If you’ve spent the past week celebrating the 2023 WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces, catch up on the women’s basketball news you might have missed:
Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese headline preseason All-Americans
Iowa’s Caitlin Clark unanimously was selected to the AP’s preseason All-America team, receiving 36 of 36 votes from a panel of national media voters. It’s the second-straight season that Clark has earned a unanimous nomination and her third time as a preseason All-American. LSU’s Angel Reese was one vote shy of a unanimous selection, earning 35 votes.
Rest in peace, Tasha Butts
The women’s basketball world has lost another guiding light. Georgetown head coach Tasha Butts, who had stepped away from her team before her first season with the Hoyas, lost her battle with breast cancer last Monday.
Her death due to cancer comes too soon after that of another Tennessee Lady Vol legend, Nikki McCray-Penson. Last Sunday, Oct. 22, South Carolina and Rutgers held an exhibition game celebrating McCray-Penson’s life and raising money for In the Middle, a non-profit that supports women and families impacted by breast cancer. On Nov. 4, a celebration of life will be held for Butts in her hometown of Milledgeville, GA.
“Our program is heartbroken to lose a member of our Lady Vol sisterhood much, much too soon.” — Kellie Harper
Mourning the loss of LVFL Tasha Butts
— Lady Vols Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) October 23, 2023
Overtime establishes girls basketball league
Overtime, the social media platform turned basketball prospect incubator, has expanded into girls basketball with Overtime Select, a four-week league for elite players that will debut in the summer of 2024 at OTE Arena in Atlanta, GA. Highly-touted high school players who will participate include the top two prospects in the class of 2025, No. 1 Aaliyah Chavez of Lubbock, TX and No. 2 Jazzy Davidson of Clackamas, OR. Also from the class of 2025, twin sisters Mia and Mya Pauldo of Denville, NJ, ranked No. 7 and No. 24, respectively, are slated to participate. Jenica Lewis, the No. 23 prospect in the class of 2026, also has committed.
Breanna Stewart, Zia Cooke, Kahleah Copper, Flau’jae Johnson, Haley Jones, Paige Bueckers and retired WNBA legend Seimone Augustus have signed on as advisors for Overtime Select, a new league for elite girls high school players.https://t.co/y0hVMAT4qW
— ESPN Women’s Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) October 23, 2023
These prospects will be joined by others, forming an eight-team league that will compete in a regular season, playoffs and finals. A “Takeover Weekend” also has been planned, with an All-Star game, “Queen of the Court” competition and 3-point contest.
Professional and collegiate players will serve as mentors, including Breanna Stewart, Kahleah Copper, Haley Jones, Zia Cooke, Paige Bueckers and Flau’jae Johnson. WNBA legend Seimone Augustus also is involved with the initiative. Recently, Jones spoke to the Pauldo twins about the opportunity on her podcast, “Sometimes I Hoop.”
BG wins Seasonlong WNBA Cares Community Assist Award
Congratulations to Brittney Griner, winner of the Seasonlong WNBA Cares Community Assist Award. The winner of the monthly award for June, Griner continued her work in Phoenix, again organizing her Heart and Sole Shoe Drive, and with families of wrongful detainees, partnering with Bring Our Families Home. Last season, teammate Brianna Turner received the season-long honor.
Everything she does is done with kindness, love and compassion
The Seasonlong WNBA Cares Community Assist Award Recipient: Brittney Griner. pic.twitter.com/DOBEfbtLLU
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) October 27, 2023
On the award, Griner shared:
I’m grateful to receive this recognition from the WNBA but even more grateful to the X-Factor fans, fans all around the league, and our Phoenix Mercury organization for working together this year to make a difference through my Heart and Sole Shoe Drive and Bring Our Families Home. I know the opportunity, privilege and responsibility I have to make a difference in the lives of others, and I’ll always remain committed to that.
Listen to Natasha Cloud
Thanks to Natasha Cloud for always using her platform to fight for freedom and humanity.