Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Saturday, January 16, 2010

From Kevin Armstrong at the New York Times, a fine piece on two rivals: The Fire and the Focus of the Ivy League.
Kathy Delaney-Smith, the coach of the Harvard women’s basketball team, learned that she had breast cancer in December 1999, but she did not go public with the news until a month later. After a victory over Dartmouth, she let the news slip in a postgame interview.

“I thought I was going to be so strong and do it on my own,” Delaney-Smith said, “but questions kept coming up about why I shook hands with my left.”

Support poured in from other coaches. One card, in particular, stood out. It came from Chris Wielgus, Delaney-Smith’s archrival at Dartmouth. Delaney-Smith had been a synchronized swimmer in college. To blend her past and present in a get-well message, Wielgus, a former basketball player, dressed up in a shark hat, bathing suit and garland scarf and attempted ballet poses in the pool for a photo.

“I just told her I wish I had the same start as she had,” Wielgus said, sitting in her office one day last week. “And I prayed I wouldn’t drown lifting my leg.”

Delaney-Smith responded: “Get a life, Chris. Horrible form.”