Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Boy, someone must have really ticked off Glenn Nelson of HoopGurlz: Snub sparks questions about process
If the oversight weren't so obvious, the exclusion of Moriah Jefferson from USA Basketball's teen-years national teams would not be a damning, final-straw piece of evidence that this country's basketball governing body does not have its act together with regard to the selection of women's candidates or players, not to mention determining its role in the development of said players.

USA Basketball selection committees almost are legendary for sending messages to player pools. In this case, the dispatch is confounding: If you nearly made the team one year on one leg, pick yourself off the floor, and come back the next and reveal yourself to be one of the nation's truly luminary, young basketball products, that still isn't enough.

If there is a puzzle into which a player such as Jefferson, the hyper-kenetic, ultra-creative point guard from Glenn Heights, Texas, does not fit, then USA Basketball should reveal that puzzle, not make everyone assume its composition by revealing only the other pieces. Does USA Basketball have a blueprint for what constitutes the "American style" of hoops? If so, why keep it such a secret?

Here are some quick thoughts in response to Glenn:

1) He makes a lot of accusations in the form of questions... and doesn't really have any practical answers.

2) If he wants to accuse the Committee of hamstringing USA basketball, he needs to back it up with evidence. Make a list of players on the team that are clearly there because a coach or AAU club wants the "cred."

And if you want to talk "agenda" -- what kind of "agenda" would a ranking service have?

3) If he's wondering who's beating the bushes for the next best thing, ask the college coaches about how much time and money they spend on recruiting.

4) Obviously, he believes that his crew evaluated the on court performance of the athletes and "Chose the best." And he feels that the Committees choices were wrong and the Committee was biased or incompetent.

Could it be, possibly, that he simply doesn't understand there's more to being a USA player than what you do on the court? Was he watching the players in the dorms? On the bus? In meetings? Does he have the whole picture?

And why on earth would the Committee share their "evaluation cards" with the media? So that they can embarrass a player by printing they were seen as "headstrong and selfish"?

5) Coaches and players and parents ALWAYS grumble. Sure, repeat the "I'm scared to voice my issues because I'll get snubbed in the future" line. That's a friggin' cop out. If you whine and complain, that's one thing. If you honestly ask for information and an evaluation, that's another thing.

It's like the difference between a player or coach who complains and bad mouths the refs v. the one who is smart enough to ask "What is she doing wrong so I can fix it."? One is all about ego. The other is all about working through their ego to better themselves and the game.