Latest Women's Basketball Posts
The Washington women's basketball program has enjoyed a successful first season under new coach Kevin McGuff, having enjoyed a recent berth to the WNIT. But looking at the accomplishments of the incoming Dawgs (all from the state of Washington), it's hard not to be optimistic about the future of the Husky program.
We'll start with Katie Collier, the first McDonald's All-American to sign with Washington. Collier, a 6-2 forward from Seattle Christian High School, was recently named the Seattle Times' Player of the Year - as much for her on-court accomplishments and her noted battle with leukemia off of it. Collier would sometimes play games following chemotherapy treatments, but never let it be the excuse for a loss or poor performance.
Heather Corral had a season to remember at Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash. The 6-1 wing not only led her team to 3A State Championship at the Tacoma Dome, but also secured the Tacoma News-Tribune's Player of the Year Award. Corral, whose sister Ashley was a four-year letterwinner at USC, is a versatile forward who can score, rebound, defend and set up teammates. Even better for Corral, the state title came after the senior missed the previous two tournaments with knee injuries.
Before the Huskies took on Washington State at Alaska Airlines Arena on Feb. 26, two groups of former Dawgs tipped off their biennial "Alumni Game."
The get together featured Huskies from all generations, such as Loree Payne, Megan Franza, Shannon Kelly (who now works in the UW Athletic Department), Sara Mosiman and Elise (Niemela) Woodward, the 950 KJR-AM personality. Other alums were also involved. Giuliana & Gioconda Meniola served as coaches. Same with Storm CEO Karen Bryant.
We posted a few of our best images from the game. The group was honored at halftime of the Huskies' 60-56 win over the rival Cougars.
If you haven't seen it already, it's worth taking a few minutes to watch the recent King5 special on Seattle Christian's Katie Collier, a 6-3 forward who has signed a Letter Of Intent to play basketball for Kevin McGuff at Washington.
Before the season, Collier was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and has been undergoing treatments at UW Medical Center. But that hasn't dampened Collier's incandescent personality, or her drive to have a terrific senior year at Seattle Christian.
Right now, Collier is attempting the unthinkable - undergoing chemotherapy treatments while playing basketball.
"I would feel so much worse if I wasn't playing," Collier told King5's Chris Egan.
Collier is part of the 2012-13 incoming class at Washington, McGuff's first full recruiting class as the new leader of the program.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Repeat it with us: no matter how it looks, don't understate the value of a road victory.
This was the post mortem discussion after the Huskies beat UC Santa Barbara, 46-37, on Wednesday night. Sure there are plenty of areas where the Dawgs struggled, but an away win against a quality Big West conference opponent is not something to take for granted.
So head coach Kevin McGuff let them enjoy it for a night. Then it was back to work early Thanksgiving afternoon, when the Huskies returned to the Thunderdome for a two-hour workout. The emphasis now was San Diego State, a physical, athletic team that should see time in the Top-25 rankings.
As for now, it's time for Study Hall and Thanksgiving dinner. The team is headed to manager Amanda Johnson's house in Manhattan Beach, Calif., where a sizeable feast awaits. Hard to beat the drive down on Highway 101, one of the most scenic roads in the world. After dinner, it's a late bus to San Diego and checking into a downtown hotel.
In the spirit of the holidays, GoHuskies.com talked with a few of our student-athletes to find out what they're thankful for this season.
Regina Rogers: I am thankful for my fifth year and being able to play with these wonderful coaches and my team this year.
Kristi Kingma: I am thankful for my family and that I get to play at a school close to home. And that I get another year with my wonderful teammates and coaches.
Mercedes Wetmore: I am thankful for my family and also being able to play close to home and play for one of the best universities in the country. I'm also thankful that everyone is mostly healthy.
Aminah Williams: I am thankful for my family and to be a part of such a great program with a great group of girls.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The first road trip under Coach Kevin McGuff is now in full swing. On a beautiful afternoon here on the California coast, the Huskies are in the midst of shootaround at the Thunderdome, the UC Santa Barbara on-campus gym.
One thing McGuff has repeatedly instilled with his young team is the importance of shootaround. The hour-long workouts aren't just a time to put up shots and get acquainted with the gym's sightlines. Instead, the first-year UW coach is stressing "game speed and game shots." Washington spent the workout going over what to expect from the Gauchos, a 2-2 team that has played well this season in their home gym.
As far as game settings, it's hard to picture a better road trip venue than Santa Barbara. Nestled next to the Pacific Ocean, the team was able to check out the pier in town and walk along the beach. For a group of sun-starved Seattleites, this was a clear winner.
The logistical part of the trip has gone smoothly as well. A two-hour flight brought the team out of rainy Seattle to Burbank, Calif., on Tuesday night. Then it was off to In-N-Out, the iconic California burger chain, for a late dinner. The 90-minute bus ride to Santa Barbara was split between sleeping coaches/administrators in the front, and an impromptu karaoke party in the back.
Tip-off tonight is at 7 p.m. from the Thunderdome. GoHuskies.com will have a live chat, or you can listen to Steve Sandmeyer's call on 1150am KKNW.
Secondly, here are a few photos from the trip.
Senior Kristi Kingma, who is out for the 2011-12 season with a torn ACL, answered a few questions recently about her injury and rehabilitation for the next issue of Dawgs Digest magazine. Look for the story in next month's issue! Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
How has Abdul Gaddy, who recently underwent the same issue, helped and encouraged you?
"Abdul's been so great ever since I tore my ACL. He reached out to me and was like 'Hey I'm praying for you, you're in my thoughts' and every time I see him in the weight room or the training room, he's always asking me how I'm doing. Obviously, it's not great that he went through that, but it's great to have someone who so recently went through it and to see him having success so quickly after surgery, it definitely gives me hope that I'll follow in the same footsteps as him. He hasn't really given me advice, but he'll see me in the training room and be like 'Yeah, that hurts' or 'Yeah, I remember that' or 'I understand what you're going through'. [He's] just saying that everything is going to be ok."
How has your role on the team changed since getting injured?
"It's so much different because, last year, I was mainly the vocal leader on the court, pulling people into huddles, calling plays, and I can't do that this year. I can't be on the court this year. I'm still leading but more from the sidelines and more of my work or my role on the team is more just encouragement than ever before. Now I'm sitting on the sidelines and actually watching, so I can directly see [what's happening]. It gives me a chance to learn, a chance to see a new perspective."
Why should Husky fans and others come watch the UW women's basketball team this season?
"Husky fans should come watch us this season because we've got a really good mix of senior leadership [and also] young players. I think anytime you mix young players with older players, it's exciting, because the young players are fun and energetic and they have so much energy and the older players are savvy veterans who just know how to get work done. I think that's a good mix and I think we're really going to surprise people this year and if you haven't seen Coach McGuff coach, you're really going to enjoy his sideline...gestures."
Kevin McGuff had a whirlwind couple of days on his first trip to Seattle as the new women's basketball coach at the University of Washington. He breezed into the Emerald City on Monday night, had meetings on campus all day Tuesday and then flew back home to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
McGuff plans to spend a couple of days in the Queen City before returning to Seattle and getting a head start on his new duties as head coach.
His press conference on Tuesday piqued the curiosity of the Seattle media, which showed up en masse when the new coach introduced himself.
Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley made a few calls and talked with people connected with the Xavier program. Each came away with nothing but positives about McGuff, leaving Kelley to believe McGuff is the ideal fit for UW.
McGuff is so clearly the right person to lead the foundering Washington women's program that it almost doesn't need to be said.
He won't light up a news conference with a lot of glib one-liners. He won't pirouette and plié on the sideline like John Calipari, but he is as solid as a Dwight Howard screen. And his teams play an entertaining, up-tempo, defense-first system that will be reminiscent, but not a replica, of Lorenzo Romar's men's program.
In his nine-years at Xavier, McGuff built a top-10 program. The
Musketeers played in the postseason every year and made six trips to the
NCAA tournament. The past two seasons, his teams have been undefeated
in the Atlantic-10 Conference.
An Associated Press report linked on ESPN discussed why Scott Woodward made the flight to Cincinnati to meet McGuff and came away impressed.
In the UW Daily, sports editor Josh Liebeskind points out the "overjoyed" reaction from Marjorie Heard, who is eager to play in an up-tempo physical system.
"That's the basketball I grew up with -- running the floor and hitting bodies," Heard said.
The University of Washington announced some exciting news Sunday afternoon with Xavier's Kevin McGuff leaving a highly successful program to become the ninth women's basketball coach in UW history.
During McGuff's tenure at Xavier, his teams reached the postseason in each of his nine seasons, including six NCAA Tournament appearances.
McGuff's move to Seattle created more than a few ripples both here and in Cincinnati. Here are a few of the best stories on the announcement.
First was the report from UW Director of Writing Gregg Bell, who had a chance to talk with McGuff and athletic director Scott Woodward prior to the announcement.
Jayda Evans from the Seattle Times notes that McGuff's teams want to have "an identity." He described his style as "physical and fast, with an emphasis on defense and rebounding."
Jayda has more on her blog about the commitment Woodward has made to building a top-notch women's basketball program at UW.
Here's the reaction from the Cincinnati.com, which notes that McGuff was impressed with Woodward's vision and the expanded footprint of the Pac-12 Conference.
More good nuggets on the McGuff move from Cincinnati.com Xavier beat writer Shannon Russell.
Rain and fog set the scene in Los Angeles when the Huskies plane touched down at LAX last night, ensuring plenty of jokes from Angelenos that we brought the Seattle weather with us.
L.A. will be the team's home for what could amount to 10 more days, as Washington has games at UCLA & USC, followed by the Pac-10 Tournament. This was a popular topic with media members leading up to the trip, many asking how the team would stay focused with the challenge of spending so many days away from UW.
But the Huskies know this is a business trip, albeit an extended one. Six possible games are in play for Washington, and that's the focus going forward.
Interesting enough, the Huskies shared their flight to LAX with their rivals from Washington State. Off the court, though, the players are always friendly and cordial with one another. For example, Mercedes Wetmore chatted with former Auburn-Riverside teammates Ireti Amojo and Katie Grad.
A slight weather delay meant the team had lights out not long after arriving at the team hotel. Plenty of sunshine greeted them the next day, particularly when the team bussed out to Westwood for shootaround at UCLA. Considering the number of former Bruins players and coaches making the trip, there were plenty of visitors afterward who stopped by to say hello.
A bracing wind greeted the Huskies after the team stepped off the airplane at Spokane International Airport. As frosty as the temps were in Seattle when the team took off, the conditions on the eastern side of the state were downright arctic.
Before making the trek down to Pullman, the Huskies stopped at a downtown Spokane mall to have dinner. As the bus made its exit off the highway, Spokane native Jeneva Anderson pointed out "the most dominant high school basketball program in the state" to her teammates - Lewis & Clark. This drew a lot of boos from her teammates, many of whom went to Seattle schools.
After dinner, the team settled into the bus for the 90-minute ride. Along the way, the Huskies watched an extended version of the highlight video that played during their team banquet last week. The elongated clips showed jumbotron snippets that are shown during halftime, video the team doesn't get to see because they're in the locker room.
When the team arrived in Pullman, the thermostat did them no favors. The temperature was a brisk -6 degrees, and the UW-issued parkas offered little resistance to the biting winds howling across the Palouse. Thankfully, the hotel offered plenty of heat.
The Huskies schedule for Saturday includes scout film on Washington State and then an hour of shootaround at Beasley Coliseum. Tip off tonight is at 5:30 p.m. (PST) and the game can be seen on FSN NW.
Sarah Morton is an understandably big focus for the Washington women's basketball program this weekend. The senior will play her final two home games of her career against the Arizona schools, and she's admitted that emotion might get the best of her this weekend.
There have been a couple of noteworthy features on Morton, and we'll start with Gregg Bell's (GoHuskies.com Director of Writing) excellent piece on Morton's decision to stay for Tia Jackson's inaugural season at the UW.
"Once I signed, I was a Husky for life," Morton said. "I always wanted to come here. I love the school. I liked the girls on the team. It was close to my family. There were more aspects than just basketball. And when I met Coach J, I knew I liked her from Day One."
Next up is Jayda Evans' piece in the Seattle Times on Morton and how she headlines the Huskies' brand of basketball - toughness, grit and physical play.
"She's the first four-year player that's gone through the system with me and just to see her growth ... she's been tremendous," Jackson said.
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald also chimed in with an excellent article on not only Morton's final home stand but the importance of the WBCA "Pink Zone" game to Coach Jackson, who last year dealt with the death of her mentor to lymphoma.
Thanks to a delay, the Huskies arrived in Northern California a few extra hours than they anticipated. But given how just about every team member is now armed with the complete Apple arsenal of toys (iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.), the two-hour wait went about as smooth as possible.
Prior to leaving for the airport, the Huskies watched about 30 minutes of film, going over the scout for their upcoming game against the Golden Bears. Then it was time to grab a snack and head onto the bus. With the clear weather in Seattle, the Huskies had pristine views of Mt. Rainier, the Space Needle and Lake Union on their drive to SeaTac.
Once the team arrived in Oakland, it was time to board the charter bus and scoot over to Berkeley. Kristen Fyffe, the team's director of basketball operations, gathered the cell phones and delivered instructions for the next day, such as time for breakfast, shootaround, etc. Meanwhile, Coach J and one of our managers tickled the ivory on the lobby piano.
The Huskies and Cal play an important game tomorrow at 7 p.m. (PST). The Golden Bears are 9-2 at Haas Pavilion, but the Dawgs do have some bragging rights after the initial meeting earlier this year. GoHuskies.com will have a live chat available so fans can follow along during the game.
Throughout the season, the Washington women's basketball team has made periodic visits to the nearby Ronald McDonald House in Sand Point to visit sick children. On Wednesday night, the Huskies again spent a few hours of their time at RMH.
The Ronald McDonald House is an independent charity that allows families with seriously ill children a place to stay during hospital trips.
During a two-hour visit, the Huskies chatted, played video games and made drawings with about a dozen children. Part of the reason the Huskies enjoy these visits so much is because it offers children with grim outlooks a positive moment.
"The kids are just so cute," said Mackenzie Argens. "It means a lot to be able to spend time with them. It's special to us to be able to give back. It also puts things in perspective."
An invitation was extended for the children to attend the Huskies' Apple Cup game against the Cougars this Sunday. The Huskies (7-10, 2-6) are looking to snap a two-game losing streak as they welcome their rivals from across the state to Alaska Airlines Arena.
For much of the season, Kristi Kingma has been blogging about her experiences as a UW student-athlete for GoHuskies.com.
Turns out, Kingma had a knack for blogging, which is why ESPN asked her to begin relaying some of those same anecdotes and experiences for their audience. You can check out her column for Hoop Gurlz each week. In her debut, Kingma wrote about how injuries not only affect the psyche of an athlete, but the resources that Division I programs have to get the injured player on the court quicker.
This weekend, UWTV is also running a segment during the broadcasts of the women's basketball games against the Bay Area schools about Kingma and her blog. Be sure to check it out.
The bus ride from Seattle to the Willamette Valley took just over four hours, delivering the Huskies to Corvallis in anticipation of their game against Oregon State tonight (7 p.m.).
During the ride, the team munched on Jimmy John's sandwiches, watched a movie (Despicable Me) and hastily formed a singing group to provide lyrics to Sarah Morton's guitar chords. But once at the hotel, it was time to collect cell phones and turn out the lights.
The schedule on game days remains static for much of the season. Each morning starts with breakfast at the team hotel, followed by a few hours of rest before shootaround. In Corvallis, the Huskies have the luxury of having a hotel in walking distance of Gill Coliseum, the site of tonight's game.
During breakfast, the Huskies flipped open the local newspaper to find a story about tonight's game in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, which notes that both teams will be "desperate" for a win following an 0-2 start to the Pac-10 season.
Additional morning reading should also include this excellent feature on Marjorie Heard in the Everett Herald. Heard, a Snohomish native, plays with such a physical style that she's quickly won over fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The frosh forward is averaging 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Okay, almost time for shootaround at Gill. Back later with more info before tonight's game and throughout the Oregon swing.
As you probably know, UWTV will broadcast eight Huskies home games this season. The university-owned television station will also be highlighting the great stories our student-athletes have to tell throughout the year. Make sure to tune in (Channel 27) and check out all the hoops action if you can't be at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Falling face first on the court at Hec Edmundson Pavilion wasn't exactly the moment Jeneva Anderson envisioned in her return to basketball. But after taking a few moments to make sure she was intact, Anderson rose up and smiled.
Anderson's return from offseason hip surgery should provide the Huskies with something they sorely need right now - depth. The 6-0 wing from Spokane will provide valuable minutes off the bench, alleviating the burden on the starters to play 35+ minutes, particularly Charmaine Barlow, who has been clocking in some overtime at the small forward position.
Just don't expect it to be a smooth right out of the gate.
"It was great getting back out there," Anderson said. "I was definitely nervous. Three months not playing at that level, it's hard to just come back."
Anderson is one of the players Coach Tia Jackson had designs on filling a variety of roles coming into the season. A product of powerhouse Lewis & Clark High School, Anderson was a touted recruit from the Eastern side of the state.
She played sparingly her freshman season at Washington, but displayed knowledge of the game that intrigued the coaching staff. She worked hard over the offseason to cement a stronger role on the team, but was sidetracked after UW's medical staff discovered a torn ligament in her hip. Surgery corrected the problem, but the four-month rehabilitation process wiped out the first two months of the season for Anderson.
"I needed to get healthy," Anderson said. "Immediately after the surgery I felt better. It was that quick."
In her debut, Anderson recorded a rebound while finishing 0-for-4 from the field. Chalk that up to nerves. But as Anderson assimilates more into the squad with more five-on-five drills in practice, she should become more of a scoring & rebounding threat.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The first thing that threw everyone off was the late sunrise. Our first instinct is to look out the window and if it's still dark, then you know you have a few more Zs to catch.
Not the case in Alaska, where the sun didn't come up until 10 a.m.
Other than that, everything is good in the Great White North. The Huskies had a productive day of study hall, an open practice at Sullivan Arena, a closed practice at Chugiak High School and film. There was also the banquet, where an improv group "Scared Scriptless" pulled Kristi Kingma and Coach Jackson onto the stage to take part in the show.
During the skit, Kristi and Coach J had a horn and a bell as props. Two actors were impersonating the coach & student-athlete. If what they said fit in with how the person was, you rang the bell. If it was wrong, you squeezed the horn and the actor would shift gears. It was quite humorous.
The banquet was a great opportunity for the student-athletes to mingle with players from every team. The coaches all got up and spoke to the crowd, sharing plenty of warm appreciation for the Great Alaska Shootout.
But the best part of the day was post-practice at Chugiak HS, when the Huskies had the chance to pet and play with a group of real huskies - actual Iditarod race dogs. This was an extra hour outside in sub 20-degree weather, but no one seemed to mind. Especially since Karen Gunderman in the equipment room hooked everyone up with warm parkas for the trip.
After the banquet was over, the Huskies had some scout film to watch. The team did take a few moments to catch the men's team and their impressive victory (jaw-dropping, actually) over Virginia.
All for now. We'll continue to provide tidbits and other material from the Great Alaska Shootout. Make sure you catch Kristi Kingma's blog for GoHuskies.com.
Over the course of the Great Alaska Shootout, check with the Dawg Blawg to get everything from behind-the-scenes with the Washington women's basketball team...
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It starts to hit you on the drive out of Ted Stevens International Airport. There's the snow-frosted pines, the majestic mountains in the distance and the cold wind howling through the air.
Yep, the Huskies have made it to Alaska.
The team is in the Great White North for the next four days to take part in the 33rd Annual Great Alaska Shootout, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. (PST) against Kent State. Washington landed in Anchorage this afternoon after an almost four-hour flight from Seattle. The stay at home was short following the BYU trip, so the team had the entire day off Sunday.
Once in Alaska, the players & coaches went to dinner at the Sourdough Mining Company, where everyone feasted on steaks and fresh Alaskan seafood. It's a ubiquitous Anchorage dining experience, and our waiter said that Duke & North Carolina had shared our same dining experience in year's past.
Did we say the team had the day off? Well, scratch that. There was film to watch from the BYU game, a nod to the Husky football program's "Tell the Truth Mondays." It's clear that the coaching staff was not pleased with what transpired at BYU, so a film session was in order to correct some flaws.
The team has a day of practice booked at a nearby high school tomorrow, so there's an opportunity to improve on the court as well. There's also a great city/region to explore. There's nothing quite like Alaska, and the Huskies are thrilled to be here.
A group of loose, relaxed Huskies have landed in Utah in prep for the team's game at BYU on Saturday afternoon (12 p.m. PST).
Right now, the Washington women's basketball team is at the Marriott Center on the campus of BYU, about halfway through their two-hour practice. The goal is to put the team in the right frame of mind heading into the first road game of the season, a place where the Huskies won't have the friendly crowd at Hec Ed to lean on.
One thing visiting fans will notice at the Marriott Center is its enormous size. The building sits 23,700 and when full can be one of the most intimidating atmospheres for all of college basketball. Secondly, it was pretty cool to look in the rafters and see Danny Ainge's jersey hanging up there.
Part of what makes trips like these fun for the team is the bonding that goes on. That's why Jackson schedules jaunts around the country early in the season, so the team can coalesce together away from the pressure of school, social life, etc., back home in Seattle.
The trip to Utah begin before sunup with a 6 a.m. flight to Salt Lake City. Many of the student-athletes were at the Washington football game against UCLA the night before, so there was a lot of sleeping Dawgs on the short trip to the Beehive State. After a quick breakfast of pancakes at IHOP, the team bussed downstate to Provo, where they decamped at a downtown hotel.
After lunch and film work, the team bussed on-campus to the Marriott Center for practice. Upon return to the hotel, the rest of the night until curfew is there's.
A full gallery of pictures from the first day of the road trip is available on the team's Facebook page. You can also swing by GoHuskies.com to check out the game notes and find links to GameTracker and Live Audio.
Regina Rogers said it was an "eye-opening" trip. The Husky center was part of a women's basketball delegation that made the short trip over to the Laurelhurst/Sandpoint Ronald McDonald House, a place that provides services for seriously or terminally-ill children in the region.
During the visit, the Huskies brightened the spirits of the children at the house, where they spent most of their time playing games.
Rogers, who grew up in the Skyway section of Seattle, makes it a point to assist with disadvantaged and sick children. It's part of an effort she makes to get to know the community beyond the UW campus.
"I've felt blessed to go," Rogers said. "I've been through some things growing up, but I can't even imagine what those kids are going through right now."
Visits such as these are a fabric of the women's basketball program at Washington. Last year, the Huskies made frequent trips to Seattle schools to discuss healthy eating and the benefits of physical fitness.
Rogers said initially the trip was tough because her grandmother Cora passed away from cancer and many of the children at the RMH are afflicted with the disease.
"I was happy that I could go there," Rogers said. "It puts thing in perspective. I'll be here worrying about basketball practice and these kids are here fighting for their lives, but yet they don't have a care in the world."
SEATTLE - Looks like summer is almost over. And while the weather here in the Pacific Northwest is cooling off, it also means basketball season is approaching. On Tuesday, the Washington women's hoops team will reconvene on-campus for meetings and fitness testing, the unofficial kickoff to the start of the 2010-11 season (the team is not able to officially practice together until October).
Most of the players, though, spent their summers here at Washington working on their games and spending time in the weight room. Here is the schedule for the student-athletes
Tuesday, Sept. 14
12:00pm - Team Reports to Seattle
1:00pm - Team Meeting in Rose Auditorium
2:00pm - Returner's Meeting in Rose Auditorium
4:00pm - Team dinner at Coach J's
Wednesday, Sept. 15
6:45am - 1.5 Mile Test at the UW Track
8:00am-10:00am - Breakfast in Conibear Shellhouse
12:00pm-2:00pm - Lunch in Conibear Shellhouse
2:00pm - Peel Back Test in East Gym
2:30pm - Open Gym in East Gym
4:00pm - Lift
On Aug. 28th, there will be a benefit to raise funds for ex-Washington women's basketball player Melissa Erickson, who is going through a tough fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more popularly known in the U.S. and Canada as Lou Gehrig's disease.
The benefit is a Ring Around The Needle pub crawl through the lower Queen Anne neighborhood (near Key Arena and Seattle Center) from 1-5 p.m. Proceeds are $50, but guests who pre-register can attend for $40. Costs include drink tickets and a t-shirt.
During her playing days (1997-2001), the 6-3 forward wowed fans at Hec-Ed with her physical style. During her senior season at UW, the Huskies reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
For more background information on Erickson's fight, read this column from the Seattle Times' Steve Kelley.
During her senior season at Washington, Michelle Augustavo fostered a passion to coach. Since then she's put her efforts into learning the craft, whether it was picking the brains of her mentors or taking on an intern-level position at Seattle University.
Recently, Augustavo realized her goal when she was named an assistant coach at Sacramento State. She'll take on the responsibilities of a full-time coach, with her duties ranging from budgeting, scheduling, and recruiting, along with player development.
Augustavo played two seasons Washington, having transferred back home from the University of San Diego. While the Bothell native and former Bishop Blanchet star was a deadly outside threat, she made it quite clear to everyone around the program that she was destined for a future in coaching. Two years ago, she spoke with GoHuskies.com about the topic, noting how she used to pepper Huskies coach Tia Jackson with questions whenever she was around the basketball offices. The two would even break down game film during the early morning hours.
"To know that she now gets to start this new venture in her life makes me proud," Jackson said. "There is no doubt in my mind that she will do fabulously."
Once Augustavo graduated from Washington after the 2009 season, she set about tapping into Jackson's extensive network of contacts in the profession. Augustavo then moved to Seattle U, where she served as an intern for the women's hoops program in 2010.
It's a similar path to the one former student-athlete Sami Whitcomb also hopes to forge. The two-time All-Pac-10 honoree is interning with the Huskies over the summer, and during the season she was a frequent guest in Jackson's office, where the two would discuss goals and the steps necessary to achieve them.
The Washington women's basketball team will add a walk-on to its roster next season, and the name should be familiar with fans of the men's program.
Kassia Fortier, whose father Paul is an assistant coach with the men's basketball team, will be the fourth player to join the Huskies for the 2010-11 season. Fortier played her prep ball at Skyline High School, where she averaged 14 points and five rebounds per game. She also led her the Lady Spartans in steals with 64.
The 5-10 wing player was selected first-team all KingCo in 2009 and was a team captain. In addition, Fortier ran track for Skyline, competing in the 4x100 and the 4x200, qualifying for states in both events.
If you have been in Hec Edmundson Pavilion over the last week or so, you've noticed a little renovation going on. The playing floor is undergoing its annual refinishing process.
Every spring contractors are hired by UW athletics to come in and sand, repair, repaint and refinish (say that three times fast!) the floor. The entire process takes around five weeks and, since they started on April 19, should be completed around May 24.
Certainly, it's a little strange to see the floor stripped of its finish and without the familiar purple and white paint. Check out the photo to the right, taken by UW communications assistant Jeremy Cothran.
In the meantime, Washington's men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams are conducting off-season workouts, practices and pick-up games in the East Gym and Marv Harshan Court, which are adjacent to the arena - just off the concourse areas.
Last week at their awards banquet, the Washington women's basketball team unveiled the 2009-10 highlight video.
Coordinated by Sarah Pfeifer (who heads up the team's video department), the clip is a 10-minute montage to the Huskies' season, featuring a long list of the great plays that made this year special. Check it out.
As the Washington women's basketball team gets back in the midst of offseason workouts & conditioning, we were curious to see how the student-athletes are adjusting.
On the women's basketball team page of GoHuskies.com, you can check out an interview Kristi Kingma did with Mackenzie Argens. The duo talk about a myriad of topics related to their sport, most importantly the grueling 6 a.m. sufferfests the team is currently undergoing at the Sports Performance Center as they gear up for the summer and the 2010-11 season.
But you'll also learn a few other off-the-court items about Argens as well, so be sure to check out the video.
Sure, last night's banquet for the women's basketball team was fun for everyone involved, but not so much when the student-athletes had a 6 a.m. wake-up call the next morning.
The Huskies had an appointment with strength coach Matt Ludwig at the sport performance center on-campus, and the early reaction was that the session was, well, not pleasant. Coach Lud ran the team through a circuit of dumbell bench presses, squats, core work, a farmer's walk and then put the team in a competition with the cardio machines.
"I'm so tired right now," said forward Mackenzie Argens when asked about the workout.
The goal for the program is to re-introduce the student-athletes to weight training before the heavy lifting occurs during the summer. Starting next week, the team will begin individual drills with the coaches to work on fundamentals, shooting, etc.
Mercedes Wetmore keeps piling up the awards from what has been one of the more stellar careers for a Washington prep athlete in recent memory.
The Auburn-Riverside point guard was today named the 2010 Associated Press Washington State Player of the Year. The winners are chosen by sports editors and writers around the state. Throughout her career, all Wetmore has done was win three Class 4A state titles and 104 games. The Ravens finished the season 29-0 and Wetmore was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year - yet another prestigious award in her collection.
The 5-7 Wetmore is part of a three-person recruiting class for the Huskies next season.
These are busy times at the University of Washington's Athletic Communications' department with Spring Football getting underway. So it's helpful to have a few extra hands around the offices at Graves Hall.
This week, two student-athletes in Kristi Kingma and Sarah Morton from the women's basketball team will be joining the department as interns. They'll be helping in all facets of Athletic Communications. Both are communications majors at UW and have an interest in building their resumes for media-related opportunities when they graduate.
Student-athlete interns are not uncommon at Washington. Last quarter, we had Bart-Jan Caron from the crew team, as well as Anita Campbell from track. The year before, Michelle Augustavo joined us for the spring quarter, just to name a few.
College basketball is a tight-knit world, so it's no surprise there are some Huskies connections with the four teams who played when Bank of America Arena the NCAA Tournament over the weekend. The current director of basketball operations, Wingate Smith, used to be a student-manager for Sylvia Hatchell at UNC. Smith greeted Hatchell during her team's open practice and said hello to a lot of his former coworkers.
Sarah Pfeifer, the current video coordinator for the women's team at UW, was recruited by and played for Texas A&M coach Gary Blair when he previously coached at Arkansas. Pfeifer was a volunteer at the Tournament, and was seated in the crowd for a Blair press conference when the Aggies coach noticed her. Already a big hit with the media for his entertaining press conferences, Blair took a moment to recognize his former student-athlete, who blushed at the attention.
"The girl sitting right behind you used to play for me too. And I only got to coach her for one year. That was my miniature Rambo back there because she could make things happen back there. She'd run through brick walls, and she ran through too many, they couldn't keep her healthy after we got through with her that one year. She's doing a good job up here; she's teaching y'all how to say "y'all" and all that stuff."
After a long travel day, the Huskies are in the middle of practice Texas A&M Corpus Christi's gym. It took Washington almost 15 hours from Seattle to South Texas, which included a flight up to Vancouver, B.C., a 3-hour wait, and then a long flight to Houston.
Director of Operations Wingate Smith filled us in on all the info this morning, and gave GoHuskies some insight into the travel schedule.
"I mean it was long. Took forever to get here. Had to go through customs twice," Smith said. "Hung out in the Vancouver airport, one of the top 3 airports of all time."
While in Canada, the Huskies took advantage of the free Wi-Fi in the airport to catch up on the NCAA Tournament, which CBS streams online for free. Other players took naps and made sure to rest adequately, knowing there would be a short turnaround time with the game today (2 p.m. PST).
Once on the flight to Houston, the Dawgs watched their men's team thump New Mexico with Continental Airlines providing all passengers with personal DirecTV in their seats.
When the team landed, it was time to gather luggage and jump on the bus to Corpus Christi, a four-hour ride. Smith said the team watched a couple of movies on the ride down, and then hit the hotel and went directly to bed.
The Huskies game will be streamed online through KKNW. Fans can also follow on the women's basketball Twitter feed (@uw_wbb) and the feed for the local paper, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (@callersports).
The final Lorenzo Romar and Tia Jackson radio shows, which originated live from Anthony's at Shilshole last night, are now available for download via GoHuskies.com or iTunes.
Click here to download the Lorenzo Romar Show
Click here to download the Tia Jackson Show
To check out other great podcasts from UW Athletics, visit GoHuskies.com.
LOS ANGELES -- Washington signee Mercedes Wetmore already has three state titles on her resume. But now the point guard can add something even more impressive.
Earlier today, Wetmore was named the Gatorade Washington Girls Basketball Player of the Year, one of the most prestigious awards in the country for prep sports.
The 5-8 guard from Auburn-Riverside led the Ravens to a state title this year, scoring 17 points in an overtime victory over Mead. Overall, she averaged 17.3 ppg in addition to the 3.97 GPA she pulled in the classroom. She also tallied almost six rebounds and four assists per game.
Wetmore is one of three recruits the Huskies have signed for the 2010-11 season.
LOS ANGELES -- On road trips with the Huskies, there are a few certainties. For example, Christina Rozier will start singing and dancing at random times on the bus. Or trainer Jenn Ratcliff reads a book poolside when the sun peeks out.
But the one definitive guarantee is that student-manager Lars Phillips will put away a Kobayashi-esque amount of food at dinner. Unfortunately, GoHuskies did not have video available, but most of the coaches and staff were around at dinner tonight to witness the matchstick-thin Phillips finish off nearly every leftover plate after the players retired back to the hotel. Pasta, chicken, desert; it didn't matter, Lars spared nothing.
"Man, that's impressive," the waiter said in awe.
Outside of the circus eating, the Dawgs had a relaxing dinner at the Westin Bonaventure tonight, making for a relaxing night before the team plays Oregon State tomorrow at the Galen Center. Now the Huskies are buckling down with the books at study table.
Upon arrival to the City of Angels, sunshine and clear skies greeted the Huskies as they exited LAX and took a charter bus towards downtown. After some rest, the team headed westward to Culver City, where a date with a basketball gym awaited. The team practiced for just 90 minutes, trying to keep things light with the Huskies set to potentially play four games this weekend.
All Tournament participants are staying at the Los Angeles Marriott, which is decked out in signage promoting the tournament. A big "WELCOME" sign met the players when everyone checked in, and then the team was whisked away to their private dining room for lunch. In typical LA fashion, the hotel is surrounded by palm trees and skyscrapers, while the "Hollywood" sign is visible off in the distance as you drive in from the highway.
Later this evening, the rest of the teams started filtering in from their various home bases. Everything kicks off tomorrow; should be a lot of fun.
The craziness that is March Madness begins this week and there is tons of hoops on television for Husky fans! The annual men's and women's Pac-10 Tournaments take place tonight through Sunday and the NCAA Selection Show will air Sunday afternoon on CBS and, for the first time ever, will be streamed on NCAA.com.
Putting forth the best season of her career, Sami Whitcomb was named to the all-Pac-10 team by a select group of media who regularly cover women's basketball in the conference.
Whitcomb was one of 15 players selected to the group, which ranks the very best the Pac-10 has to offer. This season, Whitcomb led her team in points, rebounds and assists, averaging 13.0, 6.0 and 2.8 respectively.
During her weekly press conference, Whitcomb said she was flattered by the award, but said there were plenty of other Huskies who were quite worthy of the selection.
"It's definitely an honor, but really it could go to anyone on our team," Whitcomb said. "So many people during the year were stepping up in a lot of different ways."
Here is the complete list as provided by the Pac-10 Conference:
2010 Pac-10 Media All-Pac-10 (Points):
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STANFORD (218); Jayne Appel, STANFORD (203); Alexis Gray-Lawson, CALIFORNIA (185); Kayla Pedersen, STANFORD (176); Ify Ibekwe, ARIZONA (153); Jasmine Dixon, UCLA (117); Ashley Corral, USC (106); Taylor Lilley, OREGON (106); Danielle Orsillo, ARIZONA STATE (85); Davellyn Whyte, ARIZONA (69); Jeanette Pohlen, STANFORD (58); Markel Walker, UCLA (56); Talisa Rhea, OREGON STATE (47); Sami Whitcomb, WASHINGTON (41); Briana Gilbreath, USC (32).
2010 Pac-10 Media All-Freshman Team (Points):
Davellyn Whyte, ARIZONA (62); Markel Walker, UCLA (53); KiKi Moore, WASHINGTON STATE (40); DeNesha Stallworth, CALIFORNIA (27); Gennifer Brandon, CALIFORNIA (7).
2010 Media All-Defensive Team (Points):
Ify Ibekwe, ARIZONA (50); KiKi Moore, WASHINGTON STATE (35); Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, STANFORD (33); Briana Gilbreath, USC (20); Carly Noyes, WASHINGTON STATE (12).
If you haven't been around Husky Stadium since the Dawgs knocked off Cal 42-10 to end the season, you haven't had a chance to see the massive construction project taking place in what, for years, was the E-11, E-17 and E-12 parking lots on the south side of the stadium. (Click on the photos to see larger versions)
Every season ticket holder and Tyee Club member has received information through the mail, email, internet and, in many cases, by telephone regarding the significant impact the voter-approved Sound Transit project will have on Husky athletics for the next six years.
The Reader's Digest version (for you younger generation folks, this means "condensed") is: A six acre construction zone for the next six years has eliminated approximately 600 spaces in parking lots E11, E12 and E17. The project to build a UW Sound Transit Station for light rail was approved by King County voters and has caused some major changes in the way the UW handles parking for major events on campus - most notably Husky football games.
With an upheaval in parking assignments, the athletic department is looking to help alleviate some of the inconvenience with an expansion of its popular free Metro bus transportation system throughout the Puget Sound (a roughly $600,000 annual expense to UW athletics) and the addition of buses, carts and vans to shuttle fans to and from the stadium to the various parking lots.
Chris Fetters of Sports Washington wrote this piece in late November that described many of the changes.
If you are looking for specific information regarding your season tickets or Tyee membership and how that affects your parking, please visit this website or call the Tyee Office at (206) 543-2234.
On Sunday March 7th, there is a great opportunity for you to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with the female athletes of UW! Spend time with women's volleyball, golf, gymnastics, track & field, fitness, and nutrition in mini-group clinics, and then finish the afternoon by cheering on our women's basketball team as they play their last home game of the season against Oregon. To make things even better, the mini-clinics event is completely FREE! All you have to do is RSVP because we have limited space.
The event starts at 10:15am and will end at 1:45pm. Your parents can drop you off in the morning then return at 1:45pm when you and your family are all invited to watch the Husky Women's basketball team take on the Oregon Ducks.
Here is all of the information you will need:
WHO: 4th-6th grade Girls
WHAT: National Girls and Women in Sports Day Clinics with UW female athletes
WHERE: Bank of America Arena - Please meet in the Don James Center for introductions and welcomes at 10:15am
WHEN: Sunday March 7th, 2010
10:15am - 1:45pm (Lunch provided for participants)
Basketball game starts at 2pm
COST: FREE! But you MUST RSVP in order to secure your spot! The first 200 participants to return the attached participant waiver form will be secured their spot!
For any questions, please contact Luke Lovell email@example.com or Courtney Ioane firstname.lastname@example.org
Please wear athletic gear as you will be running around.
Come celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with some of the best female athletes in College Athletics! GO DAWGS!
After the Huskies beat Washington State last Saturday, one of the first to offer a hug for Coach Tia Jackson was Auburn Riverside's Mercedes Wetmore, an incoming recruit to the UW.
This morning, the point guard was featured in the Seattle Times, where reporter Sandy Ringer writes about her development as a player, and her singular passion towards winning. If you have a few moments, give it a read.
In the article, Wetmore's coach aptly summed up her competitive nature:
"I don't think I've ever coached a player that has a greater desire to win"
Wetmore is on the cusp of leading her undefeated Ravens' team to a third Washington state title in four years as the game prepare to get underway at the Tacoma Dome this week.
In the same issue of Tuesday's paper, Wetmore was named to the Seattle Times' All-Area team, a prestigious honor when you consider the level of talent in the Puget Sound region.
The shows are broadcast live via the Washington ISP Sports Network and Seattle-based flagship station 950 KJR AM every Monday night from Anthony's Homeport Shilshole Bay. The exclusive live streams of the shows are available through Dawg Channel All-Access on GoHuskies.com.
It was Team Purple versus Team White at Bank of America Arena on Saturday morning as legends from the Washington women's basketball played in their biennial alumni game.
Purple won the game, 55-53, on a late 3-pointer from Michelle Augustavo, who is just a year removed from her letterwinner days here at UW. Augustavo is currently an intern for the Seattle University women's basketball team.
There was good representation from the alums, with the overall total hovering between 40-50 Husky greats. The event was held in conjunction with the Storm's "Winter Warm Up," which features a Q&A with coach Brian Agler. Storm CEO Karen Bryant was also in attendance, and participated as a coach.
A sample of alumni who attended was Jamie Redd, Loree Payne (currently an assistant coach), Rhonda Smith, Megan Franza, Tara Davis and Kayla Burt. But all eras from the Husky program were represented.
After the game, the alumni and the Storm contingent gathered upstairs in the Founders Club for a lunch. The alum were later introduced during halftime of the Huskies game against Washington State.
Before the game, the program also held its silent auction, where fans bid on a variety of special items, such as dinner with Coach Tia Jackson or round-trip airfare to the Scandinavian
countries, where the team will play a foreign trip in 2011.
Gail Wood, a sports writer from The Olympian, has just released a new book titled Saved Twice. The book is about the inspirational stories of 13 athletes and sports figures that have overcome life-threatening moments to succeed.
Among the Huskies represented are Lorenzo Romar, Kayla Burt and Brian Sternberg.
Here is a little excerpt provided by the author:
Lorenzo Romar felt the barrel of the pistol push against his forehead. "What would happen if I pushed the trigger?" snarled a member of a notorious gang. Growing up in Compton, Calif., Romar learned about the jagged edge of life.
Before Romar became the Pac-10 coach of the year at the University of Washington, he had to learn about surviving gangs. Romar shares his story in Saved Twice, a recently released book about 13 athletes.
The book is written by sportswriter Gail Wood, who was named Gannett's columnist of the year and won a Blethen Award from the Seattle Times for feature writing.
Two other former UW athletes - Brian Sternberg and Kayla Burt - also share their stories.
Marty Tadman, the All-American defensive back from Boise State, talks about the night he considered suicide.
"We all love a comeback," Wood said. "These stories are about the best comebacks ever. The bring hope and inspiration."
With their real-life drama as a backdrop, their stories are inspirational.
Locally, it's no secret the level of talent here in Seattle is on an elite level. Look at the success our university has had in basketball this decade. But it's nice to see the 206 represented on a national scale when Sports Illustrated penned an article about the quality of hoops in the Emerald City. It's a long read, but well worth the time.
The focus on the story is the interwoven community basketball has fostered in Seattle. Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy and Spencer Hawes are prominently mentioned, as are Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton. Within the fraternity, the old protect the young, calling them, mentoring them and making sure they are in the gym working out. Acknowledged where they've come from, Robinson gleefully pointed out to reporter Kelli Anderson the Space Needle tattoo on his forearm.
Also mentioned was Kristi Kingma from the Huskies women's team. Kingma is the second-leading scorer for her squad and was one of the more highly recruited players in the metro area (Mill Creek) during her senior year at Jackson.
We should also mention that Seattle's own Apolo Anton Ohno, and leading speed-skating Olympian, graces the cover of the issue.
With the return of Sara Mosiman comes our producer/director of the team flip cam, which has accompanied us on all of our road trips so far. In the latest video, the team is off to Pullman, Wash., where we continued our win streak over Washington State (29 and counting).
One particular highlight is assistant coach Judy Spoelstra getting into a "dance off" with one particular super fan from Wazzu. Of course, in these situations, when coaches start dusting off their "Tootsie Rolls," nobody really wins, right?
The video is attached in the side player in the women's basketball page of GoHuskies.com.
Did you miss last night's Lorenzo Romar and Tia Jackson shows on the Washington ISP Sports Network and Seattle flagship station 950 KJR AM? Well, you are in luck.
You can now download the Podcasts of these and other great Husky-related audio clips via GoHuskies.com and iTunes!
Here are the links:
Husky Student-Athletes, including women's basketball players Lydia Young and Liz Lay (pictured right), roamed the stands and walkways prior to tip off for the UW-Arizona State game collecting change for Coins 4 Kids.
Through their Coins 4 Kids fundraiser, UW student athletes have raised nearly $5,000 this year in support of Seattle Public Schools' Physical Education program.
There's a ton of Washington Husky men's and women's college basketball hoops action on FSN Northwest this week. Here's a schedule so set your DVR!
You can now listen to Husky-related coaches shows, press conferences and other interesting audio content through the new and improved GoHuskies.com Podcast!
We've posted the last two Lorenzo Romar and Tia Jackson radio shows as well as Romar's post-game interview following the recent victory over in-state rival Washington State. We are also planning to post more content frequently so subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes or follow this special RSS feed.
Begin thinking up some questions Huskies fans. Both Sami Whitcomb and Kristi Kingma will be part of the latest in the Seattle Times chats this Friday, Jan. 22, at 12 p.m. They'll be online discussing a variety of different topics, including their season performance to date.
Whitcomb and Kingma are joining several Huskies who have chatted so far with fans. Quincy Pondexter was the first Husky, followed by Danielle Lawrie. Athletic director Scott Woodward also took part in the chat.
Check out Washington Husky men's and women's basketball this week on FSN Northwest. This week's lineup includes:
The voter-approved Sound Transit project to construct a light rail station outside Husky Stadium jumped quickly into its first phase recently. A quick look at the E-11 and E-12 parking lots just to the South of Husky Stadium shows a flurry of construction activity. (Click on the photo to the right for a larger version).
GoHuskies.com has setup a great website that provides in-depth information on the project and its six-year impact on Husky athletics.
Also, Chris Fetters of Sports Washington wrote a good explanation of the project and its impact on Husky football parking in November.
We'll have more updates throughout the spring, leading into next year's 2010 Husky football season. So, keep tuned to GoHuskies.com.
This is one lesson experienced by one poor member of the Dawg Pack, who wrongly questioned whether or not women could play basketball. In the latest Dawg Channel All-Access video, the women's team at Washington shows him otherwise.
Former Jackson star Kristi Kingma was the subject of an excellent Q&A this morning in the Everett Herald with Huskies beat reporter Scott Johnson.
In the article, Kingma talked about her game's progression this season, which had been hampered by ankle injuries and a bout with kidney stones (ouch). She also touched on topics such as why it's so important to play close to home, and how her younger brother Brett is handling the college recruiting process.
Kingma scored 11 points against Arizona State last night in the Huskies thrilling victory. The sophomore guard now has 29 points in her last two games, a sure sign she's starting to click again on offense.
This Saturday, the Washington women's basketball team will participate in the first of two KJR AM Dads & Daughters events at Bank of America Arena. Before or after the game against Arizona, a coach and/or student-athlete will speak to the participants
Packages are still available by visiting GoHuskies.com and ordering online.
Each package is $20 and includes:
• One Dads & Daughters t-shirt
• One picture of Dad & Daughter(s) to be taken at the women's basketball game on Saturday, January 9 at 12pm
• Your choice of two other events (soccer, volleyball, gymnastics or softball).
EACH DAD & DAUGHTER MUST PURCHASE A PACKAGE.
Coach Tia Jackson said in her weekly press conference that she always enjoys Dads and Daughters games at home. Not just because of the large crowds that support the Huskies, but also the memories it sparks of her relationship with her father.
"I'm so bummed. My mom came into town but she came without my dad," Jackson said. "It would have been really special. He's a little bit under the weather. ... It's a great experience. I think dads are so influential on daughters today, and I know mine was; just getting me to believe in myself as a young woman. I think it's a great environment for dads and daughters to see a lot of energy on the floor. A lot of enthusiasm."
Site preparation for Sound Transit's UW Station construction will start at the E11 parking lot (SW parking lot adjacent to the Husky Stadium) on January 4, 2010 at 7 a.m.
Here is a quick look at the work activities scheduled for January 2010:
• Fencing off a portion of the southwest parking lot of Husky Stadium;
Visit the Tyee website for more information.
The Husky Ticket Office reported this morning it has processed more than 550 new football season ticket deposits for the 2010 season. The recent announcement that Jake Locker will be returning to Montlake for his senior season, combined with the return of 10 starters on offense and seven on defense, has given the Husky Nation a serious cause for optimism.
Last season saw a surge in student support at Husky football games. UW students sold out the traditional "Dawg Pack" seating areas. The Husky Ticket Office created alternative student seating and increased sales by 15% over the previous season.
Single game football sales also saw a significant increase over 2008, going from 50,500 to 65,500 - a roughly 30% increase!
For information on season tickets for 2010, contact the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200 or visit the ticket pages on GoHuskies.com.
Tickets sales for the nationally-ranked Husky men's basketball team have also been brisk. Very few tickets remain to a select number of Pac-10 games, just days after tickets to league games went on sale last Monday. Following home games against 19th-ranked Texas A&M and San Francisco this week, Washington opens its conference schedule Dec. 31 against Oregon State.
Even though they won't play at home during the month of December, Husky fans shouldn't forget about the UW women's basketball team. The UW opens its league schedule Jan. 7 against Arizona State and single game tickets are available.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Three-foot snowbanks greeted the Washington Huskies upon landing at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., as did a blast of arctic air.
Welcome to December in the Midwest.
The Huskies are three games into their month-long road trip, which will canvass 8,648 miles through the air this month alone. They'll face No. 16 Michigan State on Saturday night at the Breslin Center.
Washington departed UW at 6:30 this morning, meandered through jam-packed security lines and then boarded a flight to Chicago's O'Hare Airport at 8:30. After a break, the team then took a small plane across Lake Michigan to Grand Rapids. Then it was a 61-mile bus ride to the East Lansing Marriott, right next to Michigan State's campus.
Then the team bussed the short distance to campus and practiced on one of the Spartans auxiliary courts. Dinner was waiting for the student-athletes back on the bus afterwards, and then some downtime at the hotel.
Keep it tuned to the Dawg Blawg and GoHuskies for all the insight from the Huskies trip to the Midwest.
Heidi McNeill is continuing to thrive professionally in Europe.
The former forward on the women's basketball team, who graduated last year, has played in 11 games for WBC Raiffeisen Wels, a pro team in Austria. (Web site is in German)
McNeill, who is from Oak Harbor, Wash., recently described the experience to a reporter from the Whidbey (Island) News-Times. The forward mentioned some of the differences in the pro game than in Division I, where practices are longer and players condition at practice. The team has free access to a local health club. Once a week, the athletes will meet with a fitness instructor who will work on their conditioning. Otherwise, practice time is devoted to skill development.
The language barrier has not been a problem either for McNeill. She's picking up rudimentary German, and most of her teammates speak English anyways. There have been some cultural differences, but McNeill said she's had no problems adjusting.
As always, we plan on keeping Husky fans updated on the professional endeavors of our former student-athletes, so keep it tuned to this space.
Sara Mosiman will have surgery on Dec. 16 to have a titanium rod inserted in her leg, which will put the senior out of action for the next 2-3 months. Mosiman had missed the past two Huskies games because of shin splints.
The news, announced by Coach Tia Jackson earlier today, is an obvious blow for a Huskies team preparing to travel to Michigan to face No. 16 Michigan State. Mosiman was third on the team in scoring at 7.5 ppg and provides a toughness not quantifiable in statistics.
Mosiman had the procedure 18 months ago in her left leg.
"She's in familiar territory," Jackson said. "She definitely didn't want to deal with something like this her senior year but unfortunately this is where we are."
The goal going forward for Mosiman is to play on senior night against Oregon on March 7. While she plans to explore all of her options regarding her future, Mosiman said she had circled that date as a comeback possibility.
Kristi Kingma has started the past two games for the Huskies, scoring 18 points in wins over UCF and Seattle University.
University of Washington sophomore Liz Lay will have surgery next month on her knee, which will end her season.
The announcement comes with a great deal of sadness for Coach Tia Jackson. After consulting with doctors, it was determined surgery was the best option to treat the severe case of patella tendinitis in her knee.
"It is unfortunate that we lose yet another player for the year. This team has been hit with so many injuries and it is with deep regret that I report Liz has suffered an injury that puts her out for the season," Jackson said. "She is someone who is so very impactful to our game and we will miss her physical presence on the court a great deal."
Lay played in three games this season, averaging a shade less than 10 minutes a game. She is the third Washington student-athlete to undergo season-ending surgery this year, joining freshman Amanda Johnson and senior Lydia Young.
Going forward, the team has hopes on preserving a year of Lay's eligibility.
"A medical redshirt will be requested with hopes that she will be able to regain this year of eligibility once she is healthy again," Jackson said. "We are here for Liz to support her during her rehabilitation period. She is in great hands with our medical team at Washington so it will allow all of us to breathe a little easier knowing she will be under the best care in the country."
It's been a few days since the women's hoops team at Washington returned to Seattle. But thanks to the advent of flip cams, we were able to capture some good behind-the-scenes footage of the trip, particularly the jaunt to Busch Gardens in Tampa. You can view it on the Dawg Channel All-Access on the women's basketball section of GoHuskies.com.
Our videographer was Sara Mosiman, who somehow managed to smuggle the Flip onto a few rides at the park (we probably shouldn't condone this). The footage was expertly edited by Lars Phillips, now in his third year as a manager on the team. And despite info on Sami Whitcomb's bio stating she enjoys roller coasters, sadly we see this is not the case.
The Huskies split on the trip with USF and UCF, but could not manage a win against Busch Gardens.
Fans of the Washington women's basketball program have a unique opportunity to see the Huskies compete away from Bank of America - without really having to make a road trip.
Tickets are still available for the Huskies game tonight against Seattle University, but are going fast given the Connolly Center seats just 1,050 people. The block of tickets allocated to Washington has already sold out, but fans can ensure their seats by contacting the SU ticket office at (206) 296-2835.
Coach Tia Jackson mentioned on her radio show with Washington play-by-play voice Steve Sandmeyer on Tuesday night that she wanted their gym "packed with purple."
Located at 14th and Cherry in Capitol Hill, the Connolly Center is just a hop, skip and a jump from Montlake.
Program coordinator April Albritton recommends that fans who want to buy walk-up tickets "get there early." Parking is available on the nearby streets in Cap. Hill.
It's getting to be that time of year. And as the holiday season eases into Seattle, the University of Washington's athletic department is doing its best to help out around the community.
Several Husky coaches will be volunteering for the Salvation Army at the downtown Nordstrom (5th & Pine) department store tomorrow, Dec. 8 from 12 to 1 p.m. This includes men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar and football coach Steve Sarkisian. Assistant coach Judy Spoelstra will be there representing women's basketball. The group will be ringing bells and taking donations for the Seattle-area needy during the holidays.
If you want to swing by and say hello and give to a worthwhile cause, the Salvation Army suggests people park at Pacific Place or Westlake Center, where there are several large garages.
It took nearly seven hours in the air, but the Washington women's basketball finally made it back home to Seattle late Sunday night.
The grueling travel schedule, which featured almost 5,000 miles of air travel to Florida and back, means the team was given today off to rest their legs and re-acclimate themselves to Pacific time.
For most involved, the flight home was uneventful. Coach Tia Jackson broke down film of the upcoming game against Seattle University, while players watched movies and listened to their iPods. The cold snap in the air gave the players a bit of the shock once they exited Sea-Tac, as most had acclimatized themselves to the warm Floridian air.
The Huskies will get back on track Tuesday morning with weights and practice. Jackson also hopes to gain some clarity on injuries to Laura McLellan (right knee) and Sara Mosiman (shin splints). Both players will be examined by team doctors on Tuesday. Kristi Kingma also tweaked her right ankle during the game against UCF.
In other injury news, Lydia Young had successful surgery over the weekend on the degenerative condition in her knee and is resting comfortably.
Up next are the RedHawks from SeattleU, who are in the second year of their transition to Division I status. The campuses are separated by just three miles, making this the shortest road trip for the Huskies since the teams last played on SU's campus in 1984. The series was renewed last season, with the Huskies thumping the RedHawks, 82-56.
The Connolly Center seats just 1,050 fans, making it the smallest venue the Huskies will play in this season. The Peter W. Stott Center on the campus of Portland State sat 1,500 people.
We're 10 minutes from the tip here at UCF Arena in Orlando, Fla. The Huskies (2-4) are attempting to rebound from their road-trip opening loss at South Florida with a win over the Knights (2-1), a Conference USA squad.
The Knights have nine consecutive games at UCF Arena, and will be facing a Pac-10 opponent for the first time in their history. The Huskies will have to careful of a UCF squad that is heavy on athleticism, led by 6-2 forward Emma Cannon, who is averaging 16.3 ppg and 11.7 rpg. Other weapons for UCF are Aisha Patrick (12.3 ppg) and Chelsie Wiley (10.7 ppg).
Tune in now to 1150 AM KKNW for Steve Sandmeyer's call of the game. You can also follow along at our Twitter feed (@uw_wbb) to in-game updates.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 90-minute bus trip brought the Washington women's basketball team directly to the University of Central Florida's campus, where they immediately made their way to an auxiliary gym for practice.
The bus made one stop in Lakeland, Fla., at a mall where the team fueled up and got a chance to stretch their legs.
After some quiet moments following a loss to USF on Friday, the players were in better spirits on the ride, where they watched film of UCF's last game against Jacksonville. Later, the team will check into their hotel, the Courtyard Marriott at UCF.
The weather has also cooperated for the Huskies. After nothing but gray skies and rain on Friday, the team was treated to a smidgen of sun. Good, because most everyone had tired of the "you must have brought the weather with you" jokes we've heard countless times so far.
TAMPA, Fla. -- While everyone is waking up in Seattle, the coaching staff for the Washington women's basketball team is huddled over tonight's game plan against South Florida. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome.
The Bulls are 5-2 on the young season, having lost in their home opener to Florida A&M and at Wake Forest. But USF comes into this game on a high note, having swept three games on their recent trip to Southern California.
The Huskies, meanwhile, are trying to rebound after a disheartening loss to Sacramento State in the finale of the Husky Classic last weekend. But if there's any worry of potential reverberations from that game, well, think again. The practices this week have been especially crisp and focused.
The team has also been able to enjoy some downtime on their Florida trip. The student-athletes and some staff members went to Busch Gardens yesterday, where we learned that student manager Lars Phillips has a weak stomach for roller-coasters (sadly, there's video of this).
Afterwards, the team dined at at a nearby Carrabba's Italian Grill and then settled back at the hotel to watch the men's basketball game at Texas Tech.
Remember, you can follow the game on our Twitter page (@uw_wbb) for live updates of the action.
TAMPA, Fla. -- The first thing the Washington women's basketball team noticed upon arriving at South Florida's Sun Dome this morning was the humidity, something the team doesn't have to factor in often back home in Seattle.
Coach Tia Jackson wanted everyone to double-up on their fluids to avoid cramping up. After stretching, the team moved onto practice.
Women's hoops at UW doesn't have much of a history in the state of Florida. In the regular season, Washington is 2-1 in the Sunshine State. Their last trip came in 2005 to Tallahassee, which featured a win over Florida State.
That doesn't mean the players aren't familiar with Florida. Most have played in the state in an AAU capacity. Kristi Kingma and Sarah Morton played at the Milk House Complex at Disney in the sixth grade. Senior Christina Rozier is from Miami, and has a large chunk of her family is making the four-hour drive to attend Friday's game against USF. Wingate Smith, the team's Director of Operations, noted his family was making the eight-hour drive from North Carolina to show support.
USF is expecting a better-than-average crowd at the Sun Dome. The team is raising their WNIT Champions banner that night.
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Washington women's basketball team has bunkered down at their hotel following a long flight from Sea-Tac to Orlando. A tail wind cut the trip to a brisk 4 hours and 50 minutes.
It's still up in the air whether jet lag will be a factor, with the Huskies having to set their clocks forward three hours. By the time the team picked up their luggage and boarded the bus for Tampa, the time was already 10:30 p.m. (EST). Factor in a stop by Pizza Hut for a late dinner and the 90-mile drive down Interstate-4 -- which featured a ridiculously bad Sandra Bullock comedy on the screens -- and it was nearly 12:30 before everyone received their hotel keys and roommate assignments. The team is staying at the Hilton Garden Inn next to the University of South Florida.
Because of the hectic travel, the Huskies will have a light schedule tomorrow. Following breakfast at the hotel, the team will bus over to campus and practice at the Sun Dome in preparation for Friday night's game against the Bulls. Fans can listen to the game on 1150 AM KKNW in the Seattle-area or the online stream.
Not sure what your holiday weekend plans entail -- outside of Black Friday shopping and leftover turkey sandwiches -- but for those with an empty calendar there is plenty going on with athletics at the University of Washington.
Starting tonight, the No. 4 ranked volleyball team is in action against Oregon State at Bank of America Arena. The team is chasing a Pac-10 title and are closer to finding out their postseason destination.
On Friday, the Washington women's basketball team is hosting their annual Husky Classic at Bank of America. They'll play games against a pair of Big Sky schools in Eastern Washington and Sacramento State; same with the University of Memphis. First tip gets underway at 12 p.m., with the Hornets and Tigers. The Huskies and Eagles (who are separated by just 266 miles), will follow 20 minutes after the first game.
And then later that night, volleyball is back on the court for a matchup with No. 18 Oregon.
Of course, we should not have to remind you what's happening on Saturday at Husky Stadium. Washington's football team will take part in the 102nd Apple Cup. Come early, be loud and support the Huskies against their rivals from Pullman. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
On Sunday, come on back to Bank of America for a triple-header of basketball. The Husky Classic will wrap up with a preliminary game between EWU and Memphis, and then the Huskies will play Sac. State to cap the tournament. Then at 6 p.m., the men's basketball team will take on Montana.
To recap, that's two volleyball matches, a football game and three basketball games for us this week...whew.
Volleyball vs. Oregon State, 7 p.m. (BOA)
Women's basketball vs. Eastern Washington, 2 p.m. (BOA)
Volleyball vs. Oregon, 7 p.m. (BOA)
Apple Cup, 3:30 p.m. (Husky Stadium)
Women's basketball vs. Sacramento State, 2 p.m. (BOA)
Men's basketball vs. Montana, 6 p.m. (BOA)
The Huskies are just under 10 minutes from tip-off between Washington (1-1) and Gonzaga (2-1) women's basketball teams, but here are a few important notes to keep in mind.
Fans can follow the game online with a live-stream at 1150 AM KKNW. Steve Sandmeyer, entering his 11th year with the team, will call the play-by-play. Just click the "Listen Live" button on the right-hand side of the page.
You can also follow us on Twitter (@uw_wbb) for live in-game tweeting of the action.
The starters for this afternoon:
F Whitcomb 23.5 ppg
F Argens 6.5 ppg
C Rogers 8.0 ppg
G Morton 9.0 ppg
G Mosiman 9.0 ppg
F Frieson 12.7 ppg
F Heather Bowman 15.3 ppg
G Janelle Bekkering 2.7 ppg
G Vandersloot 12.0 ppg
G Tiffanie Shives 12.3 ppg
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Washington women's basketball team woke up to snow flurries before heading over to Gonzaga's campus for shootaround.
Shootaround is not just for shaking out tired legs and getting a feel for the opposing gym. The players are also running through their selected offensive sets, knowing full well what they'll see from Gonzaga. Then guards and posts split up and get up a set number of shots from various points on the floor.
Thankfully, the trip here was uneventful. A quick, 55-minute flight out of Sea-Tac brought the Huskies to Spokane and then they bussed over to the hotel, checked in and walked across the street to Chili's for a team dinner (where just about everybody ordered baby-back ribs).
Seattle and Spokane are separated by only 280 miles, so a few parents have made the trip over to pass to offer their support. Mackenzie Argens was surprised by her family, who secretly made the trip and greeted her in the lobby.
One Husky, Jeneva Anderson, is from Spokane (played at Lewis & Clark High School), so she met with her family at Chili's for dinner.
For your morning reading, check out Jayda Evans' latest story in the Seattle Times. She writes about how Christina Rozier is dedicating this season to playing for friend & teammate Lydia Young, who sadly will not be able to play basketball this year after doctors recently discovered a serious knee condition.
The NCAA released its annual report of graduation success rates among Division I instititions and, once again, the University of Washington showed it ranks second in the Pac-10 and second among all public institutions on the West Coast. Washington's football federal graduation rate is just two percent shy of the rate for all Division I student-athletes. For the complete story and links to the NCAA reports, visit this piece posted yesterday on GoHuskies.com. The Associated Press also wrote a good story on the topic, which you can find here.
A couple of facts that were not widely reported included the graduation success rate (GSR) among football programs in the Pac-10. Among scholarship athletes, the Huskies rate second in the league in both graduation success rate and the four-year rolling federal graduation rate average. Below is a chart showing how the UW fares against league rivals.
A couple of other key facts that the report revealed about the academic success of various UW sports programs:
• The graduation rate for UW scholarship student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility at the school during this reporting period was an impressive 90 percent. A total of 503 student-athletes fit into this category.
Emptying out our notebook from the Huskies 67-66 win last night.
During her post-game press conference, coach Tia Jackson took a moment to relay a scene from a meeting earlier that morning among the athletic dept. staff at the University of Washington.
What stuck with her was a speech from cross-country/track coach Greg Metcalf, who discussed the motivational tactics he used to spur some tired runners at the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach, Calif. His message was that, essentially, you just had to get the job done.
"He said good teams figure out a way to win," Jackson said. "And (tonight), our ladies were good, and we figured out a way to win. It's a different feeling for us, and I know it's something we're going to grow accustomed to."
Jackson thought of the message when she saw her team down nine points late in the game to BYU, a team who had done everything right against the Huskies. Their full-court press created turnovers. Their four-out, one-in offense drew up wide-open 3-pointers. Yet, the Huskies had a chance at the end of the game, and Sami Whitcomb capitalized with a late 3-pointer to win.
Here's some stats from the Pac-10
The Washington women's basketball team was dealt some unfortunate news this week when team doctors recommended Lydia Young have surgery on her ailing right knee. The senior forward has not played this season because of tendinitis.
Here's Coach Tia Jackson on the injury to Young:
"We never want to see any of our players go down to injury, and it saddens all of us that Lydia has suffered a knee condition that will not allow her to successfully participate at this level. In the upcoming weeks, she will undergo a surgical procedure to promote the long-term health of her knee, but regrettably, she will not be returning to competitive basketball. Lydia has a great medical team here at the University of Washington and a Husky family offering her tremendous support during this difficult time. We know Lydia is terribly disappointed that she cannot continue on the court during her senior year, but we intend to use her leadership, experience and enthusiasm to help guide the team through the rest of the season."
When it came to preparing for the season, the Huskies made sure to do their work in the weight room. GoHuskies.com gave an insider's perspective into the strength and conditioning program run at UW, but we wanted a player to convey just how brutal those workouts really were. So here is Sarah Morton breaking it down for us:
What up (Dawg fans)!
Now that summer is long gone and preseason games are getting under way, we are excited about seeing how far we will go! I know we will have lots of successes this year and a big reason for that is because of all the hard work we put in this summer and throughout preseason.
That includes weight training (BIGGER and better), conditioning, shooting on our own, and playing open gym. A day in the weight room might go something like this: warm up with plyometrics, do core exercises: sit-ups on physioballs, toe touches with bench bars, crunches with 25 lb. plates, etc.
Then we get into the lifting starting with hang cleans or high pulls eventually leading into deep squats (those will get the quads burning!). After squats we normally move into upper body lifting including bench press, shoulder press, bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, etc
Portland, Ore. -- The Washington women's basketball team has had a packed schedule since arriving in the Rose City last night. After a team dinner, Coach Tia Jackson brought everyone back to the hotel to meet a distinguished speaker -- Howard White, vice president of marketing for the Jordan brand at Nike.
Mr. White spoke with the team for over an hour, regaling stories from his past (point guard at Maryland, now a business success) and offered examples of how successful athletes (such as Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong, to name a few) overcame adversity to become champions.
During the preseason, Jackson gave her team White's book, "Believe to Achieve." She had the players write down their thoughts on the book, and then sent those responses to White, who said he was "humbled" by them.
White's mantra is that anyone who believes they will be successful will ultimately achieve their goals. Some other talking points included anecdotes about hard work, discipline and structure. Later, he challenged the team to not accept the bare-minimum. It was a thought-provoking segment.
This morning was a little more low-key. The Huskies took a short bus ride to Portland State's campus for shoot-around, and then had breakfast back at the hotel.
With tip-off in a few hours, make sure you follow @uw_wbb on Twitter for all the action.
Perhaps the busiest Husky sports weekend possible takes place over the next three days with eight different Washington sports team heading into competition, including the men's and women's cross country teams at the NCAA Regionals and the women's soccer team in the opening rounds of the NCAA Championships.
For a complete calendar of events, just click on the front page of GoHuskies.com and select the "Calendar" tab to see a complete schedule. On that schedule, you will find links to all the live Internet-related coverage provided by GoHuskies.com.
UW flagship radio station 950 KJR AM will be in full Husky mode throughout the weekend and, in particular, all day Saturday. KJR will have live coverage of all three UW men's basketball games, including tonight's opener against Wright State. Tomorrow the station will jump start 14-straight hours of UW coverage at 8 a.m. and won't conclude until after the men's hoops post-game show that should end at around 10 p.m.
So, if Bob Rondeau seems a little out of sync this weekend - keep in mind he is planning to call the UW-Wright State basketball game tonight, travel to Corvallis to provide the action at the Washington-Oregon State football game tomorrow. Then, he will return to Bank of America Arena on Sunday for the Huskies' contest against Portland State. That's around 12 hours of solid play-by-play and analysis over the next three days.
Normally, encouraging Washington fans to visit the state of Oregon wouldn't necessarily be among the Husky athletic department's top priorities. But, with five UW athletic teams competing down south this weekend, it might be a good time to get on the road and make a weekend of it!
Tomorrow at 4 p.m., the Husky women's soccer team opens its NCAA Tournament experience with a first-round game against the University of Mississippi at the University of Portland's Merlo Field. The winner of that game plays Sunday at noon against the winner of Portland vs. Denver. Tickets are available through the UP ticket office.
On Saturday, the defending national champion UW women's cross country team and the nationally-ranked men's squad both compete in the NCAA West Regionals at Springfield (Ore.) Country Club. The men's race begins at 9:45 a.m., while the women take to the course at 10:45 a.m. Both teams appear to have already qualified for the NCAA Championships and will be using the Regionals to build their resume and prepare for the national championship race.
At 12:30 p.m., the Husky football team will kick-off its final road game of the year when it travels to Corvallis, Ore. to play Oregon State. Washington needs to win its final three games of the season to become bowl eligible and hopes to get back on the winning track against the Beavers.
Finally on Saturday, Coach Tia Jackson's women's basketball team opens its regular-season at 2 p.m. at Portland State's Stott Center. Tickets are available through the PSU athletic website.
Make sure to check the Washington DOT website for traffic down the I-5 corridor before you go! And, when you see a fellow Husky on the road, give 'em a quick wave!
The Washington women's basketball team is a few days away from their season-opening game at Portland State. In the latest player-written Dawg Blawg, senior Laura McLellan talks about the chemistry the team has fostered away from Bank of America Arena.
Chemistry off the court is just as important as having chemistry on the court, and our team has plenty of that. After morning weights, practices, study table and all the other things we are required to do throughout the week having a little downtime is pretty important. A lot of the times our downtime is spent with each other as we are an extremely close team, a family.
Football games are one thing that brings our team together on a weekly basis. Home games are always fun, getting to cheer, yell and scream watching our friends play; especially when you get to experience something like our win against USC when we all rushed the field! I'm pretty sure women's basketball was one of the first teams out there jumping over the little wall that was in our way.
But as much fun as we have with home games, away games are nice as well. The last couple games a bunch of us have got together at (Sara Mosiman's) house because she has a huge TV! We all put in a couple bucks and pick up some pizza or wings and just get a chance to hang out and watch the game.
Stevens Court, where our freshmen and sophomores are required to live, is always a fun place to be. Every Thursday. Greys Anatomy comes on so Sami and I will go over to Liz Lay's apartment to watch. She lives with Miami (Christina Rozier), AJ (Amanda Johnson), and Charmaine Barlow, but we will always watch in Liz's room and yell across the apartment to AJ when something exciting happens in the show and then during commercials try and figure out what's going to happen next. Miami will always be in her room watching NBA games and make fun of us for being so caught up in a TV show.
I would have to say our favorite thing to do as a team, and probably one of the funnier things that go on is when we go to the "club" aka our locker room when we turn the music up really loud. Sami and Mollie Williams ALWAYS have their cameras on them so someone will set it up to where it can see the whole room and everyone will go out and dance, Miami, Lydia Young, and Liz are probably our most infamous locker room dancers though! Im going to try to get a video posted that we took.
Our latest locker room song has been one of our own actually, I couldn't even tell you how it started now, but we have our own little rendition of "Row Your Boat". You kind of have to see it to get the full experience but maybe ill be able to get that on film also.
The final women's basketball exhibition is tonight (Corban College, 7p.m.), meaning there is just five days until the regular gets underway. In the latest player-written Dawg Blawg, Sami Whitcomb explains to fans the work her teammates have put in over the summer to get ready for the season.
Hey Husky hoop fans, the season is finally here. I am sure you are wondering what we have been doing to prepare ourselves for a "bigger and better" season, so here is the scoop on our practices this preseason.
This year, we have experienced some substantial changes in the make-up of our practices. The most glaring one of the level of competition amongst our team. Last year, we utilized our "white squad" practice players a lot, and while we have scrimmaged against them a couple of times, competition in practice has chiefly been against ourselves. As you will see this year, we are a far more balanced, talented squad across the board. The competitive scenarios in 5-on-5, 4-on-4 and even 2-on-2 settings have sparked the competitive nature of each player, and we benefit in practice because of this.
Accountability has become a cornerstone to the team this year as well. This resonates in practices as well, as the coaches have placed greater responsibility in our hands as players in holding each other and ourselves accountable, with each practice and with each drill. Whether it's guard Sara Mosiman leading the team in sprints for too many turnovers, or junior guard Sarah Morton gathering the team to refocus us, each player has stepped up in this area as we hold ourselves to a greater level of excellence.
Being bigger and better this year also means being more efficient and this is reflected in our practices. Our competitive work ethic coupled with our new level of accountability combine to make this team incredibly efficient with our practice time. Each drill is intense and focused, with players sprinting on and off the court and working hard in-between. And because we are using our time on the court better, we can spend just a little bit less time out there than last year.
Hope you enjoyed the run down of our practices so far. As the year progresses we will only continue to get bigger and better, so come check us out! Go Dawgs!
This will be the first in a series of Dawg Blawg entries from the seniors of the women's basketball team. First off, Christina Rozier talks about one of the team's favorite down-time activities -- Guitar Hero.
My favorite song on Guitar Hero is "Slow Rider," by Foghat. I generally play on easy or medium, not quite having the same skills as C.J. Wilcox on the men's basketball team, who plays on expert. But he's got an advantage in that he plays the guitar in real life. We go head-to-head all the time...though he always beats me.
The best part of it though is having fun, dancing to the music, feeling the song, getting excited, and most of all make sure we are hitting the notes and getting star power.
Once you play the game, you will get addicted (Ed. note: We agree) and will never want to stop. There are plenty of other great songs as well, such as "Walk this Way," by Aerosmith.
Quick reminder: the Washington women's hoops team will hold its annual media day on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. Coach Tia Jackson, along with the team, will meet with the local press and discuss the upcoming season.
For those fans who want to listen in to Jackson's press conference, you can watch streaming video online at GoHuskies.
Women's basketball opens the preseason with a pair of exhibitions, the first against Seattle Pacific University on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena.
Recently, Washington Husky athletic department officials and student-athletes showed their appreciation to its scholarship donors at its annual luncheon in the Don James Center. Husky student-athletes Victor Aiyewa and Danielle Lawrie presented thanks to the benefactors on behalf of all of the UW's scholarship student-athletes.
Check out this great photo gallery from the event.
Women's soccer coach Lesle Gallimore gave a passionate speech that outlined the tremendous responsibility each coach accepts as they makes decisions on who and when to award athletic scholarships.
"As a coach I am entrusted with the task of awarding scholarships to young women whom my staff and I determine are worthy of your generosity," said Gallimore. "This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I have done nothing for the dollars that I am doling out. It is not my hard work that has made these scholarships possible and yet it is my duty to select people that will live up to their commitment of striving for athletic and academic excellence.
Last time we checked in with Breanne Watson, she was busy getting adjusted to her new team in Luxembourg, Basket-Esch. Being the curious types, we wanted to provide a more in-depth look at how a Husky athlete was adjusting to life across the pond. It's a little more difficult than one could imagine, especially with language barriers, cultural differences and learning how to operate a stick shift in a European city center.
Reminder, you can also follow Breanne at her personal blog, where she's a regular contributor.
Q: You've played in four countries so far in Europe. What has been the biggest adjustment to life overseas? What's an aspect of life in United States/Canada you miss the most?
I think the toughest part is always the language barrier. Every year I'm a visitor in a new country and am continually amazed by how many people can speak English. Sometimes I feel so ignorant because I only speak one language fluently, whereas most people in Europe speak a minimum of two! Other than that I feel I'm able to make the adjustment quite smoothly.
The thing I miss most is my family and friends being so far away. I meet new people where ever I travel and they are wonderful, but it's not the same as having your close friends nearby to hang out and chat with.
Q: Have you picked up any foreign languages abroad? How often do you find yourself needing help when out and about in cities?
I've taken French since grade 5, all the way through high school and then took it for two years at UW. I understand it, which has really helped me this season in Luxembourg - it is one of the 3 official languages! Since I'm surrounded by French this season, I find it coming back to me and I'm able to converse with people in very simple sentences. I'm thinking about taking some classes in the city to continue my improvement.
Every season I try and adapt to my new environment and make
sure to pick up essential phrases in the language. It's amazing how much
people appreciate you trying to speak their language - if they see you trying,
they'll often respond in English and do their best to help you!
Q: Has the advent of Internet/Skype made being abroad much easier? How often do you talk with friends and teammates?
I don't know what I would do without the Internet. I couldn't imagine being abroad for seven months at a time without being able to connect/contact family and friends at home. Even though I feel I adjust well in new places, the idea of being unable to read the paper/news online and checking in with the the familiarity of home would be difficult. You're on an island when you're away from home and have to become extremely self dependant. Being able to surf gohuskies.com, and googlenews.com among other things keeps the homesickness at bay. Whenever I'm in my apartment my Skype is on and I chat with my best friends and family almost everyday. Skype is a fantastic invention!
Q: How has your game developed overseas? What are you working on during the offseason?
It's funny, I feel like I'm playing my best basketball now. After all my high school and university years, I've finally become the player I knew I could become. It just come together. Obviously in Europe I have a different role than in college and I'm now very confident in my game. I think the biggest improvement in my skill set has been in my shooting. I feel I've become a great shooter and it is one of my best weapons, especially when guarded by bigger girls who just assume I don't have a jumper because I'm a forward.
Q: Describe a typical day with your new team in Luxembourg.
I normally get up around 9am, eat breakfast, reply to emails and read the news online. After that I'm off to the fitness centre to lift and do some cardio for a couple hours. Soon as that's done I head to a restaurant that provides me with my lunch and relax for a bit. Since practice isn't until 7pm, I usually spend the rest of the afternoon in the City Centre or play tourist in neighbouring towns.
Q: Describe what it was like to train for and race a triathlon. Is that something you would consider post basketball?
Great question! I've always wanted to compete in a triathlon and finally did this past summer. The training was actually quite fun, because it was so different from basketball. It was nice to step away from bball for a bit and try something else. I think the toughest part of preparing for the event was the swimming. I've never swam competitively, so forcing myself to swim lengths at the pool was a challenge - but one I started to enjoy. Post-basketball I could see myself competing in triathlons every couple months. I won't be trying to win the event, as completing it and bettering your time is a feat itself!
Q: Having spent so much time over the pond, what is one part of the world you would like to visit and why?
Hmmm...that's a tough one. There are still so many places I want to see! I've been fortunate enough that basketball has allowed me to visit various cities and countries around the world. Right now, high on my list is Greece. One of my best friends (Lindsey Wilson - Roosevelt High) is playing in Athens this year and I'm hoping I'll be able to visit her. Other than that, I'd really like to see St. Petersburg, Russia, travel Croatia and eventually explore South America.
Q: How did the blog develop? Do you find it hard to keep it updated with playing ball?
Prior to playing overseas, I'd always keep a journal when I traveled abroad. I wrote down things I experienced and wanted to remember. When I decided to play professionally, I figured it would be a great way to journal while keeping family, friends and family in the loop. Instead of sending mass emails that often get deleted or sent to junk mail, people could check up on me whenever they had the time. I actually got the idea from my friend Lindsey (who I mentioned above: http://lindseywilson.blogspot.com/) and I really enjoy posting week to week! Basketball is my job, but when you're playing overseas there is a lot of down time. I love writing because it not only allows me to journal my experiences, but keeps me busy off the court.
Q: What do you see yourself doing post-basketball?
When my basketball career eventually comes to a close, I'd love to be in the media field doing some sort of writing. Whether it's PR, marketing or even writing for a magazine. I love writing and actually didn't find this passion until I graduated from UW and started my blog. I hated composing English papers and essays in university, but writing about things I enjoy like travel, sports and certain life experiences are fun. The response I have had is amazing and I hope that post-basketball I'll be able to continue writing in some way.
If you haven't had a chance to check out "Dawg Dish," GoHuskies.com newest Internet show featuring ex-QB Johnny DuRocher, you need to do so.
Fans of women's basketball will particularly want to tune in as senior forward Sami Whitcomb will be featured in the next episode.
Without revealing too much of their conversation, here is a photo of Whitcomb being interviewed by DuRocher inside the Husky Hall of Fame.
The Washington women's basketball team will host a free skills clinic for all children age 5-11 at Bank of America Arena from 2 p.m. until 3:30 on Sunday, Oct. 25.
Those who attend will have the entire coaching staff, along with the team, on hand to introduce them to the sport of basketball and review key fundamentals, such as dribbling and shooting. It will be an exciting way to help kick-off the upcoming season, which begins with a home exhibition game against Seattle Pacific University on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
"We really want young players, both beginning and experienced, to take away from this clinic an appreciation for working on your own individual skills," said assistant coach Judy Spoelstra. "As we get into winter basketball season, it's great for young players to learn how much fun basketball can be and how many different fun skills the game involves."
The Huskies are also looking for children to be a part of the Dubs Dribblers Group, where they'll learn a basketball routine to perform at the halftime of home games.
Last week, both players and coaches spoke at local elementary schools to talk about All-Star Lunch Week, which centers on making healthy choices with food. During those visits, players also handed out invitations to Sunday's clinic.
And, as a reminder, parking is also free for parents and children attending the clinic.
Breanne Watson has been fortunate enough to extend her basketball career following her senior (2006-07) season at Washington. So for the past couple years, Watson has been traipsing across Europe, playing ball and blogging about her travels/work life.
The whirlwind journey has taken Watson from Finland to Sweden to Madeira Island, which is a part of Portugal but situated off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
In her most recent entries, Watson announced that she had signed a new professional contract with Basket Esch in Luxembourg, based in Esch-sur-Alzette. She had a good first start to the season with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals in a win over Amicale Steinsel.
You can follow Watson on her blog, or here on the Dawg Blawg, where we'll occasionally link to new posts.
This past weekend, a group of the women's basketball coaches met with alumni for brunch in Seward Park, a gathering that has now become an integral part of the program.
The Phenomenal Women of Washington was the brainchild of Coach Tia Jackson. The group convenes biannually to discuss how to best further the women's basketball program, and the better way to facilitate alumni participation. Jackson felt the team could do a better job of reaching out to former players, and so the twice-a-year brunch was created. For example, when women athletes graduate, get married and change their names, it can be hard to track them over the course of the year.
So far, there have been reciprocal benefits for both parties. Several alumni have increased their level of involvement in the program, such as joining or taking leadership positions within the Fast Break Club, the primary fund raising arm of the women's basketball team.
"They enjoy getting together and talking about old times," said assistant coach Judy Spoelstra, who knew many of the alums from her playing days at Oregon State. "But also, they want to help anyway they can. It's nice that each time we have (the meeting), we're able to reach out to three or four people we haven't heard from in a while."
The alumni can range from the young (such as Michelle Augustavo, who graduated last year), to those who played in the 1970s. But there are a sizable amount of former Huskies who live in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, so there has been a large well for the coaches to tap into.
"They want to get involved in a way specifically related to women's basketball," Spoelstra said.
PHOTO GALLERY OF VISIT
Several members of the women's basketball team made the short trip over the Montlake Cut to the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they met with students at Stevens Elementary. The purpose of the trip was to discuss All-Star Lunch Week, and how to make healthy choices when it comes to food.
Along on the trip was forward Mollie Williams, and guards Sara Mosiman and Amanda Johnson. They were joined with Assistant coaches Judy Spoelstra and Fred Applin, and Wingate Smith, the Director of Basketball Operations. The six gathered in the school's cafeteria and held a meet-and-greet with students, while also explaining to them the benefits of healthy eating and getting regular exercise.
Several of the athletes also shared their favorite meals, such as chicken salad and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The crowd mostly booed, though, when Smith told them about his favorite healthy choice -- broccoli.
Afterwards, the athletes handed out coupons for a free skills clinic for later this month, eligible for children aged 5-11.
"It's always exciting for the kids to be able to connect with important people in the community," said principal Jenniffer Reinig."Especially when it comes with nutrition and wellness."
Stevens is just one of a handful of schools the women's basketball has visited recently regarding the All-Star Lunch Week.
The women's basketball team took a break from their packed preseason conditioning schedule on Monday afternoon to instruct a group of 7th graders from a Mercer Island, Wash., youth team on drills.
The girls received instruction on how to run offensive sets such as the pick-and-pop, while also working on and improving their fundamentals. Head coach Tia Jackson, along with her assistants, led the drills and provided plenty of positive feedback.
The session with the Mercer Island team was made possible through a winning bid in the basketball program's annual silent auction, where fans can bid on a variety of prizes/experiences. Past items have included dinner at Buca di Beppo with the women's basketball team, dinner with Coach Jackson and autographed memorabilia.
This year's auction will take place on Feb. 27, before the team's game against Washington State at Bank of America Arena.
The auction is the primary fundraiser that helps generate revenue for foreign trips, special equipment purchases and other basketball related expenses.
The women's basketball team remains hard at work during its fall workouts. Today, the ladies worked through position drills with their coaches. The post players worked on post moves, blocking and other fundamentals, while the guards worked on shooting and setting screens.
After their position work, the whole team went though another round of conditioning and agility exercises. The Huskies are looking even faster and fitter than they did just two weeks ago. Check out the pictures from today's practice!
The Husky women worked through another tough defense practice Thursday on Harshman Court in Bank of America Arena.
The team was first put through its paces with various conditioning drills, led by sports performance coach Matt Ludwig. Then coaches Tia Jackson, Judy Spoelstra, Loree Payne and Fred Applin took over, coaching the defense.
The Husky defense appears to be shaping up nicely. The 2009-10 squad isn't afraid to get aggressive. More than one player got knocked down during practice today.
Last night, the Huskies participated in a phone-a-thon for ticket sales. The women of the Purple and Gold called prior ticket holders and tried to sell season tickets, mini-plans and individual tickets. (Check out pictures here!) Tickets are still available by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or online at GoHuskies.com.
The women's hoops team continued its fall training camp today as they went for a 1.5-mile run at 6:15 this morning. The women had a time to beat and the majority of the team finished in the allotted time.
The Huskies are back on the court for defense practice at 2:30pm today, but get the day off of weight training. Check back later this afternoon for a more detailed practice report!
The women of Washington hit the North Gym of Bank of America Arena to work on some shooting drills during their second day of fall practice.
Overall, the Huskies look good. Washington's offense appears to be shaping up... Lots of attention was paid to good passing and quick layups from every possible angle. The women look leaner and more athletic than ever, which ties in to what head coach Tia Jackson said yesterday about the team in this story.
After the shooting drills were completed, the Huskies did some additional conditioning drills, which seemed to be focused on balance and quickness. The the ladies headed down to the weight room to lift.
Tomorrow morning, the Huskies are slated for an early-morning run and then defense practice tomorrow afternoon. More updates to come tomorrow after practice!
Former UW women's hoops player Melissa Erickson was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 2006. Her teammates rallied around her, forming the Melissa Erickson Foundation to help raise money for medical bills and necessary alterations to Erickson's home.
Next Saturday, August 29, the foundation is hosting the "Ring Around The Needle" Pub Crawl to benefit Erickson. The crawl will take place in seven bars across Queen Anne, from 1-5pm.
Here's a link to a column Steve Kelley did on Erickson and her teammates' fight against ALS.
And here's a link to the official website of the pub crawl, with lots more information and a sign-up sheet.
Summertime is typically a time for relaxation for students, but the athletes on the men's and women's basketball teams have remained on campus to work out.
Those athletes are also taking some time to volunteer at Coach Lorenzo Romar's annual summer camps, which are held periodically from late June to early August. On hand at Bank of America Arena were Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Tyreese Breshers, Darnell Gant, Venoy Overton, Elston Turner, Regina Rogers and Molly Williams. A few of the departing seniors were also on-hand, including Artem Wallace and Heidi McNeil.
Several coaches from both teams were also in attendance to provide instruction.
On Monday, the camp's focused centered on developing the skills of players between the grades of 4-8.
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