Fight for Survival in the WNBA Playoffs
They say angels live above us and Angel McCoughtry graced the crowd and rose above every defensive strategy the Seattle Storm used in the Atlanta Dreams 94-85 victory over the Seattle Storm. They survived the new WNBA single game elimination playoff format and will play another day. Bria Holmes started in place of the suspended Tiffany Hayes and dropped a silent 21 points but the key to her performance was her 7 rebounds and the playoff intensity she exuded. You have to love it when a player steps up in a starting role during the money time. Elizabeth Williams (Mrs. Improved Player of the Year) chipped in 16 rebounds and was one point away from a double double. Atlanta Dream will face the Chicago Sky on Sunday at 1pm Est on ESPN2. If you haven't seen Angel McCoughtry (Ms. Unconscious) in action you might want to witness her scoring at will over opponents.
Diana Taurasi (DT) has 3 WNBA Titles in her 12 year professional career. DT is the Da Truth on the court and single game elimination format in this year's WNBA playoffs doesn't make a difference to her. She's still the same ole D, same phenomenal game, same desire to win, with just a different format. All 5 starters were in double figures in the Phoenix Mercury's 89-78 win over the Indiana Fever. Earlier in the year people had doubts about whether the Mercury would gel together by playoff time. They started the season in a down tempo but now look more upbeat. They will face the New York Liberty Saturday at 7pm Est on NBA TV. This is a must see game as Brittany Griner and Tina Charles will battle it out in the paint. Penny Taylor (PT Cruiser) has cruised her way by opponents her entire career and I'm sure DT and company want to send her into retirement in the most supreme way possible unbeatable.
I was humbled and honored last week to present my late college coach, Coach Kay Yow, statue at North Carolina State's coaches corner. She was a pioneer for women's basketball and motivated and inspired many across the world. She was a leader, an inspiration, and most importantly, an advocate for women fighting cancer. My new job with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund constantly reminds me of what an inspiration she was and always will be. The KYCF also reunites me with the college game as our biggest fundraiser #play4kay starts with the upcoming basketball season. We recently partnered with the NCAA in a #FT4Kay initiative. Coaches, players and fans make sure you visit this link for more info or visit our website kayyow.com Also follow us on twitter @kayyowfund facebook @kayyowcancerfund and show your support in the fight against women's cancers.
I was fortunate enough to intern with the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) which was an amazing experience and my first taste of the nonprofit business sector. If you have followed my earlier blogs you would know I worked in the player membership development. My experience was really important for my growth and confidence as an athlete off the court. I learned the importance of building a brand, building relationships and thinking outside of the box. Congrats Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash and Penny Taylor , Jayne Appel Marinelli and DeLisha Milton Jones on retirement and entering the career transition world. The NBRPA provided a great community for me during my transition. They also made it comfortable for me to take an entry level role to get my foot in the door. I still work independently with the organization and appreciate connecting with former players and sharing similar stories and support. Below is a great article on how the NBRPA has helped other former WNBA players.
Shout out to the Indiana Fever as they kneel together during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice in America. Tamika Catchings went out on a winning note supporting a great cause despite the loss to the Phoenix Mercury.
Until next time, 'll leave you with a quote from the late Kay Yow "Remember when life kicks you let it kick you forward."