10, 260 Renardo Sidney is one of the biggest bodies on the 2009 USA roster, but don't expect slow play out of the big man. His high school coach is quick to clarify that "He's not one of those clumsy big men," and after just a few YouTube clips, it's obvious he is right. Before Sidney arrives in Portland, Ore., along with his 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit teammates, talked with Sidney about his focus, his family and his future.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dwight does Beyonce

Ok, this is pretty funny. Olympic gold medalist Dwight Howard does his best Beyonce impersonation. If you're not ROFL, there's something wrong with you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting To Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Mike Moser

Mike Moser (Grant H.S. / Portland, Ore.) may be the local kid on the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit roster, but the rest of the country knows the UCLA-bound forward as one of the nation's best big men. Touted for his length and versatility, Moser talked with about his high school career, international basketball and why he wants to be a Bruin in the fall.

Kelsey Bone Blogs On Her Track Career

In the summer of 2008, Kelsey Bone helped the USA U18 National Team capture a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championhip in Buenos Aires. She returned to Dulles High School to help her squad compile a 36-3 record in 2008-09, and now she's blogging for the Houston Chronicle about a track and field career.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: John Henson

At 6-9, 2009 Nike Hoop Summit team member John Henson is one of the best high school forwards in the country. The future Tar Heel scores from the paint and rebounds as if he has been doing it since junior high. The catch is that he hasn't. In an 18-month span that covered his sophomore and junior seasons, Henson added about six inches to his guard-sized frame and new possibilities to his game.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Avery Bradley

Point guard. Shooting guard. Disruptive defender. Avery Bradley (Findlay Prep / Henderson, Nev.) has settled into all three roles as one of the nation's best high school guards, and he may have to play them all as a member of the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team. The 6-2, 165-pound Bradley and his USA teammates will face a roster of the world's best 19-and-unders in the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit on April 11 at Portland's Rose Garden. When the ball tips that Saturday evening, it will be the USA's seven-game win streak in the Nike Hoop Summit Bradley will work to defend. April 3-5, however, it will be Findlay Prep's perfect 30-0 record on the line at the National High School Invitational in North Bethesda, Md. The leading scorer at Findlay, which moved into the No. 1 spot on USA Today's Super 25 rankings just days ago, talked with about Findlay's hopes for a national title, his motivation and why he wants to be a Longhorn in the fall.

Courtney Paris' $64,000 Guarantee Still Making Waves

On senior night Courtney Paris, a member of the 2006-08 USA Basketball Women's National Team, told fans that she plans on paying back her scholarship if OU didn't capture the NCAA crown. That's what she came to Sooner country to do and she wouldn't feel right about it if Oklahoma didn't finish atop the heap at the end of March Madness. Her comments are still creating quite a stir, and it seems she's being talked about more for the guarantee of a national title than anything else she accomplished during her last four years at Oklahoma. See it for yourself ...

Candace Parker Gets ESPN Mag Cover

ESPN The Magazine looks at the selling of Candace Parker, 2008 Olympian, WNBA MVP & Rookie of the Year, All-American, etc., etc., etc.

Candace Parker is beautiful. Breathtaking, really, with flawless skin, endless legs and a C cup she is proud of but never flaunts. She is also the best at what she does, a record-setter, a rule-breaker, a redefiner. She is a woman who plays like a man, one of the boys, if the boys had C cups and flawless skin.
The Los Angeles Times agrees that she could be the next big thing.

Reunited ...

Tina Thompson is going home. The Los Angeles native who starred first at Morningside High School and then USC before heading to Houston as the first pick ever in WNBA Draft history, signed with the Sparks. She'll join up with on again, off again teammate Lisa Leslie, as well as USA Olympic and world championship teammate DeLisha Milton-Jones. Thompson was three years behind Leslie at Morningside and the two met up again as teammates for Thompson's freshman season at Southern Cal, Leslie's senior year at the school. They've also competed together on a number of USA Basketball Women's National Teams, most notably the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Teams.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Renardo Sidney Joins 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team

USA Basketball today announced that 6-10, 270-pound prep standout Renardo Sidney will join the 2009 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select Team roster following the withdrawal of Derrick Favors. Sidney and the 2009 USA squad will take on the World Select Team in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit at 7 p.m. (PDT) on April 11, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green Named SEC All-Rookie

JaMychal Green has had an up and down year, but through it all he's hung tough and was rewarded with a spot on the 2009 SEC All-Freshman Team. Not only that, but he was one of three unanimous picks for the team. We'd like to think that it was that extra training last summer as part of the USA U18 National Team that helped get him ready for the tough SEC play.

Women's Hoops Updates

Olympians ...
Three-time Olympic gold medalist as a player and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team assistant coach Dawn Staley will return to the University of Virginia grounds, where she honed her hoops skills in college, to give valedictory address May 16 at 11 a.m. on the Lawn ... Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles and their former LSU teammate Quianna Chaney are enjoying the perks of living and playing overseas ... Swin Cash underwent back surgery yesterday. She made a video announcement to her fans on her personal site and it's all over the news in Seattle. It would seem the surgery was successful and we all wish Swin a speedy recovery! ... WNBA players worried about cost, rostser cuts.

Additional USA Baskteball Alums:
In the biggest news of the day, Courtney Paris, the 2009 Big 12 Player of the Year, is putting her money where her mouth is. She stated that she'll return her scholarship money to the University of Oklahoma if the Sooners don't win a national championship this season. When she arrived at OU four years ago Courtney had high hopes for the Sooners and has one final shot at her goal. Along the way she's shattered too many NCAA, Big 12 and OU records to list on a single page, she's helped her teams capture Big 12 titles, but the one that has eluded Courtney is the one she wants most. Can the Sooners do it this year? Can they get past UConn, Maryland, Stanford and other top teams? Or will Courtney take out a loan to repay OU? That's the $64,000 question that will be answered four weeks from now ... Doug Bruno gets a lesson in NCAA bracketing ... Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver helped Maryland clinch the ACC regular season and tournament crowns and Maryland fans are prepping for the road to another Final Four ...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee (Christ School / Arden, N.C.) is one of three 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team members with prior USA Basketball experience, and no doubt USA head coach John Olive will expect him to lead by example when the team reports for two days of practice on April 9 in Portland, Ore. But if the past is any indication, the World Select Team will have its hands full with the 6-10 forward who is a proven winner. Plumlee helped the USA to a silver medal at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Argentina, and he has led his high school team to three state titles and an impressive 99-8 record in his three seasons with Christ School. With his high school season over and the 12th annual Nike Hoop Summit just weeks away, Plumlee talked with about his USA Basketball experience, his decision to attend Duke University and why his mom's food isn't always his favorite.

Russia League Games Online

If you can handle the choppy download speeds, and understand Russian announcers (or just turn on the mute, but it is pretty fun to listen to them), you can watch games here.

Weekend Updates

Did you hear that USA U18 National Team member JaMychal Green wants to return to the court for USA Basketball this summer? "I haven't heard anything right now but last summer they said the 18-year-old team could come back and try out for the 19-year-old team," Green was quoted in the Montgomery Advertiser. Last summer he started all five games, led the squad in rebounding (8.4 rpg.) and was second only to tournament MVP Kemba Walker in scoring (11.0 ppg.), while logging just under 17 minutes a contest.

Speaking of Walker, he was named to the 2009 Big East All-Rookie Team and is in the running for the Rookie of the Year honor, which will be announced tomorrow.

Travis Releford, who has provided a good spark off the bench for Kansas this season, helped fuel the 83-73 KU victory over Texas for the Big 12 regular season title.

On the women's side, UConn sensation Maya Moore, who won gold medals with the USA's 2006 U18 National Team and also helped the U.S. to gold at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, earned her second Big East Player of the Year honor. And remember, this amazing student-athlete is just a sophomore. Additionally, former USA Basketball coach Geno Auriemma collected yet another Big East coaching honor. Read what they're saying about Maya's second Big East Player of the Year award:

Cousins Verbals to Memphis

While on an unofficial visit to the University of Memphis this past weekend, DeMarcus Cousins verbally committed to play for the Tigers next fall. Could there be three future Tigers on the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit roster? Memphis already has signed Xavier Henry, and the school is still in the hunt for point guard John Wall.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sue Bird Checks in from Russia

Sue Bird, who has been busy attempting to defend Spartak Moscow Region's EuroLeague and Russia Super League titles, checked in with the Seattle Storm via email.

Maalik Wayns Cleared to Play ... Just in Time!

2008 USA U18 National Team member Maalik Wayns had knee surgery this season and has been given the go-ahead to play for his Roman Catholic High squad in the upcoming state tournament. He could be a little rusty, but given Wayns' penchant for competition we're pretty sure he'll be better than most out there on the hardwood.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Xavier Henry

Ask Xavier Henry (Putnam City H.S. / Oklahoma City, Okla.) to describe his game on the basketball court, and his answer is suprisingly direct. The 6-5 forward will tell you his is a talented scorer who hates to lose. And it just may be that confidence that has earned him one of 10 coveted spots on the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team.

Friday, February 27, 2009

McCoughtry brings respectability to Louisville

Winner of a gold medal at the 2007 Pan Am Games playing for USA head coach Dawn Staley, Angel McCoughtry came off the bench to help lead the USA to a perfect 5-0 slate and ended up leading all U.S. scorers in the process (12.6 ppg.), while playing fewer than 20 minutes a game. It's not surprising then that McCoughtry has put Louisville women's hoops on the map.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

USA Nike Hoop Summit Team Member Mike Moser Posts Big Night

The Oregonian tagged 2009 USA Junior National Select Team member Mike Moser as a "one-man gang" after he scored 46 points, collected 12 rebounds and grabbed five steals to help Grant High School capture a 66-63 overtime victory over Wilson High School. The win also secured the Portland Interscholastic League championship.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thibault, Auriemma Olympic Candidates?

John Altavilla brings up the subject of the next USA Basketball Women's National Team head coach and wonders whether it could be the Connecticut Sun's Mike Thibault or UConn's Geno Auriemma, both of whom have prior experience with USA Basketball.

"When the new executive advisory committee serving USA Basketball's women's national team is selected this year, it will have to choose the successor to Anne Donovan as Olympic coach for the 2012 Summer Games in London," writes Altavilla. "The new committee, a cross-section of players, coaches and executives, is expected to debate whether the opportunity should be open to college coaches, a decision that would impact UConn coach Geno Auriemma and Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The No-Stats All-Star

People watch games for the scorers. They scan the box scores to see who was the top rebounder, who listed higher for field goal percentage. They read the stories the morning after to find out what sage thoughts their local sports reporter came up with in regards to the game. Rarely, if ever, does anyone really look at a game and say that the guy who didn't score a single point was one of the tops on the hardwood. Until now. The secret of Shane Battier's greatness is finally out.

A Salute to Coach K for His Pledge of Allegiance

The New York Times salutes coach K for his commitment, dedication and job well done in putting the USA back on top of the world.

"Conviction is so much less complicated after a 36-1 run — the lone blemish being a 2006 world championships loss to Greece — to the gold medal stand last summer in Beijing. Not only did K Company complete the mission, it played to rave reviews, stylistically and behaviorally. Beyond the scoreboard, it won back the world."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

USA Hoop Summit Team Features Top Preps

Featuring nine of the nation's top-25 ranked high school seniors and including three returning USA Basketball athletes in DeMarcus Cousins (LeFlore H.S. / Mobile, Ala.), Leslie McDonald (Briarcrest H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.) and Mason Plumlee (Christ School / Arden, N.C.), USA Basketball today announced the roster for the 2009 USA Men's Junior National Select Team that will compete in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit. The USA and World Select teams will face off at 7 p.m. (PDT) on April 11, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

This is one game you definitely don't want to miss!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sheryl Swoopes In New Career?

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes has been spending this off-season coaching The Overlake School's middle school girl's basketball team.

Lisa Leslie to Retire After '09 Season

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie announced yesterday that the 2009 WNBA season would be her last. A member of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's National Team that barnstormed across the nation en route to a combined 60-0 record and the gold medal in Atlanta, Leslie remained a pivotal part of the USA Basketball Women's National Team program, winning a record four consecutive Olympic gold medals, a pair of FIBA World Championship golds and in 2002 was named the FIBA World Championship MVP. Additionally, Leslie, who started her USA Basketball career as a member of the 1998 USA Junior World Championship Team, also earned USA Basketball Female Athelte of the Year award in 1993, 1998 and 2002, and was the youngest participant at the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

"I feel that it’s just time" Leslie told ESPN. "I feel that this is a great opportunity for me to play my last season after having my baby and coming back last year. I feel like it’s fair for my fans to have the opportunity to come out and support me and my team, whether it’s here in Los Angeles or in any of the WNBA cities I’ll be playing in. I wanted to give them an opportunity to buy their tickets. I just feel it’s time for me. I don’t want to be out there playing where I cannot be effective in helping my team. At this point I feel like I can still score, I can rebound. I won (WNBA) Defensive Player of the Year this last season so I feel like I can continue to improve my game and help. But I definitely want to stop playing when I’m still effective as opposed to not being as helpful as I can be."

What They're Saying:

In other news, according to Jayda Evans Tina Thompson is close to finalizing a deal with the Sparks. If that indeed happens, Leslie and Thompson will be reunited for their Swan Song. In addition to a pair of Olympic teams, they played a year together at Morningside High School and also at USC.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sheryl Swoopes Waived by Seattle

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes, who helped the now-defunct Houston Comets win four consecutive WNBA titles, was waived by the Seattle Storm in order to make room under its salary cap.

Chris Paul: Rising Star Looks to London

Veteran NBA star Jason Kidd started all eight games of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the point guard position for USA Basketball, but it was clear to many that the heir apparent at the position is New Orleans Hornets' rising star Chris Paul.

Courtney Paris' Streak Ends, Summitt Still Looking for 1k

The Tennessee Lady Vols traveled to Norman, Oklahoma, last night to go up against the OU Sooners and try to up UT head coach Pat Summitt's winning record to 1,000. That was not to be as the No. 2 Sooners, featuring the Paris twins of Ashley and Courtney, downed the Lady Vols 80-70. However, each time had a bright spot. While Oklahoma kept Summitt from reaching win No. 1k, Tennessee put a stop to Courtney's amazing streak of 112 double-doubles.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dominic Cheek's Future Looks Bright

Growing up in a rough and tumble neighborhood, which is putting it lightly, Dominic Cheek has been aided along the way by many people. Bob Hurley, coach at St. Anthony High School, is one of those people. Partly because of Hurley, Cheek will have a life beyond the 'hood.

"High school turned my life around," Cheek, who is the 16th-rated high school prospect by and averages 14.5 points per game, told the Philadelphia Daily News. "In eighth grade I was hanging around with the wrong crowd, trying to be like everybody else. But then I came to my senses. Coach Hurley told me if I worked hard I can do something with my life."

Sylvia Fowles Honing Her Game in Russia

Sylvia Fowles is a presence under the basket for USA Basketball and the Chicago Sky. She's a unique player the likes haven't been seen since Katrina McClain ruled the backboard. And here's the scary part: she keeps getting better. Silky Syl is working on her game in Russia this season (she had 27 points and 11 rebounds today in EuroLeague Sweet Sixteen action) and Spartak Moscow Region has hired Alex Troxel to help work on improving her post game.

"The main thing we're working on is making her more effective," Troxel told the Chicago Tribune. "Reading defenses, catching the ball off the block and going to work, backing a girl down. She's so talented and can do so many things we almost needed to simplify her game."

What happenes if Fowles, who came off the bench to average U.S. Olympic team-highs of 13.4 ppg. and 8.4 rpg., while shooting 64.3 percent from the field, comes back even better than she was a year ago? Opponents next season should be afraid of that answer. Very afraid.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Legendary Coach Kay Yow Passes Away

Saturday morning the legendary North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow lost her battle with breast cancer.

"USA Basketball is mourning the loss today of Kay Yow, a friend, coach, mentor, leader and pioneer in women's basketball. Her accomplishments were many within the USA Basketball family. As a member of seven USA Basketball staffs over a 10-year span, the pinnacle of her USA career came when she led the 1986 USA World Championship and 1988 U.S. Olympic Teams to gold medals. Kay has been an inspiration both on and off the court throughout her storied career. However, it has been during her struggles with cancer that Kay has inspired us most. All of us in the USA Basketball family will miss her wonderful smile, personality and strength of character."

Tributes to Kay Yow from Around the Nation:

Michael Redd Injured

2008 Olympic gold medalist Michael Redd suffered a knee injury Saturday night and could be out for the season.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sue Bird to Finally Get More Promo

Sue Bird has largely flown under the radar of most of the population in the Pacific Northwest since landing in Seattle in 2002. However, look for that to change in 2009, according to Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vote for the USA's Gold Medalists!!!

The 2009 EuroLeague All-Star Ballot is now online. Be sure to vote for your 2008 Olympic GOLD medalists!

Men's 2008 U18 National Team Update

Matt Humphrey and the Oregon Ducks are having a tough time right now trying to right their ship ... JaMychal Green is having a strong season for Bama, but the team fell to 1-1 in early conference play ... at Kansas the young guns, including Travis Releford, aren't as ready for NCAA action as freshmen in year's past. But they're coming along and still KU managed an 87-71 win over K-State ... Kemba Walker's steady play continues to assist UConn this season. The freshman point, who was the MVP of the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship if you recall, returned to New York last night and posted 21 points, four assists and five rebounds in UConn's 67-55 victory over St. John’s. “I kind of exploded tonight offensively but I really wanted to win and have fun. I’m proud of my teammates.”

Essence Carson Moves to Venice, Other Women's Hoops Highlights

Four-time USA Basketball gold medalist Essence Carson was so impressive in the first half of her rookie season in the EuroLeague, she has been picked up by the Venice club Umana Reyer. Despite averaging 19.8 ppg., TTT Riga went 4-6 and missed out on the upcoming EuroLeague playoffs. But things are looking up for Umana Reyer as the Italian club finished atop Group B and Carson could be just what that team needs to get into the Final Four.

A USA teammate of Carson's on three gold medal squads, Jolene Anderson's basketball career is profiled by the Superior Telegram, which named Anderson its 2008 Sportswoman of the Year. Anderson, interestingly, finished one step below Carson's Latvian squad and is also out of the remainder of the EuroLeague playoffs ... 1996 Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Lobo's state high school scoring record is in jeopardy ... Candace Parker and her baby-to-be is mentioned in a story on soccer great Mia Hamm ... Speaking of Parker, she's being honored by the Tennessee Sports hall of Fame.

'08 Men's Team Brought Home More Than Gold

Members of the 2008 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team earned more than gold medals this summer, they picked up friends for life along the way. Yes, many had already been friends prior to the Games, however, they all formed a lasting bond that has become apparent whenever they see each other this season.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bryant In for 2010, 2012

While some players are not ready to commit to the next quad of USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team events, which would include the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Olympic Games, Kobe Bryant is ready. "The chance to represent your country, that's not even a thought-process for me," Bryant said Wednesday. "If they want me to be on it, I'm all game." That's good news for USA Basketball since the gold medal at the '10 Worlds would qualify the U.S. for London 2012 and the men wouldn't have to go through the grueling 2011 FIBA Americas Championship, a 10-game tournament over a span of about 12 days.

"Take 2009 off, get it done in 2010, take 2011 off," USA Basketball chair Jerry Colangelo told the Rocky Mountain News of time before the Olympics. "That's the perfect scenario, if they're willing to do that."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Amy Jaeschke Impressive Last Week

Northwestern sophomore Amy Jaeschke brings home Player of the Week honors to Northwestern for the first time in 12 seasons after spearheading two impressive Wildcat performances last week against No. 17 Ohio State and Wisconsin. Northwestern played the Buckeyes to within nine points, primarily because of Jaeschke’s defensive effort against last year’s co-Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender. Jaeschke limited Lavender to 15 points and just nine rebounds; the second time this year the sophomore has not recorded a double-double. In addition to her defensive efforts, Jaeschke also turned in a game-high 24 points and five boards in 40 minutes of action. The Wilmette, Ill., native was 6-of-7 (.857) from the charity stripe and 9-of-18 (.500) from the field. In the win against Wisconsin Sunday, Jaeschke netted 12 points while adding four rebounds and four blocks. Defensively, she held UW’s leading rebounder, Lin Zastrow, to just three boards and helped limit the Badger offense to only 17 second-half points. Jaeschke is now averaging 16.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, both of which are Wildcat bests.

Last Northwestern POW: Kristina Divjak (February 17, 1997)
(Courtesy Northwestern University Athletics)

Monday, January 5, 2009

While We Were Away ...

Or "What we didn't post during the busy holiday season"
USA Men's Senior National Team: The Indianapolis Star looked back at the influence and impact the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team had during the Olympics, while Yahoo! sports and the Orlando Sentinel placed the USA's golden run at No. 2 among the year's top 10 stories. As usually happens about this time of year, someone pulls a story 'idea' out of the filing cabinet and asserts that playing for your country during the summer will bring your numbers down the next season. Or you'll get injured. Or simply forget how to make a basket. Strange, though, that the story doesn't look at the number of injured or underproductive players overall in the NBA who sat around all summer not playing for their country.

USA Women's National Team: Katie Smith was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year (USA Today / Detroit Free Press /Detroit News) ... Yahoo! sports also listed the USA Basketball Women's National Team in the No. 2 spot among the top 10 stories of the year. It's also got Candace Parker at No. 1 and a slew of other USA players peppered throughout the list ... 2004 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Van Chancellor's LSU squad lost to 2000 U.S. Olympic Team assistant coach Geno Auriemma's UConn team, but he sees it as a positive and how can you not love that ... Candace Parker is given a nod by Rick Reilly writing about what he'd like to see in 2009 ...Parker was also given a nod by the Associated Press (as its Female Athlete of the Year), adding to her already award-filled year ... Lindsay Kagawa, agent to Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Diana Taurasi, among others, is profiled ... Sue Bird returned to UConn for a little hoops practice ... while her USA, UConn & Spartak teammate Diana Taurasi gave some time to the Arizona Republic during her mid-winter break from Russia's cold ... The Daily News takes a look at where Rebecca Lobo, a '96 Olympic gold medalist, is is doing now ... and talk about the way back machine, 1976 U.S. Olympic Team member, 1980 U.S. Olympic Team assistant and 1984 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Pat Summitt's influence spans the hoops world ...

Additional USA Basketball Players in the News: Ashley Paris is no longer in sister Courtney's shadow ...