By David Siegel
So is anyone else going through withdrawal with no women’s basketball games to watch on television?
It is that unfortunate time in between the end of the college season and the beginning of the WNBA season, so what is there to talk about?
Plenty! We have two great interviews for you to enjoy this week.
It was during the Final Four that USA Basketball announced eleven of the twelve members of the USA Senior National team for the Olympics in London this summer. So, it seems like a good time to talk to Carol Callan, USA Basketball’s Women’s National Team Director.
Callan has been with USA Basketball for over twenty years, and assumed her position in 1996 after overseeing all facets of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team that posted a perfect record and earn the gold medal. As team director, according to USA Basketball’s website, “Callan is responsible for all USA Basketball women’s team programs, including competitions, trials, training camps, and serves as a liaison to women’s competition committees.”
Who better to answer some of the questions I have been asked regarding the Olympic team? Some of the topics discussed include why the final roster was selected this early (final roster is not due until June) and why only eleven players, the timetable to choose the final player, the factors that go into picking a roster, the role of the head coach in selection and how the head coach is chosen, including the professional versus college coach aspect. Callan also took the time to explain the selection process and who does the selection.
After that, it is time to look at the WNBA Draft, to be held Monday, April 16.
Other than top pick Nneka Ogwumike, this draft may be the most difficult to project in recent memory. So I am not even going to try, I will leave the mock draft to the other “experts” out there.
Instead, have you ever wondered what it is like for the less famous draftees – those fourteen players invited to the event not named Maya or Nneka?
The Indiana Fever selected Jeanette Pohlen from Stanford with the number nine pick last year. The WNBA draft experience is something that Pohlen will always remember, and she was nice enough to reflect back on the events with me.
Pohlen’s situation was compounded by an ankle injury that happened literally in the final seconds of her final college game, so she had the additional uncertainty of whether that would impact the thoughts of WNBA teams. We talked about everything from those final college moments, to the gathering and connecting with the other prospective rookies. We discussed the educational seminars, the introduction to WNBA Cares, and that fateful day when they all gathered in the green room to wait for their name to be announced. Finally, Pohlen talked about adjusting to life as a professional.
We have an informative Dishin & Swishin this week, one that will answer questions and give you more to think about!