Rebecca Rose Lobo-Rushin is an American television basketball analyst and former women's basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association from 1997 to 2003. Lobo, at 6'4", played the center position for much of her career. Lobo played college basketball at the University of Connecticut, where she was a member of the team that won the 1995 national championship, going 35–0 on the season in the process. In April 2017, she was announced as one of the members of the 2017 class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, alongside Tracy McGrady and Muffet McGraw. Lobo was born in Hartford, the youngest daughter of RuthAnn and Dennis Joseph Lobo, her father is of Cuban descent, while her mother was of Irish heritage. Lobo was raised a Catholic, her brother Jason played basketball at Dartmouth College and her sister Rachel played basketball at Salem State College. Both her parents were teachers. Raised in Southwick, Lobo was the state scoring record-holder with 2,740 points in her high school career for Southwick-Tolland Regional High School in Massachusetts.
She held this record for 18 years until it was eclipsed by Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir of the new Leadership Charter School in Springfield on January 26, 2009. More than 100 colleges recruited Lobo, but she chose the University of Connecticut due to proximity and her belief in its academic excellence, she helped lead the Huskies to the 1995 National Championship with an undefeated 35-0 record. In her senior year, Lobo was the unanimous national player of the year, winning the 1995 Naismith College Player of the Year award, the Wade Trophy, the AP Player of the Year award, the USBWA Player of the Year award, the Honda Sports Award for basketball, the WBCA Player of the Year award. Lobo was awarded the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup for 1994-95, presented to the athlete "most deserving of recognition as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year", she was a member of the inaugural class of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program. Lobo was named the 1995 Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation.
Lobo was the first player in the Big East Conference to earn first team all American honors for both basketball and academics. Lobo was named to the USA U18 team in 1992; the team competed in Guanajuato, Mexico in August 1992. The team won their first four games lost 80–70 to Brazil, finishing with the silver medal for the event, but qualifying for the 1993 world games. Lobo averaged 6.8 points per game during the event. Lobo continued with the team to the 1993 U19 World Championship; the team won five games and lost two. Lobo recorded six blocks, highest on the team. In 1995 Lobo passed through tryouts to join the national team, which became the US team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA. Though her minutes on the floor were few, Lobo shared in the gold medal. In 1997, the WNBA was formed and enjoyed its inaugural season, Lobo was assigned to the New York Liberty during the league's first player allocations on January 22, 1997; the first season the Liberty fell to the Houston Comets in the WNBA Finals.
Lobo suffered a setback in 1999, tearing her left anterior cruciate ligament and her meniscus in the first game of the season. In 1999, she was selected to the inaugural WNBA All Star team but could not play because of the injury. In 2002, she was traded to the Houston Comets in exchange for Houston’s second-round selection in the 2002 WNBA Draft; the next season she was traded to the Connecticut Sun, where she retired in 2003. Lobo played two seasons in the National Women's Basketball league with the Springfield Spirit 2002 through 2003. Today, Lobo is a reporter and color analyst for ESPN with a focus on women's college basketball and WNBA games. Lobo was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2010. At the induction ceremony, Lobo was introduced by her college coach, Geno Auriemma who said, in part: No one in all the years that I’ve been there, has had the impact on the court and off the court, that Rebecca has had and has continued both in the WNBA, as being one of the founders, both as a representative of our university, as a member of the board of trustees, continuing to promote the game on ESPN, all the other things that Rebecca has done to further the role model that she is, for all the young people that looked up to her, emulated what she has always been, a great student, a great athlete, a great person, someone that I’ve cherished to have had the opportunity to work with, to call my friend, now to call my boss.
Lobo talked about seeing the exhibit of the All American Red Heads team. She talked about the influence of her grandmothers on her life, her parents, others who helped her with her career, she related an anecdote about her daughter, epitomizing how things have changed for women in the sports world: But two years ago, a year and a half ago, my oldest daughter, 4 ½, my husband was watching UConn men, playing on the television in the living room, my daughter walked in the room and looked at the TV and said to Steve, "Are those boys playing?" And I said, "yes". And my daughter said, "I didn’t know boys played basketball". On April 12, 2003, Rebecca changed her last name from Lobo to Lobo-Rushin after marrying Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, they have four children. In Steve Rushin's word
Heather Cox is an American sportscaster, a sports reporter for NBC. As Heather Schoeny, she played college volleyball at University of the Pacific. Cox attended Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, CA, was a star player on both the basketball and volleyball teams there. Repeated injuries led her to choose volleyball as her collegiate sport. Cox's collegiate athletic career included four years on the University of the Pacific women's volleyball team, serving as team captain on a team, ranked in the top five nationally from 1988 to 1991, reached the Final Four and was a national championship runner-up in 1990. Cox graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in communications in 1992, she was a member of the United States National Volleyball Team from 1987 to 1995 and competed at the United States Olympic Festival in 1990. Cox played professional volleyball in the National Volleyball Association as team captain of the Sacramento Stars. From 1994-2016, Cox served as a reporter for ABC Sports and ESPN's coverage of the NBA on ESPN, NBA on ABC, college football on ABC, college football on ESPN, NCAA basketball on ESPN, NCAA basketball on ABC, the WNBA and professional volleyball.
Beginning in 1994, she served as the analyst for ESPN's coverage of the men's and women's NCAA Volleyball Championships and women's NCAA basketball. In 2012, Cox was named as Erin Andrews's replacement on ABC's Saturday Night College Football Game of the Week. Cox began her broadcast career as a basketball analyst for Fox Sports Net in 1993 and covered college football, professional basketball and volleyball during her tenure at Fox Sports Net. Cox worked as a columnist for the Pac-10 Conference, writing a weekly national volleyball column in 2000. From 1999 to 2000, she served as a reporter on Running with the Pac magazine show. Cox has worked for CBS Sports, reporting on the men's NCAA basketball tournament and auto racing, as an analyst on its women's college basketball coverage, she served as an analyst and reporter for the 1998 and 2001 Goodwill Games for Turner Sports. In 2002, she reported on the NBA Playoffs, she served as analyst for Oxygen media network's coverage of the WNBA. She served as a reporter for Olympic qualifying volleyball on the Oxygen media network.
Cox is the recipient of the 2004 USA Volleyball E. Douglas Boyden Media Recognition Award. From 2003 until its end, Cox served as a reporter on NBC's AVP pro beach volleyball coverage, she made her NBC Olympic debut reporting from both the volleyball and beach volleyball competitions at the 2004 Athens Games. Cox returned to NBC Sports for Olympic assignments as beach volleyball reporter in 2008 and 2012. During the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Cox served as a poolside reporter for American paralympic broadcaster NBCSN during the swimming competitions at the Paralympics. Cox works as a sideline reporter for Thursday Night Football on NFL Network and NBC, for postseason games on NBC and for the Golf Channel. NBC Sports profile
2013 WNBA Finals
The 2013 WNBA Finals was the playoff series for the 2013 season of the Women's National Basketball Association, the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Minnesota Lynx, champions of the Western Conference, defeated the Atlanta Dream, champions of the Eastern Conference; the WNBA Finals were under a 2–2–1 rotation. The Lynx held home-court advantage; the meeting is a rematch of the 2011 WNBA Finals, in which the Lynx defeated the Dream in three games. The Lynx won the first game of the series 84-59, the second 88-63, they finished the sweep with an 86-77 win in Atlanta, becoming the second WNBA team to sweep through the playoffs since the best-of-five finals format was adopted. The Atlanta Dream finished 17-17, good for second place in the Eastern Conference, they defeated the Washington Mystics in three games in the conference semifinals, swept fourth-seeded Indiana, the defending WNBA champions, who had upset the top seed, the Chicago Sky, in the first round. The Dream featured Angel McCoughtry, who won her second consecutive scoring title in 2013, as well as Brazilian center Erika de Souza.
However, the Dream played the Finals without Sancho Lyttle, who had gone down with an injury during the season. The Minnesota Lynx finished with the best record in the WNBA for the third straight year.. The Lynx swept both fourth-seeded Seattle and pre-season favorites Phoenix to win their third consecutive Western Conference crown; the Lynx returned their core nucleus of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, all of whom played on the Lynx's 2011 championship team. The season series was tied, 1-1: All times are in Eastern Daylight Time; the Minnesota Lynx came out determined not to lose game one at home as they had in the 2012 WNBA Finals. Maya Moore led the Lynx with 23 points, Monica Wright added 20 off the bench as the Lynx cruised past the dream 84-59. Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 17 points; the Lynx came out on fire in Game 2, opening up an 11-point lead after the first quarter that they would never relinquish. Seimone Augustus led the Lynx in scoring with 20 points, all five starters finished the game in double figures.
Angel McCoughtry was hampered by foul trouble throughout the night, fouled out in the fourth quarter. The Lynx opened up an 8-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but Atlanta battled back several times, cutting the lead to 3 at halftime. However, the balanced attack of Minnesota was too much for the Dream to overcome. Maya Moore of the Lynx was named WNBA Finals MVP
Pam Ward is an on-air personality for the cable sports television network ESPN, serving as one of the play-by-play announcers for ESPN's coverage of the 2012 and 2013 Women's College World Series of Softball. She is a graduate of the University of College Park with a degree in communications. Prior to ESPN, Ward worked as an anchor/host for WTEM between April 1992 and March 1995 and WBAL between March 1995 and 1996. In 2000, Ward became the first woman to perform play-by-play announcing for a NCAA football nationally televised game. Biography from ESPN.com
2016 WNBA Finals
The 2016 WNBA Finals was the best-of-five championship series for the 2016 season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The top-seeded Minnesota Lynx held home court advantage in the Finals, but lost three games to two to the second-seeded Los Angeles Sparks; the series followed a 2–2–1 format, eschewed from the previous tradition of having the Western Conference champion face the Eastern Conference champion. Instead, in the 2016 season, the top eight teams qualified for the playoffs, regardless of conference. Both WNBA Finals teams were from the Western Conference; the Sparks won a semifinal series against the Chicago Sky to determine one of the Finals berths. Candace Parker was named the 2016 WNBA Finals MVP. Renee Brown, outgoing Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations of the WNBA, issued statements following games 4 and 5 saying the referees had made an error in each game; the Sparks won the series 3 games to 2. Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.
SemifinalsWNBA Finals This finals series was arguably the best the WNBA has seen. The classic Western Conference showdown did not disappoint. Los Angeles managed to steal Game 1 on the road with a 78-76 victory. Sparks veteran guard Alana Beard hit a buzzer beater. Minnesota bounced back in Game 2, with an effective 79-60 dropping of the Sparks to tie the series at a game a piece. Lynx forward Maya Moore led the charge with 12 rebounds. Game 3 took place in LA, where the Sparks put themselves one win away from their first title in 14 years, with a dominant 92-75 win over Minnesota. Sparks superstars Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike combined for 45 points on 19-of-33 shooting. Despite home court advantage in Game 4, the Lynx responded to a devastating loss with a narrow win 85-79, forcing a decisive Game 5 back in Minnesota. Game 5 was one of the greatest basketball games to be played; the game was close, but with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game, Ogwumike hit the game-winning shot, grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring, to put her team ahead 77-76.
The Sparks emerged as champions for the first time since 2002. Parker, the team's number 1 pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, delivered 28 points and 12 rebounds as she won her first WNBA championship. Parker was named Finals MVP. Game 1Alana Beard hit a tie-breaking baseline jumper as time expired to give the Sparks the series lead after a seesaw first game. Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 After both Game 4 and Game 5 of the WNBA Finals, the league acknowledged that they had made officiating mistakes late in the games that might have affected their final outcomes. Regarding Game 5, the league released this statement: "After reviewing postgame video, we have determined that Nneka Ogwumike's shot with 1:14 remaining in regulation time should not have counted due to a shot clock violation, that the referees improperly failed to review the play under the instant replay rules." A similar statement was released after Game 4 after the league admitted to have blown an eight-second violation call. The outcomes of the games remained the same, with Minnesota taking game 4 and Los Angeles taking game 5.
Finals schedule at WNBA.com