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Chasity Melvin

WNBA Legend

They say angels live above us and  Angel McCoughtry graced  the crowd and rose above every defensive strategy the Seattle Storm used  in the Atlanta Dreams 94-85 victory over the Seattle Storm.  They  survived the new WNBA single game  elimination playoff format and will play another day. Bria Holmes started in place of the suspended Tiffany Hayes  and dropped a silent 21 points but the key to her performance was her 7 rebounds and the playoff intensity she exuded.  You have to love it when a player steps up in a starting role during the money time. Elizabeth Williams (Mrs. Improved Player of the Year) chipped in 16 rebounds and was one point away from a double double. Atlanta Dream will face the Chicago Sky on Sunday at 1pm Est on ESPN2. If you haven't seen Angel McCoughtry  (Ms. Unconscious) in action you might want to witness her scoring at will over opponents.

Single Elimination " No Problem "

Diana Taurasi  (DT) has 3 WNBA Titles in her 12 year professional career. DT is the Da Truth on the court and single game elimination  format in this year's WNBA playoffs doesn't make a difference to her.  She's still the same ole D, same phenomenal game, same desire to win,  with just a different format. All 5 starters were in double figures in the Phoenix Mercury's 89-78 win over the Indiana Fever. Earlier in the year people had doubts  about whether the  Mercury would gel together by playoff time.  They started the season in a down tempo but now look more upbeat. They will face the New York Liberty Saturday at 7pm Est on NBA TV. This is a must see game as Brittany Griner and Tina Charles will battle it out in the paint. Penny Taylor (PT Cruiser) has cruised her way by opponents her entire career and I'm sure DT and company want to send her into retirement  in the most supreme way possible unbeatable. 

My late coach, mentor and friend Coach Kay Yow is cemented in North Carolina State's History.

I was humbled and honored last week to present my late college coach, Coach Kay Yow, statue at North Carolina State's coaches corner. She was a pioneer for women's basketball and motivated and inspired many across the world. She was a leader, an inspiration, and most importantly, an advocate for women fighting cancer. My new job with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund constantly reminds me of what an inspiration she was and always will be. The KYCF also reunites me with the college game as our biggest fundraiser #play4kay starts with the upcoming basketball season. We recently partnered with the NCAA in a #FT4Kay initiative. Coaches, players and fans make sure you visit this link for more info or visit our website kayyow.com Also follow us on twitter @kayyowfund facebook @kayyowcancerfund and show your support in the fight against women's cancers.

I was fortunate enough to intern with the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) which was an amazing experience and my first taste of the nonprofit business sector. If you have followed my earlier blogs you would know I worked in the player membership development. My experience was really important for my growth and confidence as an athlete off the court. I learned the importance of building a brand, building relationships and thinking outside of the box. Congrats Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash and Penny Taylor , Jayne Appel Marinelli and DeLisha Milton Jones on retirement and entering the career transition world. The NBRPA provided a great community for me during my transition. They also made it comfortable for me to take an entry level role to get my foot in the door.  I still work independently with the organization and appreciate connecting with former players and sharing similar stories and support. Below is a great article on how the  NBRPA has helped other former WNBA players.

The Indiana Fever protest racial injustice in America and kneel during the national anthem.

Shout out to the Indiana Fever as they kneel together during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice in America. Tamika Catchings  went out on a winning note supporting a great cause despite the loss to the Phoenix Mercury.

Until next time, 'll leave you with a quote from the late Kay Yow "Remember when life kicks you let it kick you forward."

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Despite the loss I still want to be like Rena and I loved the Nike Ads.

Serena Williams the, greatest tennis player of all times, lost last night to Angelique Kerber who will enter the US Open final for the first time. I was biting my nails and shaking my head watching the match in hopes that Serena “SuperWoman” would find her kryptonite and power herself into the Finals. It was frustrating to see Serena Williams playing without her mojo but I fully anticipate her to come back with a vengeance. Steff Graf's tennis record is waiting to be broken. I have no doubt that Williams will win her 23rd Major in the future and  cement herself in tennis history.  I can only hope I'm there to watch it in person.

Colin Kaepernick no longer standing for the national anthem.

Colin Kaepernick is receiving massive attention about his anthem protest and choosing to knee and not stand. Kaepernick said  "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. " I relate to Colin and his sentiments of wanting to do something. My question is," what does he plan to achieve from this." Does he want to exercise his freedom of speech and raise awareness to America's problem of racial inequality or is he becoming an activist? I believe Muhammad Ali and a few other athletes were successful with their protest because they were involved and placed strategically by an organization that fully supported and educated them on matters at hand.  I admire Colin for taking a stand and if awareness for the wrong doing and awareness of "freedom of speech" is the only thing that comes of it, then little progress is better than none. Although, I still believe real change can be made when athletes unite and protest together as a group.

Only hope for Hope is Faith and Love.

Hope Solo "is kicking it solo" after being suspended for six months and having her contract suspended. I was in shock when I heard the infamous quote "a bunch of cowards" about the Swedish players defensive style of play after the US lost in the Olympics.  I didn't believe she would lose her contract but after a few text from random friends, with questions about her comments, I began to think she may have to face repercussions. She has constantly been in the media with her off court distractions and now she has to pay for a sum of all her actions. Professional sports and life both have one thing in common "it ain't always fair".  In life as well as sports success has more to do with overcoming your failures. Will Hope continue to ride solo or fight her way back to rejoin her teammates. If Hope gives a little more and adds some love and faith, she will be back in business.

I need to get to the driving range so I can add good golfer to my resume.

This blog started with my internship in Chicago with the National Basketball Retired Players Association.  I wrote of my experiences working with the staff in all areas.  I was able to gain valuable experience working with a non profit and gain confidence in my abilities outside of playing basketball. I completed the internship with the NBRPA and I'm happy that I will continue to work with them in the future as a player consultant and finish some of the things I started while I was there. I'm also  excited to announce that I recently joined the Kay Yow Cancer Fund staff in Raleigh NC as Director of Communications. I'm excited to be back home and continue the vision of my late coach, mentor and friend Kay Yow. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is committed to raising money for cancer research, serve others, honor survivors, save lives and unite others for a common cause. In my time with the NBRPA and KYCF I've been asked to play a lot of golf. It's imperative that I add golfer to my resume. Thanks to Wendy Larry former ODU womens' former basketball coach for motivating me and showing me the basics at this years 4KayGolfClassic.

Stay tuned for more updates on the latest in sports, my career, life lessons and my thoughts from a former player's perspective. Follow me on social media twitter, instagram, and facebook @chasitymelvin. Thanks for reading and check in next week for another big announcement.  Continue to follow your dreams and know that everything happens for a reason.

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"We're doing something, and basketball is really important to a lot of people in the U. S. and no one takes it more serious than women. We play year round. We sacrifice a lot of things to make sure that we bring this home. And now you know what? It's okay. We're happy." This is the response that  Diana Taurasi gave for the lack of media attention on the dominance the USA women's national team displayed in securing the 6th straight Olympic Gold Medal. As basketball players we  don't have the makeup, lashes, chokers, colorful hair, assorted hair ribbons, and rarely slay in the basketball uniforms, but we dominate on the basketball court. These beautiful ladies with their locs, plain jane ponytails and their exceptional athleticism overshadowed the competition and executed team play with mastery. They averaged a 37 point win over teams and added to the win streak that now stands at  49 in Olympic play. Thanks USA women for setting the standard in Olympic play showing everyone how to compete and win  in a "Golden Way. Check out what's next for these ladies now that the mission is accomplished.

Seimone Augustus aka "Silent Assasin" a silent killer on the court secures 3rd Olympic Gold.
Seimone Augutus is a silent assasin on the court and you can continue to watch her as the WNBA season resumes play on August 26, 2016 with the Minnesota Lynx as they try to repeat as WNBA champions. Seimone's killer crossover and deadly 15 foot jumper is must see TV.
Sylvia Fowles anchored the paint for USA securing her 3rd Olympic Gold. When Big Syl plays Big there's nothing you can do.
Sylvia Fowles dominated Oympic play the way she dominated last season's WNBA playoffs for the Minnesota Lynx. She's secured her 3rd Gold Medal and will continue to overpower her opponents in the paint. If Fowles continues to step her game up and anchor the paint for the Lynx, it will be hard to knock out the defending WNBA champs.

Lindsay Whalen let's Sue Bird knows she had her back in the Gold Medal game on her way to her 2nd Gold Medal.

Lindsay Whalen plays for the Minnesota Lynx and will be trying to lead them to their 4th straight WNBA title.  Lindsay Whalen's ability to direct her star studded team and score with her deceptive speed and drives to the basket it the reason she a solidified Olympian. Check her out as the WNBA season resumes play as she is clearly focused on winning more for her home state of Minnesota.

Maya Moore secures her 2nd gold medal and has her eyes set on a few more as she will be entering her prime in the 2020 Olympics.

Maya Moore is an 2x Olympic gold medalist that's one of the few players to win a NCAA title, World Championship, and a WNBA Championship. She the only female signed with the Jordan brand and is "Airness" for the  Minnesota Lynx. Can she lead them to their 4th straight title in the WNBA? She didn't shoot as well in the Olympics, but I'm sure she will regain her form as the WNBA season starts back.

Angel McCoughtry is the most aggressive player on this team to me. She always rises to the occasion with her play.

Angel McCoughtry plays for the Atlanta Dream and if they are to win a championship the dream can only become a reality with her play and leadership. Angel is the one player in the league that can get you buckets quick, fast, and in a hurry. She is a dynamic player to watch and she plays on both ends of the court. She was the defensive specialist for this USA team in Rio, but also dropped buckets when needed. Angel has the unique ability to rebound the ball aggressively as a small forward. I'm looking forward to seeing if she can rebound and bounce back in the WNBA playoffs and get the Atlanta Dream back in the WNBA Finals.

Tina Charles with the 15 footer from the top of the key was key to the post play dominance in Olympic Play as she secured her 2nd Gold Medal.

Tina Charles game face is as fierce as the face mask she wears to protect her nose that was broken in WNBA play. The consistency she has with her 15 footer from the top of the key, and the undeniable hook shot in the paint has the New York Liberty excited about it's chances as WNBA play resumes.  Tina Charles will be rejoining forces with her buddy  and elite score Epiphanny Prince, for the second half of the season which can possibly combat the issue of the frequent double and triple teams that she consistently faces. Tina Charles, double double machine, has been a beast all season and with the lack of post player experience in the WNBA, she will continue to dominate.

Brittany Griner stands tallest above the competition and secures her 1st Olympic Gold Medal. There really is no answer for her and Griner is the only person to stop Griner.

Brittany Griner secures her 1st Olympic Gold Medal as she overpowered and intimidated the competition. When she dominated with Diana Taurasi and won the WNBA championship her blocks intimidated the best players in the world on the offensive end. Brittany Griner is a unique talent with an offensive game as equally powerful as her defensive game. Griner is her on nemesis and must learn how to focus and leave her off court issues off the court.Then she and the Phoenix Mercury will reap the benefits  again in a championship way. Brittany Griner has yet to realize how good she really is, so for now other player's and coaches in the league still have a chance.

This was fun Stewie let's do it again in four years. Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart 1st time Olympic Gold Medalist.

These ladies are two of the elite scorers in the WNBA that play the game with ease and a fundamental skill set that's close to perfection. Breanna Stewart 4x NCAA champion hasn't had the success with the Seattle Storm that she did with Connecticut and is learning for the first time what it feels like to lose.  It will be interesting to see her play elevate during the 2nd half of the WNBA season as she brings back what's she's learned from her Olympic experience.  Elena Delle Donne, the Female Don, of the WNBA didn't get much playing time in her first Olympics and should be well rested to continue her phenomenal play. To my readers,if you haven't seen Elena play, then you have missed out on watching a remarkable player. It will be interesting to see if she can regain her form from last season and lead the Chicago Sky back to the WNBA playoffs. If these ladies do miss the mark in the playoffs they won't miss the mark for long. 

Congrats Tamika Catchings on winning your 4th Gold Medal and an outstanding WNBA career with the Indiana Fever.
Thanks Tamika Catchings for all you've done in your stellar WNBA career. The fortitude  you've shown battling back from injuries and willing the only franchise that you've ever played with the Indiana Fever to a WNBA title has cemented you in WNBA history. Congrats on winning your 4th Gold Medal and waving good bye on a storybook finish to your Olympic career. 
Thanks Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi for all you've done for the WNBA and USA Basketball. It's clear you both are in it for the game, not the fame.

It's always a pleasure to watch these two ladies play in the WNBA and they've done it with their own unique styles. Diana Taurasi is the "Da Truth" and Sue Bird "Bird's Eye View" of the game can't be replicated. Congrats to two of the best guards in the world on winning your 4th Gold Medal. Your leadership and play did not go unnoticed and you have continued to play with the standard that the ones before you set with great diligence. If only the media and the world knew how much women's basketball players and coaches put into the sport of basketball the world would appreciate and respect our game more.  One day sports won't be defined by what a woman looks like, who she plays like, how she wears her hair, or who she dates, or whether she's graceful or elegant. One day it will simply be defined by how awesome she  plays the game. Special thanks to all the ladies for the sacrifice,  and discipline it takes in striving for the gold. Now show me what you have left as the 2nd half of the WNBA season begins.

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