(Guru's Note: WNBA coverage resumes Sunday night as regular season ends. On Saturday night, Washington grabbed the last playoff spot in the East and overall with a win at home over Atlanta. Had the Mystics not made the postseason it would have been the first time in the history of the East that a team along the Middle Atlantic/Northeast Seaboard (Connecticut, New York, Washington) not qualified.
By Mel Greenberg
Returning from Springfield, Mass., and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductions the last few days, the Guru found some emails that either didn't forward to his blackberry or he overlooked in the crush of daily local college results in all sports that hit his Inquirer account.
But first, the Guru received notice late Saturday afternoon that a tribute planned Thursday night for Hall of Fame coaches John Chaney, the retired mentor who was at Cheyney and Temple, and Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer, who was inducted Friday night, has been cancelled.
The event, at $75 per person, minimally, in West Philadelphia near Penn and Drexel to benefit several scholarship programs, was called off due to current economic conditions in the nation. Monies already donated will be returned.
No further elaboration was given other than notice will be given for planned future tributes.
Stringer's Scarlet Knights will visit Villanova here on Saturdaty, Feb. 13, as part of the Big East women's schedule released last week.
Temple visits Rutgers on Dec. 2.
Meanwhile, the following was contained in an email from the office of United States senator Robert Menendez (D.,, N.J.)
WASHINGTON – As Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer is inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame tonight, below is the official statement U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has submitted into the Congressional Record in her honor. Menendez announced that he would be submitting these official remarks upon Stringer’s nomination to the Hall of Fame in April, and he will deliver to Stringer a printed version of them. Menendez is an alumnus of Rutgers Law School.
The following is text of the statement:
Mr. MENENDEZ. M. President, I rise to extend my congratulations to C. Vivian Stringer for her induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It is a proper tribute for such a distinguished and celebrated career. This is certainly an incredible honor which stands tall, even amongst her other considerable accolades.
The success that Vivian Stringer has achieved in her 38 year coaching career, including the last fourteen at Rutgers University, speaks for itself: 825 victories; 30 seasons of twenty or more wins; 22 NCAA Tournament appearances; four Final Fours with three different programs; Olympic Gold as an assistant coach with the 2004 U.S. Women’s Basketball team. Her commitment to excellence is unsurpassed and lauded by peers and supporters alike.
Most importantly, Vivian Stringer has served, above all else, as a teacher to each of her players. Her dedication to education beyond the court is clear, as her players traditionally graduate on par with their non-athlete classmates. The students who have walked into her program walk out of it as strong and dignified women, each ready to continue the legacy of achievement that Vivian Stringer has set before them, whatever the arena. Two years ago, Vivian Stringer’s leadership was on display as the Lady Scarlet Knights, in the face of adversity and slander, served as shining examples of exceptional poise and grace.
This 2009 Hall of Fame Class is indeed one of the most distinguished in memory, and it is fitting that Vivian Stringer enters alongside other luminaries that share her caliber of achievement. I applaud Vivian Stringer’s service to Rutgers University, the entire basketball community, and the great State of New Jersey. I wish her luck as she continues her career and in all of her other future endeavors.
Quirk of History
When John Chaney was unable to arrive Friday to be Stringer's presenter at the induction due to a cancelled flight, it put her on the other side of an experience she had several years ago.
Those of you who followed the Guru's induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in June, 20007, may remember the Guru chose Stringer to represent the coaching category at his ceremonies.
However, a major airline mess that weekend in the Northeast had caused a slew of flights to be grounded, which is known to have cost his longtime friend a few pennies as she scrambled trying everything imaginable to get there.
Just as Stringer quickly went to Hall of Famers Ann Meyers and Lynette Woodard Friday night, the Guru that afternoon appointed former Atlantic Ten commissioner Linda Bruno, who had come down, as a replacement.
Incidentally, after Friday night's ceremonies when Stringer was greeting well-wishers afterwards at the reception at the Hall, by concidence she was standing right under a contributor-style column-length plaque that had Big East rival-coach Geno Auriemma's picture at the top of the list of contributors. Plaques of several other Hall of Fame inductees were along the same wall.
It made for a few interesting moments of humor, however, when it was noticed several persons attempting to have their picture taken with Stringer realized he would be in the background.
Teresa Edwards To Speak To New York Students
For Guru readers in Gotham, the following was reeived from Chris Gonzalez of the CUNY system about a visit from former Georgia star Teresa Edwards, who also played in the WNBA and former ABL, and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June.
The City University of New York Athletic Conference has confirmed the guest speakers at the 2009 Student-Athlete Leadership Seminar on September 14, 2009, at Hunter College in Manhattan. Headlining the speakers will be four-time Olympic gold medal winner Teresa Edwards.The event begins at 5 p.m.
Edwards will open the seminar by addressing the over 300 student-athletes, coaches and administrators that will convene. The seminar, open to all student-athletes from the fifteen CUNY Athletic Conference schools, is designed to inform and educate student-athletes in the areas of both personal and inter-personal skills.
“Teresa Edwards epitomizes reaching the top of your chosen field with class, and that’s what we want to impart on our student-athletes,” said CUNY Athletic Conference Commissioner Zak Ivkovic. “We are thrilled to have someone as special, with her five Olympic medals, to serve as a role-model for our students.”
Edwards, a two-time All-American women’s basketball player at the University of Georgia, is the first basketball player to have played in five Olympics. In 1996, the Women's Sports Foundation named her Sportswoman of the Year in the team category, and in 2000, Sports Illustrated magazine placed her 22nd on its list of the "100 Greatest Female Athletes of the 20th Century". In August, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame.
The Auriemma-Hartford Courant Flap
No, this isn't about a set-to between Connecticut's largest newspaper and Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma of UConn, who has won six NCAA titles and will head the next Olympic squad in London in 2012.
Last week it was reported that one of Auriemma's daughters, Alyssa, who has graduated college, had been hired at $125 per article to do a monthly behind-the-scenes blog for the Courant in the wake of her highly entertaining and extremely well-written blog she began writing last spring as the Huskies made their run to an unbeaten season culiminated in the NCAA championship.
Since the announcement, it was reported that the decision is being re-thought after criticism from journalists elsewhere and an ethics person.
The Guru would just like to note that right before the NCAA tournament in 2008 the Associated Press, without pay due to many obvious considerations, signed up several star players from various teams to offer similar content during the drive for the national title.
The offerings were so well received that the practice continued throughout last season.
Coaches have written blogs for ESPN, also, while it's possible players are engaging in similar practice in their respective local newspapers.