December 5, 2023

Team suffers first loss after eight wins

 After racking up a season record of 8-0, including a decisive 85-44 win at San Diego State two days earlier, the Stanford women’s basketball team came down to earth with a thud, losing 96-78 at Gonzaga on Dec. 3.

The loss knocked the Cardinal down to No. 9 from No. 3 in the Dec. 4 AP poll.

Despite shooting 56.6 percent overall, the team couldn’t match Gonzaga’s output, which had two players scoring 27 points each and three more in double figures.

Stanford also had five players in double figures with 13 each from graduate guard Hannah Jump and freshman forwards Courtney Ogden and Nunu Agara along with 10 each from senior forward Cameron Brink and junior forward Kiki Iriafen.

Illness, fouls limit Cardinal bigs

Cameron played only 11 minutes. She reportedly was feeling ill. Kiki was in foul trouble with four personals. Sixteen turnovers also hurt.

But kudos to the Tree-O, the three freshmen who contributed a total 35 points, including the nine from guard Chloe Clardy.

The team’s nine 3’s came from Courtney, who had three; Hannah and junior forward Brooke Demetre, who had two each; and Cameron and Chloe, who had one each.

Cameron has  surpassed Jeanette in scoring. (Stanford Athletics)

Cameron tops Jeanette in career scoring

In the 85-44 victory at San Diego State on Dec. 1, Cameron piled up 25 points in just 25 minutes. She also had 12 rebounds and three blocks.

With her career total of 1,459 points as of that game, she advanced to 20th among Stanford’s all-time leading scorers. Thus she edged out director of player development Jeanette Pohlen, ’11, who had scored 1,453 points in her four years at Stanford.

Hannah had 13 points in the game, while Nunu added 11 plus seven rebounds. Limited by fouls, Kiki played only 15 minutes and had six points but a team-leading 11 rebounds.

After cold 3-point shooting in the first quarter, the team went on to post nine 3’s. Hannah and redshirt sophomore Jzaniya Harriel each had three. Cameron, Nunu and Brooke each had one.

The Cardinal dominated the Aztecs in every aspect of the game and never yielded a lead or tie.

The team now will take a break from competition to focus on academics. Finals are Dec. 11-15. Winter quarter starts Jan. 8.

In the meantime, the team hosts Portland at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and UC Davis at 1 p.m. Dec. 20 before returning from a holiday break to travel across the bay to Cal at 2 p.m. Dec. 29 and then to host Morgan State at 6 p.m. Dec. 31. The Pac-12 Network will televise the Portland and Cal games.






November 27, 2023

7-0 record moves team up to No. 3 nationally


Kiki Iriafen holds her MVP trophy, and Stavi Papadaki and Hannah Jump hold the championship trophy after the team won both games at the Ball Dawgs Classic in Nevada. 

After playing four games in eight days, the Stanford women’s basketball team remains undefeated with a 7-0 record. Thus it moved up a notch to No. 3 in the Nov. 27 AP poll.

The first of those four games was Nov. 19, when Duke fell 82-79 in a game already reported here. As a postscript, though, senior forward Cameron Brink was named Pac-12 Player of the Week and a National Player of the Week for the second straight week. She was named Pac-12 Player of the Week again on Nov. 27.

The next two games took the team to Henderson, Nev., for the Ball Dawgs Classic. Playing on Nov. 22, Stanford defeated Belmont 74-55. Once again Cameron had an outstanding game with 27 points and 16 rebounds. However, hopes that she would have hit a record 75 free throws in a row vanished when she made her 73rd at the line but missed the second.

Junior forward Kiki Iriafen was the only other Cardinal in double figures with 14 points. The team posted seven 3’s with three by graduate guard Hannah Jump and two by junior forward Brooke Demetre. Adding one each were sophomore guard Talana Lepolo and freshman forward Courtney Ogden.

It was a back-and-forth game with the lead changing six times and the score tied three times.

Kiki pours in career-high 30 points against Florida State

The Florida State game on Nov. 24 was even more back-and-forth with the lead changing 12 times and the score tied eight times.

Kiki posted a career-high 30 points plus 17 rebounds. Cameron had 19 points while Hannah had 17 and junior guard Elena Bosgana 16. Thus the team came home with two trophies: one for the tournament championship and the other for Kiki as the tournament’s most valuable player.

Nine 3’s helped with the win, thanks to five by Hannah, two by Elena and one each by Brooke and redshirt sophomore Jzaniya Harriel.

Hannah is nearing a Stanford record for 3-pointers. 

Hannah drains her 303rd career trey in Albany game

Three-pointers also were part of the story as the team returned home to defeat Albany 79-35 on Nov. 26. 

During the second quarter, Hannah made two in a row. One of them was the 300th of her career. She finished the game with four 3’s for a career total of 303, AP reported. The team record for 3’s is 311 by Kiana Williams, ’21. Also scoring 3’s were Elena with three, Jzaniya with two and Courtney with one.

The game was never in doubt at Stanford held the Great Danes scoreless until about halfway through the first quarter. By then the Cardinal had already made 11 points.

All 12 players got into the game and nearly everyone contributed in some way. Bench players added 20 points.

Joining the crowd of 2,754 were the band, cheerleaders and longtime announcer Betty Ann Hagenau.

Assistant coach Erica “Bird” McCall hosted the Behind the Bench and was joined by Kiki and Elena. Although they answered numerous questions, their answers were hard to discern because the sound was distorted.

Two more road games are on tap with San Diego State at 11 a.m. Dec. 1 and Gonzaga at 1 p.m. Dec. 3. After that, the players will have some time off for finals before hosting Portland at 7 p.m. Dec. 15.

Photos by Stanford Athletics

November 20, 2023

Cardinal vanquish Blue Devils in OT


Closely guarded, Cameron goes up against Duke defenders. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The visiting Duke Blue Devils gave fans of the Stanford women’s basketball team their full share of scary moments, but the Cardinal pulled it out in overtime, winning 82-79 on Nov. 19.

The first two quarters resembled the previous three games when Stanford dominated and went on to lopsided wins.

Not this time. After leading by 13 and 8 points, respectively, in the first half, Stanford was down by 2 points after the third quarter and tied 71-71 in the fourth.

By then it was back and forth. The lead changed six times and the score was tied eight times during the game.

Cameron's career-high 29 points lead team

Even though her time was limited by four fouls (some of them loudly disputed by Stanford fans in the crowd of 4,236), senior forward Cameron Brink led the team with a career-high 29 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. She scored 9 of Stanford’s 11 points in overtime, and iced the win with two free throws with 11.9 seconds to go.

As an added bonus, she had six of the team’s seven blocks.  As the final seconds ticked down, some fans held up a sign reading, “Cam’s swat tracker – 313,” indicative of her career blocks.

Junior forward Kiki Iriafen was close behind in scoring with her own career high of 27 points.

About halfway through the overtime, she limped off the court but returned with under a minute left. She had a cramp in her leg, head coach Tara VanDerveer said after the game.

Graduate guard Hannah Jump was the other player in double figures with all 15 of her points coming from five of the team’s seven 3’s.  Cameron and junior forward Brooke Demetre had the other two.

As usual, Cameron, Kiki and Hannah started along with sophomore guard Talana Lepolo and junior guard Elena Bosgana.

Missing from the excitement were the band, Tree, cheerleaders and Dollies as well as announcer Betty Ann Hagenau.

Coached by former WNBA great Kara Lawson, Duke had only 11 available players and used 10 of them. Likewise, 10 of Stanford’s 12 players got into the game.

'Great early season win,' Kate says

Afterward, associate head coach Kate Paye began the Behind the Bench by saying, “That was a great early season win. ..This game will really help us.  .. A game like this comes down to little things.’’

As she spoke, she was joined by the three freshmen: guard Chloe Clardy and forwards Nunu Agara and Courtney Ogden, whom she praised for their maturity and skills. Meanwhile, workers were setting up the court for a volleyball game that night.

The Hull twins and Alyssa Jerome are welcomed back by the coaches. (Stanford Athletics)

She then was joined by three alumni who were part of Stanford’s 2021 national championship team: Lexie and Lacie Hull and Alyssa Jerome.

They had joined the team for lunch the day before, Tara said.

Commenting on the game, Tara said, “We had all we can handle. We have a lot of work to do.”

That work will involve three more games during the holiday week. The team will be in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, for a tournament that involves a 1:30 p.m. Nov. 22 game against Belmont. On Nov. 24 the team faces Florida State or Northwestern at 6:30 or 9 p.m. followed by a quick trip home to host Albany at 1 p.m. Nov. 26.


November 17, 2023

Easy win against Cal Poly gives starters some rest

Elena drives against Cal Poly on her way to a team-high and career-high 15 points. (Karen Hickey/ISIPsiphotos/com)

The Stanford women’s basketball team cruised to an 86-32 victory over Cal Poly on Nov. 16.

At first it seemed as if the visitors from San Luis Obispo would give Stanford its first close competition this season. Cal Poly scored first, giving it a 2-0 lead – its first and only one of the game. Sophomore guard Talana Lepolo immediately responded with a 3, and that was almost that.

The score was tied 8-8 with just over six minutes to go in the first quarter. About two minutes later, Stanford was up 13-8. By the time the quarter ended, Stanford had scored 9 more points, held Cal Poly scoreless and led by 14 points, 22-8.

The Mustangs’ guards were disruptive at first, but the Cardinal soon righted the ship. When the first half buzzer sounded, the home team had five turnovers to Cal Poly’s 11. Thanks to eight 3’s during that half, Stanford amassed a 53-15 lead.

The starters – Talana, grad student guard Hannah Jump, senior forward Cameron Brink, junior forward  Kiki Iriafen and junior guard Elena Bosgana – began the third quarter together, but the frequent substitutions that had characterized earlier games soon led to them sitting on the bench and cheering their teammates for much of that quarter and all of the fourth.

Thus the starters avoided injury and the rest of the team got valuable game experience.

They’ll need it during Thanksgiving week. After hosting Duke at noon Nov. 19, the team travels to Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, for a tournament that involves a 1:30 p.m. Nov. 22 game against Belmont. On Nov. 24 it will face Florida State or Northwestern at 6:30 or 9 p.m. Then it’s a quick trip home to host Albany at 1 p.m. Nov. 26.

But back to the Cal Poly game.  Although Stanford’s 86 points were the fewest scored so far this season, Cal Poly’s 32 points were the fewest allowed. That’s thanks to a tenacious defense that often caused Cal Poly to use most of the shot clock and take hurried shots.

Stanford’s 11 3’s helped boost the score. Two of those 3’s were courtesy of Talana. Redshirt sophomore Jzaniya Harriel hoisted four 3’s for the best game of her career. Freshman forward Courtney Ogden added three. Elena and freshman forward Nunu Agara had one each.

Elena led the team with 15 points, matching her career high, according to AP. Jzaniya added 14 points and played the longest, 25 minutes. Kiki with 13 and Courtney with 10 also were in double figures. Kiki had been named a National Player of the Week following her double-doubles against Hawaii and IU. Junior forward Brooke Demetre had a team- and game-high 11 rebounds.

The crowd of 2,554 included the band, Tree, cheerleaders and Dollies. Regular announcer Betty Ann Hagenau was again replaced by a man, but the band’s presence meant a DJ and his deafening “music” weren’t there.

After the game, the three freshmen, or TreeO – Courtney, Nunu and guard Chloe Clardy -- signed autographs.

This game brought head coach Tara VanDerveer within 14 wins of breaking Mike Krzyzewski’s 1,202 victories as the winningest coach in college basketball history, AP  reported.



November 14, 2023

Much to celebrate in win over Indiana


Kiki and others on the bench celebrate during the game. (Karen Hickey/

 Five players scored in double figures as the Stanford women’s basketball team defeated the visiting Indiana Hoosiers 96-64 on Nov. 12.

This resounding victory vaulted Stanford to No. 6 from No. 15 in the weekly AP national poll. It bumped Indiana down to No. 18 from No. 9.

With “great performances all the way around, (this was) a great team win,” associate head coach Kate Paye said during the Behind the Bench that followed the game. “Our team was really, really focused.”

Starting forwards senior Cameron Brink and junior Kiki Iriafen shared scoring honors with 20 points each. Both recorded double-doubles, too, with Cameron snaring 17 rebounds and Kiki 11. Kiki garnered cheers when she dunked during warmups.

Joining them in double figures were two other starters: grad student guard Hannah Jump with 12 points and junior guard Elena Bosgana with 10. Coming off the bench, freshman forward Nunu Agara poured in 13 points.

Except for the fourth quarter, when mostly bench players were on the floor and were outscored 22-21, the Cardinal dominated the visitors. The domination extended to other areas, especially rebounds, where Stanford enjoyed a 50-27 advantage.

Cameron leaps toward the basket. (Nhat V Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Four of Stanford’s six blocks were courtesy of Cameron, who notched the 300th block of her college career just over halfway into the first quarter.

And then there were the 11 3’s: two each by Cameron, Hannah, Elena and the other starter, sophomore guard Talana Lepolo. Chipping in one each were Nunu, freshman guard Chloe Clardy and redshirt sophomore guard Jzaniya Harriel.

The crowd of 3,678 did not include the band, Tree, cheerleaders and Dollies. Usual announcer Betty Ann Hagenau also was absent, replaced by a man who was too rah-rah in the introductions but toned down during the game. On the other hand, DJ Hatt did not tone the “music” down, making it difficult to talk with other fans. Earplugs helped.

Stat boards were off and on, mostly off. When they did come on, they flashed too briefly for complete reading – very annoying.

As players left the locker room after the game, they toted new athletic shoes courtesy of Nike, according to head coach Tara VanDerveer, an IU graduate.

After praising the “tremendous unselfishness of this team” to start the Behind the Bench, Kate introduced the three “super sophomores”; Talana and guards Stavi Papadaki and Lauren Green.

She also commented on the team’s defense, which Tara called “a big emphasis this year.” The game plan for this opponent and all others is to “take away their favorite stuff,” Tara said. She wants the team to play up-tempo and employs a tag team strategy with liberal substitutions. And she wants the players to stay healthy and happy and to play for each other.

Despite this early season win, “we have a lot to work on,” she said.

The work undoubtedly will focus on the Cal Poly game at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 and the Duke game at 1 p.m. Nov. 19, both at home. ABC will televise the Duke game.


November 10, 2023

Win over Hawaii opens season

Nunu Agara drives to the basket during her 18-point college debut.  (Al Chang/ISI

The Stanford women’s basketball team started its season on a winning note, defeating Hawaii 87-40 at home on Nov. 8.

Two players who made a big difference were junior forward Kiki Iriafen and freshman forward Nunu Agara.

Kiki, one of the starters, poured in 23 points and snared 13 rebounds in a mere 24 minutes.

Coming off the bench in her collegiate debut, Nunu contributed 18 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes -- a productive rate of one point per minute. Fans were impressed with her strong moves under the basket.

Also in double figures were junior forward Brooke Demetre with 12 points and junior guard Elena Bosgana with 10.

Joining Elena and Kiki in the starting lineup were senior forward Cameron Brink, graduate guard Hannah Jump and sophomore guard Talana Lepolo.

Cameron played only 17 minutes and had 8 points. Like her teammates, she was frequently subbed in and out. However, about halfway through the second quarter she went to the locker room accompanied by trainer Katelin Knox. She returned a few seconds later and sat on the bench and was back in action to start the third quarter.

About halfway through the fourth quarter, Kiki went to the locker room with assistance. She returned to the bench late in the quarter and went to the bench.

Bench players took over for part of the fourth quarter. Thus, everyone got into the game, and everyone made a positive contribution whether by scoring, rebounding or assisting.

Apparently because inside play was going so well, the team had only four 3’s. Three of them came consecutively in the second quarter with two from Brooke and one from Hannah. Freshman forward Courtney Ogden made the other one later in the game. She also was the only player to foul out.

The crowd of 2,535 included a student contingent with the band, cheerleaders, Tree and Dollies. A group in the student section waved handmade signs such as “Clardy Party” to support freshman guard Chloe Clardy.

The team played tough defense, forcing Hawaii to shoot late in the shot clock. The Cardinal also enjoyed a huge advantage in rebounds, 60-18, and made 19 of its 20 free throws.

Hawaii had 11 turnovers, Stanford 12 – an area that head coach Tara VanDerveer will be looking to improve.

The No. 15 Cardinal face a tougher test at 2 p.m. Nov. 12 when No. 9 Indiana visits Maples. ESPN will televise this game.

November 3, 2023

Dominance over Dominion

Hannah drives to the basket as Cameron defends for her.

Although it was only an exhibition game over an outranked Division II opponent, the Stanford women’s basketball team gave fans a tantalizing taste of what’s to come with a 126-53 home victory over Dominican University on Nov. 1.

Starters were five returning players: graduate guard Hannah Jump, senior forward Cameron Brink, junior forward Kiki Iriafen, junior guard Elena Bosgana and sophomore guard Talana Lepolo.

In a game with frequent substitutions, junior forward Brooke Demetre was first in. By the end of the first quarter, which ended with Stanford up 40-10, all 12 players had seen action.

The score grew more lopsided after the half, 78-18, and the third quarter, 111-32. At that point, with no doubt about the ultimate outcome, some people left.

Dominican outscores hosts in fourth quarter

What they didn’t see was the sloppy fourth quarter, when Dominican outscored the home team 21-15. Thus there is much that needs to be improved.

Although Dominican fielded 16 players, most of them were shorter than the Stanford women. However, they were speedy, leading to fast play.

No Stanford woman played more than 23 minutes – freshman guard Chloe Clardy.

Others playing more than 20 minutes were Elena, 22; Brooke, 21; and freshman forward Nunu Agara and redshirt sophomore guard Jzaniya Harriel, both 21.

Elena scores one of her seven baskets.

Kiki, Elena lead in scoring

Kiki and Elena led the team in scoring with 19 each. Also in double figures were Nunu and freshman forward Courtney Ogden with 16 each; and Hannah and Jzaniya with 13 each.

The team lofted 13 3’s, with four by Courtney; three by Hannah; two by Elena and Jzaniya; and one each by Talana and Brooke. Showing her defensive prowess under the basket, Cameron had four of the team’s six blocks. Also on the defensive side, the team had 13 steals.

Since this was the three freshmen’s first competition, much attention was focused on them. They didn’t disappoint as they contributed a total of 40 points.

Rebounding, free throws look good

Rebounding was a strong point with a 69-28 advantage over Dominican. Kiki had 14 rebounds, Brooke 12 and Courtney 10. Free throws also were impressive – 15 of 17 – after Dominican had fouled twice in just under a minute from tipoff.

Attendance was recorded at 2,308. The crowd included a large contingent of Dominican fans since the university is in San Rafael and several of its players have local ties.

Because it was an exhibition game, there were no student support groups such as the band and cheerleaders. Nor were any statistics displayed on the boards in the upper corners. Instead, the one in the southwest corner touted, “Welcome to Maples Pavilion – 50th season.”

Construction leads to changes

The recently begun construction project that involves enlarging ground floor facilities on the west side has led to the closure of locker rooms there, including the one for women’s basketball. Hence the team entered and exited Maples from the northeast corner.

This project also affects parking. The small lot next to the practice facility will be used for construction vehicles, thus removing the handicapped spaces.

A few handicapped spaces have been marked in the front row of the Maples lot along Campus Drive. More are available in the Graduate School of Business garage across the street.

The spaces in the last row nearer the football practice field also are available. From there fans can traverse the sidewalk between the field and practice facility to reach Maples.

It still can be accessed from all entrances, where there are bag check areas to accommodate people who don’t know about the clear bag policy.

Games that count start when Hawaii visits at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Photos by Stanford Athletics



October 29, 2023

Team tunes up with four-quarter scrimmage

Stanford women’s basketball fans got a second reading of the team’s latest edition during a scrimmage Oct. 28. (The first was at an open practice Oct. 23.)

This red-white (actually gray) scrimmage took the players through four quarters with longtime announcer Betty Ann Hagenau at the mike and three referees overseeing the action.

The gray team included six men plus sophomore guards Stavi Papadaki and Lauren Green. They were coached by assistant coach Erica “Bird” McCall, returning to the venue where she played her college ball until 2017. She then played in the WNBA for six seasons before retiring to enter the coaching ranks.

The white team included the other 10 women led by the other four coaches.

Starters for the white team were senior forward Cameron Brink, junior forward Kiki Iriafen, fifth-year guard Hannah Jump, junior guard Elena Bosgana and sophomore guard Talana Lepolo.

Both sides made frequent substitutions to give everyone a chance to play.

I didn’t keep score, but it seemed that the male-dominated team won because of the men’s greater strength and speed.

Overall, though, all of the women excelled at times with several heads-up plays and fast ball movement.

Eight women scored at least once from 3-point range: freshman guard Chloe Clardy; sophomore guards Lauren, Stavi and Talana; juniors Elena and forward Brooke Demetre; Cameron and Hannah.

The women hit all of their free throws (at least I don’t recall seeing any misses).

During the first break, Betty Ann asked season ticket holders how long they had had season tickets by five-year intervals. The last ones standing had had their tickets for more than 40 years.

Thus their tenures were longer than head coach Tara VanDerveer’s, who’s starting her 38th season at Stanford.

After the practice, Betty Ann briefly introduced all of the players, both men and women, as well as the coaches and staff.

Most fans recently received an email about the construction project at Maples. Estimated to last 18 months, most of the work will take place underground (requiring excavation) to expand facilities for the women’s and men’s basketball teams and the women’s volleyball team.

The area between Maples and Campus Drive is fenced off for the work, and much of the small parking lot next to the practice facility is unavailable.

Three temporary handicapped parking spots are marked in the Maples lot along Campus Drive. Fans can access the southwest entrance of Maples from the sidewalk along the practice facility next to the closed-off lot. They also can walk along the east side of the practice facility and Maples next to the football practice field to reach the northeast entrance.

Besides the Maples lot, parking will be available in the Graduate School of Business garage across the street.

Next up is an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 against Dominican at home,



October 25, 2023

Team gives fans a positive first impression


Buck Cardinal Club members got their first impression of this season’s women’s basketball team during an open practice Oct. 23.

Afterward they trooped over to the Hall of Champions where they heard from head coach Tara VanDerveer.

During the fast-paced practice, it seemed that everyone had a chance to shine – that is, everyone except senior forward Cameron Brink. She reportedly is rehabbing from an ankle injury, so she stayed on the sidelines shooting free throws or riding a stationary bike.

However, when her teammates finished their scrimmages, she joined them in practicing a variety of shots, including 3’s. She appeared to walk normally.

Speaking of 3’s, I counted at least six players who lofted at least one. Chief among them was grad student Hannah Jump, a guard who has long been known for her prowess outside the arc.

Also scoring from there were junior forward Brooke Demetre, junior guard Elena Bosgana, sophomore guards Talana Lepolo and Stavi Papadaki and redshirt sophomore Jzaniya Harriel.

Because only 11 players were available, two male practice players joined them at times, as did first-year assistant coach Erica “Bird” McCall. A fan favorite, she graduated from Stanford in 2017 and went on to play in the WNBA. During her stint with the Indiana Fever, she was a teammate of Jeanette Pohlen, ’11. Now she’s on the staff with Jeanette, who’s director of player development.

After the practice, the players lined up to introduce themselves, starting with the freshmen.

Rather than going to the locker room then, five stayed behind to be quizzed by TV announcer Mary Murphy. That quintet looked much like most fans’ predictions for the starters: Cameron, Hannah, Talana, Brooke and junior forward Kiki Iriafen.

“This is going to be a fantastic season,” Mary said, echoing what many fans there might have concluded.

She also served as emcee for the reception, where she introduced the staff and coaches, including assistant coach Tempie Brown, returning to the Farm where she had coached for seven seasons from 2013 through 2019-20. She then lived in Michigan with her wife and two children and worked as athletic director for Okemos Public Schools.

“Welcome back, Tempie,” many fans said afterward, to which she replied, “Glad to be back.”

In her introduction of Tara, Mary noted that the winningest coach has compiled a record 1,186 wins in 38 seasons.

Tara enjoyed her time off by relaxing in various ways and staying in touch with her 96-year-old mother, Rita, who lives in Colorado.

She called the coming breakup of the Pac-12 “extremely disappointing” and “extremely painful.” Therefore, since this is the conference’s last season, the team’s slogan is “best year ever.”

She talked about the construction project at Maples, which has just begun.

Most of the small parking lot closest to Maples, the one with several handicapped spaces, has been fenced off, as has the lawn in front of the building. Access to Maples from the main parking lot is along the sidewalk next to the practice facility.

The underground project will provide a new, more spacious locker room, training room, lounge and theater. An usher later said other teams also will benefit from the project.

Tara was asked about the new transfer portal rule, which allows players to go to another school without sitting out for a year. This rule cost Stanford three players: Lauren Betts, Agnes Emma-Nnopu and Indya Nivar.

Conversely, it’s hard to Stanford to benefit from the portal because of the university’s stringent entry requirements, especially for grad school. “We’re not portal people,” Tara said.

On the other hand, she said she likes the NIL, which pays players for their name, image and likeness.

A new group, Lifetime Cardinal, has been formed to further that goal for Stanford athletes.

According to its website, co-founder Allen Thorpe wants “the collective to organize summer internships, career services and investment opportunities for Stanford athletes. … Lifetime Cardinal is starting out as a for-profit entity. He hopes the collective can lure corporations to tap into its Stanford talent pool for more than endorsements.”

Former Stanford football great Andrew Luck, who was at the reception, is a member of the collective’s board.

Commenting on the freshmen, Tara said, “We are thrilled” with guard Chloe Clardy and forwards Nunu Agara and Courtney Ogden. They call themselves the Tree-O.

She praised the returning players for helping to mentor their new teammates. As for Hannah, she “lets me sleep at night.” The NCAA calls Hannah the country’s second-best shooter (behind Iowa’s Caitlin Clark). It calls Cameron the best rim protector for her ability to block shots. These two, along with Kiki, are the team captains.

Overall, “We’ve been having a lot of fun. …It’s going to be a great year,” Tara said.



July 17, 2023

Kate optimistic about coming season

Tara with the class of 2027, from left: Nunu Agara, Courtney Ogden, Chloe Clardy. (Stanford Athletics)

To say that associate head coach Kate Paye is excited about the coming women’s basketball season would be an understatement.

“It’s all smiles at Stanford,” she said in a recent phone interview.

She has many reasons for smiling, starting with the three freshmen: Nunu Agara,  Chloe Clardy and Courtney Ogden. They’re having “a fantastic summer. … They’re very responsible and mature (and) fun to work with. … I can’t rave enough about our freshmen.”

Then there is the staff, which she called incredible. For example, Tempie Brown, who was a Stanford assistant coach from 2013-20, has returned to the same position, replacing the departed Britney Anderson. Tempie’s return “is a huge, huge  win for our program.”

Kate has her own accolades, having been inducted into the A Step Up Inc. Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame in May.

In addition, thanks to new NCAA rules, Erica “Bird” McCall has joined the staff as an additional assistant coach, along with Tempie and Katy Steding. A fan favorite, she graduated from Stanford in 2017. She went on to play professionally in the WNBA and overseas before recently retiring.

She relates well to the players and leads by example, such as joining them in the weight room every morning. She’s “a great role model and mentor,” Kate said. The only way her duties are different from the other coaches’ is that she can’t go off campus to recruit, but she can interact with recruits when they visit Stanford.

 Another good role model is Jeannette Pohlen, ’11, who took on the new position of director of player development last season. She focuses on off-court activities such as community service, alumni relations and team bonding. Activities such as taking in a movie and planning a cook-off are helpful in that bonding. 

Also important focus for the staff is developing leadership. “Our best teams had the best leadership,” Kate said.

Nine of the 12 players are on campus. The two Greek players, junior Elena Bosgana and sophomore Stavi Papadaki, both guards, are in their home country playing on national teams while taking classes remotely.

Sophomore guard Talana Lepolo is in Madrid playing on the USA U-19 team, which is competing in the 2023 FIBA Women’s World Cup through July 23. Kate plans to travel to Spain to cheer for Talana and her team at the medal rounds. “It’s a great opportunity for her. She had an outstanding freshman year,” Kate said.

Cam hoists the USA 3x3 championship trophy in Vienna. (Pac 12 photo)

Senior forward Cameron Brink is back on campus after leading the USA 3x3 team to the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Vienna and being named MVP of the tournament that ended June 4. Before that, she earned the outstanding junior at the annual Stanford Athletic Board Awards. With her blocking ability, “she’s a force defensively,” Kate said, adding that the team will be built around her.

 Sophomore guard Lauren Green, who was a walk-on last season, has been granted a full scholarship.

 With only 12 players rather than the allowed 15, “we are counting on everybody,” Kate said. The summer quarter ends Aug. 17. Fall classes start Sept. 26.