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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

July 27, 2006 at 6:08 PM

Welcome back, Jack

Former owner Jack Rodgers was at practice on Thursday, proudly wearing his Storm garb and joining the post-practice huddle. As a board member, he declined to comment on the sale of the Sonics/Storm, but the women said it was good to see him and have his continued support.
“This group will always know the people that have been here, they will always have a special place in our heart,” Storm guard Betty Lennox said. “They are very valuable to the team still. He was then when we won a championship and is now. [People like Rodgers] are very important to the team.”
Coffee guru Howard Schultz dubbed Rodgers “Mr. Storm” when the group purchased the organization in 2001 and Rodgers has hosted annual parties at his Mercer Island home for the team in addition to traveling and attending most practices and games. He is retired, but owns a few restaurant chains and dabbles in other investments.
Rodgers, 74, simply smiled when asked if he had plans to purchase the Storm. The only thing he would offer for the record was a strong belief that the Oklahoma City-based businessmen who bought both basketball franchises for $350 million are genuine in their intent to keep the teams local.
Regardless, Rodgers will stick around.
“Since I’ve been here Jack has been here,” said All-Star Sue Bird, who’s in her fifth season. “He’s definitely someone who supports us and we know he has our back. Even though the team, technically he doesn’t own it anymore, I still feel like he’ll always support us and he’ll always be there even if it’s just in spirit.”

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