Three more reasons to follow WNBA

Such good people, Asia Taylor, Antonita Slaughter and Shoni Schimmel, deserving of being drafted into the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Shoni, of course, was drafted eighth by the Atlanta Dream, joining former Angel McCoughtry, a former University of Louisville All-American. Antonita was drafted 35th by the Los Angeles Sparks, while Asia was selected 36th by the Minnesota Lynx.

When last seen, they were headed to the strength room, preparing for the next level. Louisville was the only team to have three players picked during the draft this year. Take that UConn.


Shoni Schimmel’s arm is okay, and she’s the 3-point champ

shoni-schimmel-3-pointOn Tuesday, Shoni Schimmel was nursing her right arm, yes, her shooting arm, during the closing minutes of the NCAA Elite Eight game against Maryland. But she would still hit three out of four three-point attempts during the last 30 seconds to get the University of Louisville back in the game, her fourth shot a little long at the buzzer.

Whether the arm was bothering her or not, she was back at the top of her game Thursday in the three-point shooting competition at the ECHO Battle of the Champions in Dallas.

Shoni would win overall honors against her male counterpart, Brady Heslip, in the championship, connecting on 18 of 25 three-point attempts. In the women’s competition, she outshot Tricia Liston of Duke, 24-22.

Add another one to a long list of great Shoni memories.

Shoni Schimmel didn’t want it to end, ever

Shoni Schimmel for two over Maryland's Katie Rutan.
Shoni Schimmel for two over Maryland’s Katie Rutan.

So close that last three-point shot by Shoni Schimmel that could have sent the game into overtime, providing a second chance for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team to get back to the NCAA Final Four.

Shoni didn’t want her career to be over, having just connected on another three-pointer to pull UofL with three points with 2.5 seconds remaining.  Her team had mounted a furious rally, almost overcoming a 12-point deficit with two minutes in the game.

Schimmel would play the entire 40 minutes, savoring every minute of her last game, scoring 31 points while making four assists, five rebounds and five steals.  Her last shot at UofL would rise high in the air and downward, bounding off the rim, giving Maryland a 76-73 win.

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Shoni Schimmel vs. Alyssa Thomas in Elite 8

two all-americansTwo All Americans will square off against each other Tuesday when the University of Louisville and Maryland women’s basketball teams square off in the Elite Eight game of the 2014 NCAA tournament, fighting for the right to go to the Final Four in Nashville.

Shoni Schimmel, of UofL, Alyssa Thomas, of Maryland, were both named Monday to this year’s first team All-American team by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Schimmel, a 5-foot-9 senior, has averaged 17.1 points per game while making 142 assists, 44 steals, 4.5 rebounds, and 89 turnovers this season.

Thomas, meanwhile, has scored 19.1 points per game while making 140 assists, 50 steals, 11 rebounds and 81 turnovers. She’s a 6-foot-2 senior forward.

UofL enters the game with a 33-4 won-lost record. Maryland is 27-6.

Other first team All Americans were Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart, of UConn; Jewell Loyd and Kayla McBride, of Notre Dame; Maggie Lucas, Penn State; Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; and Odyssey Sims, Baylor.

Happy people at UofL

Give someone a camera and plenty of access at the University of Louisville and he will find lots of happy people for a six-minute video.

Watch for cameo appearances by Russ Smith, Shoni Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter, Tia Gibbs, even Mark Hebert, director of media relations.  The one who steals the show, however, is President Jim Ramsey.