Tag Archives: Basketball

OPINION: Noelle Quinn and the Importance of Black Women Coaches in the WNBA

by Maggie Mertens, contributing columnist


When Noelle Quinn was suddenly named the head coach of the Seattle Storm earlier this month after Dan Hughes’ retirement, it was historic. In a league where the vast majority of the players are Black women, Quinn is the first Black head coach for the Storm and brings the total number of Black women current head coaches in the WNBA up to two. Women coaches, and especially Black women coaches, are vastly underrepresented in professional sports. 

Since the WNBA began in 1997, there have been 86 head coaches. Forty-four have been women. When the league debuted with eight teams, six head coaches were women. In the years since, that percentage has gone down. At the beginning of the 2021 season, there were just four women head coaches in the WNBA out of 12 teams. Quinn’s appointment brings that tally up to five. Last year there were zero Black women head coaches in the WNBA. Quinn became just the 19th Black woman head coach in the league’s history.

Quinn noted in her first press conference after the announcement of her promotion that she felt the significance of that history. She listed off all of those 18 Black women head coaches who came before her: “You talk about Pokey Chatman, Teresa Edwards, Jennifer Gillom, Carolyn Jenkins, Vickie Johnson, Trudi Lacey, Cynthia Cooper, Cheryl Miller, Carolyn Peck, Julie Rousseau, Amber Stocks, Karleen Thompson, Shell Dailey, Jessie Kenlaw, Cathy Parson, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Denise Taylor, and Penny Toler,” Quinn said. “They crawled, so I can walk. I sit on those shoulders … For me, it’s important that I’m not just a woman — I’m a Black woman.”

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OPINION: Reflections on Insurrection — a Reason to Fear

by Glenn Nelson

Content Warning: This article contains strong language. 


A few decades back, I was in the heart of Mitch McConnell country — aka Kentucky. Being a longtime basketball writer, I was fascinated with that region’s love affair with the sport. Everyone in that particular, depressed coal-mining region was white and seemed to have a hoop, built mostly on dirt patches.

My hoops background was urban, so very concrete. Seeing a wooden backboard, set on a wooden plank, stuck in a clutch of dried mud in Middle-of-Nowhere, USA, was a wonder. I got out of my car for a closer look.

Some movement in the corner of my eye made me spin toward an adjoining shotgun shack — to spy a literal shotgun pointed at me.

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Basketball Pro Sterling Carter Returns to South Seattle as Head Coach of Cleveland High’s Boys Basketball Team

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Sterling Carter, the new head coach of Cleveland STEM High School Boys Basketball Team, is no stranger to Seattle’s Metro League; in fact, he’s a product of it. He attended Rainier Beach High School before transferring to Franklin High as a sophomore. As a senior, the point guard was part of the Quakers’ 2009 championship team. Carter played division one basketball at Seattle University and Purdue, then went on to play professionally in Germany from 2015–2016.  

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SIFF Presents Documentary on Prison Basketball Team at Ark Lodge

by Jacob Uitti

The new documentary, Q Ball, is the story of a group of incarcerated men hoping to find redemption through basketball. It screens as part of the Seattle International Film Festival at the Ark Lodge in Columbia City on Friday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. and at the SIFF Uptown theater in Queen Anne May 18 at noon and May 21 at 3:30 p.m.

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Rainier Beach High School Celebrates Winter Sports

by Susan Fried

The line for hotdogs, outside the Rainier Beach High School gym moved quickly as officers and employees from the Seattle Police department worked like a well-oiled machine distributing beverages, chips, and hotdogs to the students and members of the RBHS basketball as they celebrated placing in the Washington State High school basketball tournament. Foor was provided by Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, an initiative that uses a community-led, place-based approach to reducing violence that affects youth in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. The school held a Winter Sports Barbecue to honor the teams achievement and celebrate winter sports at the school. Students played some pick up basketball and enjoyed music and live radio shout outs from a DJ provided by KUBE 93.3.

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Franklin High School Welcomes Basketball Teams from Florida to Vancouver, B.C.

by Susan Fried

The Franklin High School gym floor echoed with the sounds of squeaky tennis shoes and basketballs being dribbled on the hardwood as 16 teams from four states and Canada participated in the 2018 High School Basketball Tournament of Champions at Franklin High School. The teams came from as far away as Miami, Florida. High School teams from all around the state of Washington also showed up for the tournament. Along with the host team from Franklin, Nathan Hale and Cleveland teams also participated.

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