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May 5, 2006 at 5:50 PM


There’s been a lot of national talk about hurricane awareness with the start of a new hurricane season beginning June 1. For Seattle players Janell Burse and Simone Edwards, the damage of last season’s tropical storms haven’t even become faint memories yet.
Edwards spent part of her offseason in her native Jamaica doling out clothes and supplies to people while Burse helped her family clean out their home in New Orleans from when Katrina hit last August. While digging through murky rubble that saw weeks of standing water and heat, Burse found her 2004 championship ring in perfect condition.
Burse thought she lost the memento in the storm and the organization was looking into replacing it, according to Karen Bryant, the Storm’s chief operating officer.
“The boxes must have been really good, they were air tight, because I opened it and the inside was all clean, nothing on it. You know, like nothing ever touched it,” said Burse of the mahogany case.
“But the box on the outside was all muddy and stuff.”
As with last season, Burse said she’s attempting to not think about hurricane season. Still, she’ll probably flick to the Weather Channel when warnings are issued again.
“It’s definitely on my mind,” she said. “My parents are in Houston [now], which is still a spot where a hurricane could hit. But I’m trying not to think too much about it.”
Burse worked on shooting this past offseason, stretching her range to the three-point line. The 6-5 center has only attempted four three-pointers in her six-year career, none in Seattle, not making a single hoist. She’s nailed a few 18-footers in training camp and said she could make the three, but don’t get excited that she’ll join Lauren Jackson and Wendy Palmer in the post club of outside shooters.
“I don’t think it’s something you’ll see me doing this season, maybe in Europe,” Burse said.
Is this because Donovan would yank her off the court?
“She wouldn’t if it went in, but I don’t want that kind of pressure,” Burse said with a laugh.
Lauren Jackson has an update for one of the blog entries she saw posted here recently.
Turns out the maverick does have a new tattoo this season, an intricate single-stem red rose on the nape of her neck. She said the meaning is personal, but part of it “has to do with life. When you think about a rose and take away all the pedals one by one, you’re left with just the stem.”
With the Aussie accent, it sounded poetic, but it’s definitely deep.
Jackson was feeling pumped after practice on Friday because even though she’s limited to 60 minutes on the court, she was finally able to run up and down the court and that was with guard Sue Bird. Since it’s the most running Jackson has done, the team is going to be watchful of any tenderness on Saturday.
“This league is so much different from what I’ve been doing and where I’ve been playing,” said Jackson of the matched athleticism and height she has to adjust to when playing in the WNBA. “Like every year, it always takes a bit of time for me to sort of get back to where I was, fit in.”
Donovan said she’ll probably only play Jackson 20 minutes in Sunday’s exhibition against New York, but the number is an estimate. According to Donovan, the team doesn’t need to be concerned with winning at all costs to start the season, just play well and get Jackson healthy in order to take over just before the midway point of the 34-game season.
The Storm was 8-9 heading into the All-Star break in 2005 and finished the season 20-14 to place second in the Western Conference for the second consecutive season. That gave the team home court advantage in the playoffs, but the Storm lost the best-of-three series to Houston 2-1.



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