Women's Basketball Opens Practice Saturday
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

October 16, 1998

BEARS TIP OFF PRACTICE : The 1998-99 California women's basketball team begins practice tomorrow (Oct. 17). Saturday's practice runs from 9 a.m.-noon at the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) on the Cal campus. The Bears look to rebound from last season's disappointing 6-22 record (2-16/T9th Pac-10). Practice is closed to the media and public.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE : The typical practice schedule is 2:30-5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00-noon on Saturday. Sunday is a day off.

HEAD COACH: Marianne Stanley enters her third season at the helm of Cal's women's basketball program. A native of Upper Darby, Pa., Stanley is a 19-year coaching veteran and winner of five national championship titles as a player (2) and coach (3). She owns a career record of 392-192 (.671), which ranks 26th in victories among all active NCAA Division I women's coaches. Best time to reach Stanley: Tues. and Wed. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. by appointment scheduled through the media relations office.

FOUR STARTERS RETURN: The Bears return four starters from the 1997-98 season, including two seniors and last year's co-MVPs and Top 2 scorers in junior F/G Paige Bowie (11.0 ppg) and sophomore G/F Masa Radovic (10.9 ppg, 2.4 apg). Radovic was selected to the 1998 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Senior Jennie Leander (8.5 ppg), one of the perennial rebounding leaders in the Pac-10, returns at center. Leander corralled 7.1 boards per game last season, sixth in the Pac-10 and tops for Cal for the second-consecutive season. A healthy senior Sherisse Smith (4.8 ppg/2.7 apg) leads the Bears at point guard after battling numerous injuries throughout her career. Not only is Smith relied upon as a ball distributor, she won Cal's Best Defensive Player award last season.

OTHER RETURNEES : Stanley boasts a solid contingent of young and improving players, including a pair of 5-8 sophomore backcourt players in Kenya Corley and Courtney Johnson. In the frontcourt, the Bears return senior forwards 6-0 Kobi Kennon and 6-1 Jamilla Churchill, both three-year letterwinners, along with 6-2 sophomore forward Lauren Ashbaugh and 6-5 junior center Geneva McDaniel.

THE NEWCOMERS : One commodity Cal added this season is size. The Bears welcome 6-4 Shavaki Jackson and 6-4 Latifa Lewis of Berkeley, 6-2 Ami Forney of Newark and 5-8 guard LaShanthi Rhodes of Houston, Texas. Jackson was a fourth team Parade All-American in 1996-97 when she led Berkeley HS to a 29-3 record and the Division I state title. Lewis earned All-City and All-Metro honors as a senior at Berkeley HS. Forney brings scoring and rebounding prowess to Cal tallying 23.0 ppg and 16.0 rpg as a senior. Rhodes adds depth to the point and a well-rounded game, averaging 20 points, 6.8 reb., 5 assists. and 3 steals as a senior.