Women’s Hoops In The Outdoors

By Richard Kent
Updated: July 23, 2008

NEW YORK — The United States Tennis Center was packed last Saturday night. Ready for action. But a full month before the U.S. Open. Instead it was professional basketball on the court — the basketball court.

It was the actual Madison Square Garden floor brought to Flushing. No easy task. The game was between Indiana and New York. It was the first of its kind in the professional world.

In women’s college basketball, Tennessee had played Arizona State at Bank One Ballpark in the past. Guess who participated in both games? Probably the best player in the world, Tamika Catchings.

And she was the star of this game leading Indiana on to victory and .500 on the season. Catchings will be playing for the United States in the Olympics next month. She will star along with Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker.

There is much depth on this year’s team.

Catchings is thrilled to be playing for the United States. She admitted that she is finally healthy after a long bout with injuries. She sees Australia as a major challenge to the United States for the Gold with many other countires who have players who have been playing together for years to contend with.

Most of the players in the game were blown away by the very palatial locker rooms at the Open facility. The WNBA will take a one-month hiatus so that the top players in the world can play in the Olympics.

They will resume play in late August and continue on later into September than in the past. Many foreign players dot the rosters of the WNBA and some United States players will actually be playing for foreign countries in the Olympics.

With Catchings at the helm look for the United States to contend for and probably win the Gold.