Tuesday, June 07, 2011

WNBA Season Begins as European Women's Season Wraps Up

Three former Terps are playing in the WNBA this summer: Marissa Coleman (2005-09) and Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) with the Washington Mystics, and Kristi Toliver (2005-09) for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Many women spend the summers playing in the WNBA, but then spend the WNBA off-season, known to the rest of the world as "basketball season", playing overseas.

This winter, Crystal Langhorne played for Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg. UMMC lost in the Women's Euroleague Final Four (but won the third place game), then bounced back to win the Russian league championship. UMMC did not lose in the Russian league all season: they were undefeated 18-0 in the regular season, then won their three playoff series 2-0, 2-0, and 3-0.

Marissa Coleman played for Hungary's MKB Euroleasing Sopron, which won the Hungarian Women's Championship after finishing second in the regular season. MKB played in the women's Euroleague competition, but lost in the round of 16.

Kristi Toliver played for Turkey's Samsun Basketbol, which finished 7th in the regular season and then lost in the quarterfinals of its league tournament.

Shay Doron (2003-07) no longer plays in the WNBA, but she played for Israel's Elitzur Ramla this year, leading her team to the Eurocup Championship, the Israeli State Cup, and the Israeli League Championship. The team finished first in the Israeli regular season as well, going 17-1. In this interview (from her own official site), Shay talked about her team's record-setting season and her career.

Lori Bjork (2009-10) played for Romania's Satu Mare this winter, where she was selected for the league's All-Star game (translation). Satu Mare finished the regular season in first place, but lost in the finals of the Romanian League Championship.

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