Saturday's season opener for the St. Louis Surge featured new uniforms, new players and new aspirations. All three were put into play in the women's professional basketball franchise's 97-48 victory over Missouri Arch Angels at Harris Stowe State University. he first two on the aforementioned list are commonplace. All sports teams frequently alter their threads and the complexion of a roster's line-up switches each season. The third item on the docket, however, is something completely novel for the 2014 Women's Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) national champion that finished runner-up last year. The goal in 2016 is to reclaim the WBCBL trophy. A 38-point halftime lead set the tone in the Surge's 2-to-1 ratio triumph and early placement a top the WBCBL's Midwest Division hierarchy. 'It was all about the energy,' said Surge coach Tony Condra afterwards. 'We locked in on defense, but the energy and effort was definitely there.' 'I think we played pretty well for the opener of the season,' reflected veteran guard Rebecca Harris (5'9''-PG-86, college: Illinois). 'We were testing out a couple of things, but overall, I have no complaints.' The Surge sprinted out to an 8-0 lead that set pace. Launched by Harris' ten-foot jumper ten seconds in, Jaleesa Butler (6'2''-F-87, college: Georgetown) connected from twelve feet out at the 9:05 mark to push the lead to 4-0. Harris' lay-in continued the rally and Raven Berry (6'1''-F/C-88, college: SIU Edwardsville)'s pair of free throws finished the opening sequence that gave St. Louis a 8-0 lead with 7:25 left in the quarter. 'From Day One of practice, we've been working on playing fast,' said Condra of the Surge's opening rush. 'Get the ball out, transition, lock in and get in. It's on our game plan from here on out.' As the quarter progressed, the Surge newcomers made their debuts and quickly delivered. Michala Johnson (6'3''-F/C, agency: LBM Management)'s lay-in with 4:45 left stretched the score to 18-4 and she later added a three-foot jumper that extended the lead to 22-6 with 2:40 left. Denisha Womack (6'1''-F) contributed four points in the first frames' final minute, punctuated by a lay-in with :15 left, as the Surge possessed a 28-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. St. Louis started the second with five straight as Bianca Beck's three-pointer one minute in was followed by Harris' lay-in off a rebound at the 8:30 mark that widened the score to 33-9. Up 42-13 midway through the quarter, the Surge mounted a 14-3 run over the next five minutes that was highlighted by a trifecta of three-pointers. Harris' trey at 5:35 pushed St. Louis' advantage to 45-13. Late in the Surge's surge, Womack and newcomer Brittany Wilson hit back-to-back threes and the score blossomed to 56-16 with 1:25 left in the half. A 30-12 second quarter output gave St. Louis a 58-20 lead at intermission. In the second half, scoring considerably slowed down as the Surge was fouled often in the third frame. St. Louis notched eight straight from the charity stripe, paced by Shanity James (5'11''-F-93)' half-dozen, to push the Surge's advantage to 68-25 with 4:45 left in the quarter. To its credit, the Arch Angels found a little light offensively in the quarter thanks to buckets made by Mia Wesley, Nikki Lawrence, Chanel Ross (5'6''-G-83, college: Harris-Stowe St.) and Victoria Smith (5'11''-F) but the game's overall differential was widening. Heading into the fourth, St. Louis sported a 76-31 edge. In the final quarter, the Surge's starting five of Harris, Butler, Beck, Rochel and Berry maintained the pace and pushed the score to 82-39 following Butler's 12-foot jumper with 5:35 left. The contest's final minutes were highlighted by the Surge's 2016 debutantes that produced a 17-9 finish en route to St. Louis' 97-48 win. The five fresh faces in the line-up collectively scored 40 of the team's total points on the evening. 'The new additions fit in just fine with personality, basketball IQ and buying into the program,' Condra assessed. 'I think they are made for us,' added Harris. 'Right off the bat, they're good people and good characters that I like to be around. I look forward to getting to know them better and, hopefully, we'll be clicking on all cylinders.' With four players recording double-digits, Harris topped Surge scoring with 21 points followed by Womack's 14. St. Louis travels to the Cornhusker State next Saturday and faces the Nebraska Strikers (1-0) in WBCBL Midwest Division play. The Strikers netted a 97-86 win over divisional counterpart Iowa Force last night. Missouri Arch Angels, paced by Cierra Morgan's nine points, travels to Iowa next Saturday as both teams seek their first win of the season. Courtesy of: archcitysports.com
The Long Island Wave Organization has hand selected Kia Wright (5'8''-G-86, college: St.John's) as Associate Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel for the first year WBCBL team. Head Coach George Hampton said "there was no coaching search conducted for the position I knew exactly the person I wanted next to me in the war room directing player personnel decisions and on the side lines. I greatly appreciate President of Basketball Operations Ashley Gladden and General Manager Angela Jones... [read more]
The Long Island Wave Organization has hand selected Kia Wright (5'8''-G-86, college: St.John's) as Associate Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel for the first year WBCBL team. Head Coach George Hampton said "there was no coaching search conducted for the position I knew exactly the person I wanted next to me in the war room directing player personnel decisions and on the side lines. I greatly appreciate President of Basketball Operations Ashley Gladden and General Manager Angela Jones trusting me to make this decision. Kia Wright is a quality coach and outstanding person who will help us build this team the right way. Her ability to develop young point guards will be a major factor for the organization. At the end of this inaugural season Kia will take over the head coaching position with complete control to institute her own blueprint on coaching the Long Island Wave. I have 22 years of coaching experience in women's basketball and Kia Wright is a true champion, under Coach Wright's leadership the Wave is looking forward to a bright and successful future with the ability to compete at a high level and win WBCBL Championships,"said Coach Hampton.
Wright was born and raised in Copiague, N.Y.. At the age of seven, Kia Wright was the first girl to play and win championships in an all boys youth league in Copiague N.Y.. Kia's championships ways continued from there, she played AAU with the Long Island Wave and they were the first New York State AAU team to win a national championship. Wright also helped lead Copiague High School to its first Long Island championship in 2002 and its first NY State Championship in 2003. Wright finished her high school career scoring 2,148 points and a four time All-Long Island Selection.
Coach Wright signed a full scholarship out of high school with the University of Connecticut in 2003 "for me that says it's all about Kia Wright's leadership abilities, basketball skills, and knowledge of the game- the point guard position for women's basketball at the University of Connecticut is one of the top jobs in all of college sports," said Coach Hampton. Coach Wright transferred to St Johns University before the season started at UConn and from there she embarked on a stellar career. She led St.John's to its first NCAA tournament in 17 years. She was a four time All Big-East Selection, she's listed in the top 10 out of 11 statistical categories, and she is the only player in school history to finish with 1,500 points and over 400 assists. Because of these accomplishments Wright was inducted into St. John's University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
Kia's professional accomplishments include WNBA's NY Liberty training camp (2008), Puerto Rico (2009) and Croatia in (2011). After suffering a torn Achilles in 2012, just three days before a WNBA Free Agent Camp, Coach Wright turned her sights on training and coaching. In 2013, she was the Basketball League Director and Basketball Program Coordinator at Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC. She then began her collegiate coaching career at Adelphi University in 2014, where she helped lead the program to its first conference title in school history.
In Kia Wright's Words: "It is truly an honor to be an associate head coach with the Long Island Wave. The Wave created lasting memories in my childhood and I'm looking forward to beginning this new journey with the WBCBL"
Dallas Lady Diesel landed 27-year old guard Lyndsay Harris (175-90, college: Arkansas). She played recently at Hondar.-Irun in Spanish LFB league. Harris missed last season and had one year break from professional basketball. Harris received SEC All-Freshman Team award back in 2009 at her college time [read more]
Dallas Lady Diesel landed 27-year old guard Lyndsay Harris (175-90, college: Arkansas). She played recently at Hondar.-Irun in Spanish LFB league. Harris missed last season and had one year break from professional basketball. Harris received SEC All-Freshman Team award back in 2009 at her college time. Harris graduated from University of Arkansas in 2012 and it is her fifth season in pro basketball.
San Diego's newest professional sports team is the San Diego Sprint of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League, WBCBL, America's foremost professional development league for women's professional basketball, with over 45 teams nationwide. The Western Division also includes teams in Anaheim, Oakland, Las Vegas and Tucson with regular season games running from early May to mid-July, when playoffs start. Sprint founders include Tyrone Shelley, Head Coach who also plays professional basketball... [read more]
San Diego's newest professional sports team is the San Diego Sprint of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League, WBCBL, America's foremost professional development league for women's professional basketball, with over 45 teams nationwide. The Western Division also includes teams in Anaheim, Oakland, Las Vegas and Tucson with regular season games running from early May to mid-July, when playoffs start. Sprint founders include Tyrone Shelley, Head Coach who also plays professional basketball for the San Diego Surf and Ross Kurland, General Manager, also owns the San Diego Surf of the ABA. Shelley has had a well know basketball career at San Diego Christian and Crawford high schools, San Diego State University and as an All American at both D-1 colleges; Pepperdine University and Georgetown College in Kentucky. Kurland has owned small businesses in San Diego for over 40 years. The goal of the Sprint team is to provide entertaining professional women's basketball for the San Diego community while providing a platform for aspiring young female athletes to continue their basketball careers overseas or in the WNBA. Contact the Sprint at: Admin@SanDiegoSprint.com
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