Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reunited And It Feels So Good

After Stanford ended the Terps' season, it's quite possible that Maryland seniors Laura Harper and Crystal Langhorne wondered if they would ever play basketball together again. If so, the answer has come rather quickly.

On Friday, USA Basketball announced that Lang and Harp would "train and compete with" the Senior National Team (yes, the team from which our Olympic Team will be chosen) for the next couple of weeks. First, Lang and Harp head to Chicago for National Team training camp on April 13-15. Then it's on to China, where the National Team will play in the Good Luck Beijing Tournament from April 19-26 at the site of this summer's Olympic basketball games.

The schedule means that Lang will miss some of the Mystics' pre-season training camp. It's unfortunately pretty common, though, for many WNBA players to miss some or all of training camp, as they are finishing up their seasons in Europe and elsewhere. Quite frankly, from the BasketCases' perspective, Lang will be getting incomparable experience playing with such National Team members as Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith, and Swin Cash, not to mention from competing against some of the best players in the world, as Team USA takes on 2006 World Champion Australia and several other national teams in Beijing. Indeed, both Lang and Harp already have significant experience in international competition, most recently last summer when they won gold as members of the USA's U21 Team. Congratulations to Lang and Harp on being invited to play with the Senior National Team!

Seaking of reunions . . . The Mystics have signed former Terp/Purdue transfer Kalika France to a training camp contract. No guarantees that Kalika will actually make the Mystics' roster for the season, but this does mean that Kalika, who left Maryland for the Boilermakers after her junior year, has a chance to play again with Lang. And in a bit of trivia for Maryland fans . . . as we've heard the story, when Lang arrived on campus, she wanted to wear Number 24, but that number had already been taken by Kalika, then a sophomore. So Lang picked another number -- 1 -- and how appropriate that turned out to be!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases


At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense to Kalika, but i wish the Mystics had picked up Jade who I think could do some damage in the WNBA. I don't think people realize how strong she is; she is an excellent defender and a bit versatile in terms of having a mid-range game & playing with her back to the basket. But, I'm a terrible MD homer, so my opinion is perhaps skewed.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

We agree with you about Jade. We think she'd be great coming off the bench for a WNBA team, and hope someone invites her to training camp.

-- BC

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm in total agreement! She can bang, yet has a wonderfully soft touch. I'm a big fan of Jade! No offense to any of the women who were drafted, but I would take Jade over a great many of them.


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