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Women's Hoops

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

May 11, 2007 at 8:07 AM

Barfly

A key new piece this season is Storm assistant coach Shelley Patterson. She’s replacing Jessie Kenlaw in coaching the post players.
Kenlaw was a good soundboard for the players and made practice fun by cheering for shooting games and teasing star Lauren Jackson. Patterson, who already knows center Tye’sha Fluker well since both were in Charlotte last season, has kept most of the same vibe. And my guess is she’ll get along with Jackson when the Aussie arrives.
They are both wannabe bartenders after all. Jackson has displayed this skill often, including a Storm fundraiser last season where she took pride in getting fans snookered. (Sorry, the team says they aren’t repeating the event this season) Patterson spends part of her offseason bartending for a friend’s bar in the Bahamas. (Jealous? I am.)
In fact, Patterson, Washington State’s all-time assist leader, was there when she learned the Sting folded in January. The bar only has one phone, so it took awhile for her to check her messages. When she did, listening to a message left by Anne Donovan, the Storm coach asked about the Charlotte roster (to prepare for the dispersal draft where she selected Fluker) and whether Patterson would like to come to Seattle. Patterson thought both queries were a little odd.
“That’s the only reason why I really knew our team had folded,” Patterson said.
Patterson has known Donovan and second-year Storm assistant Heidi VanDerveer since beginning coaching in 1989. Donovan said Patterson brings energy and knowledge, especially of the Eastern Conference, whose opponents the Storm was 8-6 against last summer.
“This is a great place to be,” Patterson said of Seattle. “It made my decision easy.”

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