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Posts Tagged ‘Candace Parker’

In today’s issue of USA Today, we earned an entire section of the paper. Its title: “Women in Sports.”

I almost jumped out of my chair when I started reading. Seven complete pages of content and photos of women who have completed milestones in sport.

The cover article is particularly interesting.

Heather Tucker published a groudbreaking article in the world of women’s sports. She discussed the heroines of milestones of the past, heroines of the present and obstacles that lie ahead for the future of female sports. If you haven’t done so already, please go check it out here.

She discussed Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the “Battle of the Sexes,” a day after Title IX was passed.

She said, “King, who accepted Riggs’ challenge to play a televised match at the Houston Astrodome, soundly defeated him in three sets and put a damper on critics’ voices that women could not compete with men.”

Awesome. Totally awesome. I wish I were alive for that moment. Even though I wasn’t I know that what she did affected my ability to compete and succeed in sports twenty years later.

Tucker then pointed to Candace Parker, calling her a hero of today’s image of women’s sports due to her ability to beat five male competitors in the 2004 McDonald’s All-American Game, including Josh Smith, who won the NBA dunk contest the nest year.

She also mentioned Danica Patrick’s milestone in her “breakthrough” Indy-car race in Japan in April, when she became the first woman to triumph in a national oval-track touring circuit (Indy Racing League or NASCAR).

Then, Tucker talked about perceptions, and how the above milestones have inspired and influenced young women to compete on the playing fields today.

She said, “Perceptions of what women are capable of and what they can offer have been elevated thanks in part to these stars.”

Then, she wrapped up by highlighting the challenges that lie ahead, such as coaching, managing and team ownership, areas of influence that women have yet to solidly break through in terms of a “glass ceiling” in sports.

This is an incredibly crafted article. In my opinion, it’s too short. A lot of names are missing from this list of heroines. It takes much more than three influencers to break barriers. It takes an army, and decades of time and struggle.

Hopefully one day we’ll get there. Until then, articles like these will help keep the spirit alive. Thanks USA Today.

Other stories include player profiles on Jackie Joyner Kersee, Pat Summit, Mary Lou Retton, Janet Guthrie, Anny Meyers Drysdale, Nancy Lopez, Leslie Visser, Dot Richardson, and Brandi Chastian.

A separate article discussed sports marketers and how their altering their pitches as more female fans tune into sports. That particular article along warrants another post from me. I’ll be back in just a moment with more. (so excited!)

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14-year-old Jaime Nared is making headlines across the country. So far, she’s been on ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN’s Headline News and featured in Thursday’s New York Times as well as big time sports blogs like The Bleacher Report. Why? Because she’s breaking barriers.

Gender barriers… in basketball.

The NY Times calls her “12 going on Candace Parker.” At 6 foot 1″, Nared is catching attention for her participation on Team Concept boys’ team in Portland, Oregon.

All was cool until a game back in April, when she scored 30 points. Suddenly, Jaime got a call from her coach who informed her that she was banned from planning on the team.

Interesting coincidence.

Apparently, Team Concept played in a league called Hoop, a private gym that runs the league that Team Concept plays in. All of a sudden, after her performance scoring 30 points, the league cited a previously unenforced rule against mixed-gender play.

Timing seems a little bit too perfect, doesn’t it?

Only problem now is the GIRLS don’t want her playing with them, either. Poor kid.

Girls teams don’t want her playing because she KILLS. Apparently, the last time she played against girls her age, the final score was 90-7. Her coach equated her participation with girls her age like Shaq playing on a high school team.

By forcing Jaime to play against girls her own age, she’s not getting any better.

The NY Times even says, “Playing with boys is a standard part of girls’ basketball training. Often it’s where talented girls can find the game best suited to their skills.”

So it is going to take some pushing.

It’s not surprising to me that there’s a strong-willed mom behind this effort.

When Jaime’s mother, Reiko Williams, heard that her daughter had been kicked off the boys’ team, she says she felt she needed to act. “I have three daughters,” she told the NY Times. “The world is going to give them pink and dolls. My two older daughters, Jackie and Jaime, want to play basketball. I feel it’s my job as a parent to help them be the best they can be at what they choose to do.”

After the league cut Jaime from the boys’ team, Jaimie’s mom called the Portland media. Then, a trail of media coverage and support followed.

When I read the NY Times article on Jaime last week, I sent it around to some of my blogger friends. One asked me whether I think Jaime should be allowed to compete with older girls or if she should compete against boys her age.

My answer..

Playing with the boys got her on Good Morning America.

I say stick with the boys.

Best of luck, Jaime!

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Only two things can get 150 U.S. Olympic stars in one city at one time: the actual Olympics, and, of course, the most powerful woman in the world: Oprah.

Oprah’s season premier couldn’t have been staged any better as she called for the country’s greatest athletes together for a “welcome home” celebration on her show in Chicago. Supposedly, the spectacle drew a crowd that stretched around nearly six city blocks.

Accourding to Pretty Tough, Oprah welcomed gold medalists Nastia Liukin, Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and members of the gold medal Women’s Basketball Team, cyclist Kristin Armstrong and fencer Mariel Zagunis. Also, silver medalist Jennie Finch & members of the Women’s Olympic Softball Team, the silver medal Women’s Water Polo Team, and more.

The show is said to air on Monday.

Check out this AP story for more information:

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The Women’s Sports Foundation is holding a poll/contest on their Web site to select two champion athletes (one team, one individual) for their Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Award winners will be announced on October 14, 2008, and honored at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Cast your vote by midnight, September 2, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of five items autographed by your favorite sportswomen.

The nominees for the “team” category are:
– Patty Cisneros
– Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova
– Sandra Kiriasis
– Jessica Mendoza
– Hannah Nielsen
– Candace Parker
– Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh
– Marta Vieira da Silva
– Hayley Wickenheiser
– Venus and Serena Williams

The nominees for the “individual” category are:
– Mao Asada
– Veronica Campbell-Brown
– Natalie Coughlin
-Ashley Fiolek
– Allison Fisher
– Yelena Isinbayeva
– Nastia Liukin
– Lorena Ochoa
– Lindsey Vonn
– Rebecca Ward

I guess I’m a fan of the Olympics (or that’s what’s on the top of my mind) because I voted for Misty-May Treanor for the “team” category and Nastia Liukin for the “individual” category. I know the contest is based on more than just Olympic performances, but I just couldn’t help myself.

I encourage everyone to vote!!!

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The wrath has been disclosed in response to Tuesday night’s mayhem fight in the WBNA.

Detroit Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn as well as 10 players were suspended for contributing to the fight that made headlines across the world. In total, four were ejected from the game on Tuesday night, and now eleven people received suspensions.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened (from ESPN): [Candace] Parker and [Plenette] Pierson got tangled up and fell to the court. Deanna Nolan tackled Parker and Mahorn appeared to push [Lisa] Leslie to the court. [Delisha] Milton-Jones responded by punching Mahorn in the back.

(The last part is my favorite!!!)

Plenette Pierson of the Shock was suspended for four games, the harshest penalty, for initiating and escalating the fight. Mahorn was suspended for two games, as were Shannon Bobbitt and Murriel Page of the Sparks. Sparks’ Candace Parker and DeLisha Milton-Jones, meanwhile, were banned one game each.

According to ESPN, here’s what the WNBA has to say about it:

“The WNBA and its players represent all that is good about sports: passion, hard work and sacrifice,” WNBA president Donna Orender said in a statement released by the league. “On a nightly basis our players display extraordinary skill, athleticism and competitive fire. The events Tuesday, however, were inexcusable and in no way indicative of what the league stands for. We hold our players to a very high standard and these suspensions should serve notice that the behavior exhibited at the end of Tuesday’s game will not be tolerated.”

Though I would never approve of the behavior exhibited the other night, I have to say, ladies – you did a great job of showing the world that you have aggression, a value that is coveted in the highly-popularized sports of our male counterparts.

Mahorn did an excellent job of making himself look like an asshole.

The disciplinary action is well-deserved for all.

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In a game last night between Detroit and Los Angeles, a fight broke out. It seems like there was a long of pushing and shoving, but it boiled down to Candace Parker of the LA Sparks and Plenette Pierson of Detroit Shock. The benches cleared on this one.

Well, this is one way we can draw fans and attention. (Not so sure if it’s the type of attention we want, though)

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Check out the size difference between ESPY winners Candace Parker and David Beckham. Parker was awarded “Best Female Athlete” and Beckham was awarded “Best Male Athlete.”

I thought this picture from a recent USA Today article was priceless. Special thanks to Rob Mars from Athletic Women Blog for calling attention to it.

I seriously wish that in the same article, they’d call attention to not only their physical differences, but also to the difference in the size of their wallets.

Candace Parker earns a base salary of $44,064 + endorsements (which aren’t much in the USA).

David Beckham earns $250 million (he signed a record $1 million-a-week five-year deal for MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy in January 2007), making him the highest paid athlete in North America.

Hmmmm…. do we see any difference in values here? We have a long way to go, ladies.

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