Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Owls' Four Freshmen

Wednesday afternoon, I took some time to stop by Rice University's Tudor Fieldhouse to get a glimpse of the newest Rice Owls: Jessica Goswitz, Lacey Neu, Zoe Rogers, and Opal Taskila in an "open gym" setting. These four young ladies will be freshmen on the 2009 - 2010 Rice women's basketball team.

"Open gym" is basically 5-on-5 scrimmages involving high school, current college and former college players. The games aren't very long nor are they very serious; but, they help the players get in shape; improve conditioning; develop team chemistry; etc.

Of the four freshmen, Jessica Goswitz is the only one who comes from outside of Texas. Jessica is from Knoxville, TN. She played ball at the Webb School in Knoxville; and, she was part of the 2007 team which won the Tennessee state championship. 

Lacey Neu is from Granbury HS in Granbury, TX. Zoe Rogers attended Bellaire HS (Bellaire, TX); and Opal Taskila graduated from Winnsoboro HS in Winnsboro, TX.

All four of them are taking a few summer classes (Public Speaking and a Sports Management class) to help get acclimated to the Rice University way of life.

While talking with them I learned that all four of them chose Rice because of "the academics". In fact, each of them said, "Rice is the best education I'll get."

Goswitz, 5'5", chose Rice over East Carolina and Tulane. "I took a visit the weekend after my visit to Rice; and, after that visit, I knew Rice would be my future home and this would be the right place."

Neu, 6'0", chose Rice over "Iowa State, SMU a little bit, a few other schools up North; but, I couldn't go up North. SMU was a little too close to home; but, I didn't want to get out of Texas."

Rogers, 6'1", picked Rice over "West Virginia, Georgetown, Miami, and some other ones; but, I picked Rice."

Taskila, 6'2", picked Rice over "SMU. UTSA, and UNT a little bit; but, mainly SMU".

I'll try to catch a few more "open gym" sessions this summer; and, I'll post more comments from them in the future.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Big 12 Leads Nation in Attendance

Big 12 women's basketball led the nation in attendace in 2008 - 2009 for the 10th straight season while reaching the one million mark for the fourth time in conference history. The Big 12 totaled an NCAA record 1,073,069 fans for an average of 5,312 fans per game.

Here's the NCAA press release and the attendance figures in more detail.

Tennessee led Division I women's basketball in attendance for the sixth straight season. National champs Connecticut ranked second. Iowa State and Oklahoma ranked third and fourth respectively.

For year-by-year women's basketball attendance, click here.
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Monday, June 01, 2009

SASS Offer Exclusive Houston Package

I've been asked by some people "Why should I support the WNBA? They took away my Comets!"

If you feel that way, I cannot change your mind; however, if you're a fan of the WNBA as a whole or you're a fan of the San Antonio Silver Stars and live in Houston, then allow me to pass on this information from the San Antonio Silver Stars. The SASS is offering an exclusive ticket package to Comets' fans.

Recently, the Stars sent an invitation to Comets' season ticket holders. I was forwarded the information and asked to share the information on my website.

Tuesday, June 9, representatives from the SASS will be in Houston at the Downtown Aquarium (410 Bagby Street) to discuss season ticket packages designed exclusively for Houstonians.

The deadline to RSVP has been extended to June 4.

The Silver Stars are hosting a Happy Hour at the Downtown Aquarium. Stop over and enjoy a complimentary drink with other Comets friends!

WHO: Comets' Fans, Silver Stars Front Office Staff
What: Galactic Happy Hour
When: Tuesday, June 9, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
Where: Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby St (Bagby @ Memorial)

Learn about Silver Stars Ticket Plans, designed exclusively for Houstonians.
Network with women's basketball fans.
Win Raffle prizes -- including a Becky Hammon autographed jersey and Sophia Young basketball.
Enjoy a complimentary beverage with a cash bar afterward.

RSVP (by June 4) to Ms. Alma Lara, Silver Stars sales representative: 1-210-444-5683.

Here's the flyer in .doc and .pdf.
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Mercury, LifeLock Break New Ground

The Women's National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury, and LifeLock announced a groundbreaking arrangement today as the Mercury and LifeLock have launched a multi-year partnership to launch the first-ever branded jersey in WNBA or NBA history.

As CNBC's Darren Rovell writes in this article, corporate logos already adorn NASCAR suits and shirts in Major League Soccer (MLS). Plus, corporate logos are worn on team uniforms throughout international leagues for basketball and non-American football (re: soccer).

I'm sure some purists will have problems with the Mercury and the WNBA "selling out"; however, as a supporter of women's basketball, I'm glad to see the arrangement made.

Reportedly, LifeLock's sponsorship is in the "seven figures" which should definitely help the Merc and the bottom line. Sponsorships are vital to any team's success; and, of course, fan attendance is also important.

According to this New York Times article, during this past offseason, the WNBA "authorized its teams to let companies place their names on players' jerseys as part of broad sponsorship agreements".

If that is indeed the case, I have to ask once again, why aren't the Houston Comets playing ball in Houston in 2009? Last fall, I was told a few different groups were willing to buy the Comets; and, this idea of jersey branding seems like an idea which would have been very interesting (and beneficial) to a new ownership group.

But I digress...

Today's partnership announcement between the Mercury and LifeLock is a first in the WNBA. I wonder how many of the other 12 WNBA teams will follow suit. 
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