2014 WNBA.com GM Survey Taps Minnesota Lynx to Win Title

NEW YORK – May 15, 2014 –If the WNBA’s general managers are accurate prognosticators, the Minnesota Lynx will be taking part in a championship parade for the third time in four years. The Lynx, led by All-Stars Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, and Lindsay Whalen, collected 58 percent of the votes as the team most likely to win the WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile in the 12th annual WNBA.com GM Survey.  Minnesota was also selected as the team that is most fun to watch, receiving 42 percent of the votes from the GMs.  The Atlanta Dream, led by All-Stars Angel McCoughtry and Erika de Souza, as well as rookie shooting guard Shoni Schimmel, was picked to win the Eastern Conference.

The complete results of the exclusive survey will be posted on WNBA.com in advance of WNBA Tip-Off 2014 presented by Boost Mobile, when the defending WNBA champion Lynx and reigning WNBA Finals MVP Moore tip off the league’s 18th season in the nation’s capital against the Washington Mystics on Friday, May 16 (7 p.m. ET).  WNBA Tip-Off 2014 presented by Boost Mobilewill feature 22 games from May 16 through Memorial Day (May 26), including the launch of ESPN2’s season-long coverage of the WNBA.  ESPN2 will debut its schedule of WNBA games on Saturday, May 17, when the Chicago Sky, led by Elena Delle Donne, the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year, visit the New York Liberty, featuring newly acquired veteran Tina Charles, the league’s 2012 MVP, at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET).

 

The Lynx’s Moore, the Fever’s Catchings, the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, the Sparks’ Parker, New York’s Tina Charles, and sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike figured prominently in a number of categories.

 

Parker, who took home not only her second regular-season MVP award in 2014, but also MVP honors of WNBA All-Star presented by Boost Mobile, was selected to once again earn the league’s top individual honor (50 percent, edging out the 33 percent for Moore).  Moore was also named as the player GMs would select if starting a franchise today (33 percent) and as the league’s best small forward (42 percent).

 

Catchings earned the top spot in the voting as the toughest player in the WNBA (64 percent), the top power forward and the player who is best at making her teammates better (50 percent each), as well as for the player likely to be named Defensive Player of the Year presented by Samsung (42 percent).  The 2011 regular season and 2012 Finals MVP also was selected as the best leader (58 percent), grabbing the mantle from Seattle’s Sue Bird, who earned the honor the last five years.

 

Taurasi captured the votes as the league’s best pure shooter (67 percent), the player GMs would most want taking a shot with a game on the line (58 percent), and the player with the best basketball IQ (42 percent).  The six-time All-Star and former league MVP (2009) also shared top billing – along with Augustus and New York’s Cappie Pondexter – as the player deemed best at creating her own shot (25 percent each).

 

Charles, who the Liberty acquired in a draft day trade with the Connecticut Sun, racked up the No. 1 spot in four categories.  While the move of the league’s 2012 MVP from the Sun to her hometown Liberty was considered the most surprising offseason move (67 percent), it also resulted in Charles being viewed as the one player acquisition that will make the most impact (58 percent).  Now entering her fifth WNBA campaign, Charles also was voted as the player with the best post moves (50 percent), and the league’s top rebounder (42 percent).

 

Chiney Ogwumike, who the Sun made the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, and her older sister, Nneka, who was selected first overall by the Sparks in 2012, were considered by the GMs to be among the league’s best athletes.  Nneka led all vote-getters (50 percent) as the most athletic player in the WNBA, while Chiney tied with Connecticut teammate Alyssa Thomas as the leading vote-getters for the most athletic rookie (33 percent apiece).  Chiney, however, was edged out by Tulsa Shock guard Odyssey Sims, the No. 2 overall pick in the recent draft, as the player most likely to earn Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung honors (50 percent) and as the rookie who will develop into the best player five years from now (58  percent).

 

While the GMs saw Los Angeles as the team that made the best offseason moves (earning 50 percent of the votes following the team’s acquisition of veterans Armintie Herrington, Sandrine Gruda, and Candice Wiggins), Connecticut – which signed veteran star Katie Douglas away from Indiana and used draft day to select Chiney Ogwumike and acquire No. 4 overall pick Alyssa Thomas via trade with New York – captured the vote as the team that will be most improved (33 percent), edging New York and San Antonio (25 percent each).

Ten players received votes as the player most likely to have a breakout season, with Phoenix’s Brittney Griner and Los Angeles’s Ogwumike sharing the top honor (17 percent each).  Similarly, nine players were in the mix as the league’s most underrated player, with Seattle’s Tanisha Wright leading the way (27 percent).

 

The coaching category included a variety of winners. Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve was given the nod as the best head coach (42 percent) and the coach that runs the best offense (50 percent); Seattle’s Brian Agler was considered to be the best head coach in the last two minutes of a game and the head coach with the best defensive schemes (42 percent each), as well as the head coach that makes the best in-game adjustments (33 percent).  The Washington Mystics’ Mike Thibault, a three-time winner of the WNBA’s Coach of the Year award (2006, 2008, and 2013), was voted as the head coach that is the best at developing young players (42 percent).

 

The GMs also felt that Seattle will be bolstered in 2014, not only by the return of seven-time All-Star point guard Sue Bird, who missed the entire season a year ago following knee surgery, but also by a rabid fan base at KeyArena. The Storm, for the fifth straight year, was considered by the GMs to have the best home-court advantage.

 

Additional leaders in the WNBA.com GM survey included:

  • Minnesota’s Whalen – best point guard (58 percent)
  • San Antonio’s Becky Hammon (now in her 16th season and returning from ACL surgery) – player with the greatest hunger to win a championship (33 percent)
  • Chicago’s Delle Donne, Phoenix’s Griner, and Minnesota’s Moore – player who forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments (17 percent apiece)
  • Atlanta’s McCoughtry – player who is the most dangerous in the open floor (58 percent)
  • Seattle’s Bird, San Antonio’s Hammon, and Washington’s Kara Lawson – active player that would make the best head coach someday (25 percent each)

 

About the WNBA

The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Boost Mobile as its leaguewide marquee partner, will tip off its 18th season on May 16, 2014.

 

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

Lending growth reported by Chelsea Groton

Chelsea Groton LogoGroton – Chelsea Groton Bank saw its profits increase by 17 percent last year, according to financial results released Thursday, thanks largely to one of its best years ever for loan originations.

The Groton-based bank’s profits of $4.75 million last year compared with net income of $4.06 million the prior year.

“We’re sticking to our core business and executing very well,” B. Michael Rauh Jr., Chelsea Groton’s president and chief executive officer, said in an interview this week at the bank’s headquarters on Poquonnock Road. “We focus on customer service.”

Rauh said 2013 was the bank’s second-best year ever for loan originations. Total loans approached $592 million, up 5.5 percent on the year.

Rauh said last year featured strong interest in mortgage refinancing – accounting for more than three-quarters of all residential loan activity. This year, with rising interest rates, he said the bank’s home-purchase loans are accounting for 75 percent of mortgage activity, with refinancing down to 25 percent.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union may have accounted for about 100 more mortgages than Chelsea Groton last year in the region, but Rauh said the Groton mutual bank’s $117 million in originations made it No. 1 in total dollar volume. Chelsea Groton has 14 local branches.

Rauh said he is proud of the bank’s continued ability to fund local business projects, including Thames Edge at Fairview in Groton, a Starbucks franchise in Norwich, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream and Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in New London.

“As a local company, that’s kind of what we do,” he said.

Rauh added that the bank’s financial-services group had one of its best years ever.

In addition, the bank has seen a dramatic dropoff in nonperforming loans, Rauh said, with no need to set aside additional money for loan losses last year. The bank and its foundation donated more than $300,000 to local charities in 2013, he said.

In addition, Rauh said, the bank’s capital position continues to grow, with 14.1 percent of its assets held in reserve. That’s far above the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 5 percent minimum for well-capitalized banks, he said.

“We are laying the groundwork for continued success in the years to come,” Rauh said in a statement.

To celebrate its 160th year in business in 2014, Rauh said, Chelsea Groton is giving each of its employees $160 to donate to a cause that they choose – whether it be a homeless shelter, a food pantry or supplies for a classroom.

At its 159th annual meeting Thursday at Mystic Marriott, members of the mutual bank heard a recap of last year’s financial highlights. They also elected Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, 18th chief of the Mohegan Tribe, as a new board member, while choosing as new corporators Michael Alfultis, director of the University of Connecticut at Avery Point campus, attorney Ellen C. Brown of Groton and financial expert Fred A. Conti of Mystic.

Sample Post With Threaded Comments

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With Image Aligned Left

Heres a sample caption, with a sample image aligned left.

Here's a sample caption with an image aligned left.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With Image Aligned Right

Here's a sample caption with a sample image aligned right.

Here's a sample caption with an image aligned right.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With Image Centered

Here's a sample caption with a sample image centered.

Here's a sample caption with an image centered.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With an Unordered List

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

  • Unordered list item #1
  • Unordered list item #2
  • Unordered list item #3
  • Unordered list item #4
  • Unordered list item #5

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With an Ordered List

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

  1. Ordered list item #1
  2. Ordered list item #2
  3. Ordered list item #3
  4. Ordered list item #4
  5. Ordered list item #5

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

Sample Post With a Blockquote

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.