Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Guru Returns To The Orange State

By Mel Greenberg

Guru Returns To The Orange State


By Mel Greenberg

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Greetings from the land of the Vols where apparently the sun still comes up in spite of how the season ended for Pat Summitt and her charges in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Guru actually made the drive for the first time in history down here for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in a few hours. All the highlights will be here at some point in the ensuing hours.

Catching up will also done off the Dawn Staley Foundation black tie gala back in Philadelphia and a visit to Summitt's camp several days which was being attended by young Iraqi women.

Those who have visited here in the past will be pleased to note that the city of Knoxville and state of Tennessee honored the Guru upon his return to the scene of his own induction two years ago by finally re-opening the I-40 interchange near the Marriott Hotel and the Hall.

The Guru has already done Litton's for hamubrgers and Calhoun's for ribs.

Quick tidbits off Friday's interview session, Jennifer Azzi, the former Stanford and Olympic star, found it coincidental that her table was near a wall featuring American Basketball League memorabilia, especially the logo for the San Jose team she played for before moving on to the WNBA.

Former Louisiana Tech coach Sonja Hogg had a bunch of stories at the evening session. Many former Techsters are here including current coach and former star Teresa Weatherspoon who arrived a short time ago.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke had a few entertaining things, including crediting current Ohio State coach Jim Foster with helping her with her foul shooting when he was an assistant on the 1992 squad coached by Theresa Grentz.

There was also a tale of how Cooper-Dyke once convinced communist soldiers to let her try shooting a machine gun during a visit to Vietnam.

 In lobby conversations, it was learned Delaware newcomer Elena Delle Donne's name will now resume on a USA basketball watch list off her return to the sport, which has no long-range implications at this time. They just like to keep track of all potential talent for the future.

That's it for now.

                                                     Another Newspaper Victim

    The Guru would just like to note that the ongoing downsizing of newspapers claimed another Assoicated Press voter and women's beat writer earlier in the week when the Bergen Record let go Aditi Kinkhabwala, the Rutgers overall beat writer, on three days notice given Wednesday because of a deal to share content with the Newark Star-Ledger.

   Though Aditi may be gone from that publication, the Guru has added her name to a special, but unfortunately growing, list of refugees on the sidelines for a project or two in the near future of which they will be helpful.

   But for now, she'll be missed in the postgame media room for our part of coverage of coach C. Vivian Stringer's team.

  -- later


Inquirer Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Mel Greenberg covers college and pro women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked for 38 years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Click here for Mel's list of All-Decade players from Philadelphia-area schools.

Other contributors

Jonathan Tannenwald is a producer with Philly.com. In addition to covering the local college scene, he spent two years as the Washington Mystics beat writer for Women's Hoops Guru. He also writes his own blog, Soft Pretzel Logic, which covers men's college basketball, football, and other sports.

Kathleen Radebaugh is a recent graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She covered women's basketball for the school's newspaper, The Hawk, and served as sports editor her sophomore year. She was also a four-year member of the varsity crew team.

Erin Semagin Damio covers the University of Connecticut and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun for the blog, and contributes other features. The Storrs, Conn., native also attends Northeastern University, where she is a coxswain on the varsity crew team.

Acacia O'Connor is based in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the Mystics and the college basketball scene in the nation's capital. A graduate of Vassar college, she played on the varsity women's basketball team and was editor of the student newspaper.

Click on any of the contributors' names above to e-mail them.

Reach Mel at poll416@gmail.com.

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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