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April 25, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Live from training camp: Storm scrimmage

So, I’m running out of battery juice and I’m not sure how long this will last, but we’ve been let into the practice facility and the team is playing full-court against the male practice players. On the floor now is Shyra Ely, Ashley Robinson, Katie Gearlds, Yolanda Griffith, and Kimberly Beck at the point.
Beck, the rookie third-round pick, has been picking up her game in camp. She’s playing with her lower right chin in a big bandage from an earlier injury. She said she can’t tell too much about how she’s doing, yet, but she’s trying to show her defense and keep the turnovers down.
VETS BACK: Sheryl Swoopes is ridding the bike now, but she returned to action with Griffith today. Both were out on Thursday just to give the veterans a break going into the regular season. The Storm opens exhibition play on Wednesday in Chicago and coach Brian Agler said he hasn’t decided how he’ll use the two in the game.
NEW ‘DO: Geeky, but one of the things I was looking forward to about Swoopes joining the Storm was the change in her hairstyles (yes, I realize this has nothing to do with hoops). Well, she’s on style No. 3, ditching the Media Day curls for a longer, straight look. At her press conference, it was in a cute bob.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Swoopes’ family is watching practice baseline with the media.They’re here just for the weekend. Swoopes said after the session that they weren’t supposed to be here, but when she took a photo of herself in son Jordan’s Seattle-based room and sent it to him, he called crying about wanting to be here. “Thank God for frequent-flier miles!” Swoopes said. They’re expected to make another weekend visit and be here for the opener.
PLAY STOPPED: The Storm is working through the offense in slow motion. Agler pulls the entire team together to huddle and go over pointers he thinks all should know and then lets five run through the set. Beck, Swoopes, Griffith, Gearlds and Robinson are on the court now
HIGH-FIVES ALL AROUND: One cool thing I’m noticing about this team is that they’re all really pulling for each other even though it’s stiff competition. Yo made a strong move underneath the basket to end the session and everyone crowded around to give the five on the floor high-fives. The group is real chatty and from what I can overhear, they like hanging around each other afterward, too.
DECISIONS COMING: Camp ended and Agler said he’s going to roundtable with his staff this afternoon to decide the first set of cuts. Guards are overflowing at camp and the shaving could come there. Agler is also expecting Doneeka Hodges on Sunday and Swin Cash on Wednesday and doesn’t want his active count to reach too high. Teams have to have active numbers whittled to 15 by Tuesday.
RICE UPDATE: Talked to Katie Gearlds about the whole “white on rice” quote overheard by Agler on Thursday and she confirmed that it was directed at her. “He’s trying to make me a better player on the defensive end. I told him I appreciate it because I want to become better, I want to find a way to help this team win. For that to be the case, I need to be on the floor and be able to guard people. We talked about it a little bit yesterday and he said he’s going to be on me and I said ‘Thank you’ because I know he’s caring. He can continue to be white on rice and I’ll continue to try to get better.”
CAMP STARS: Beck got the nod today, running the point with confidence. Washington standout Kristen O’Neill also had a rep at PG, but Agler said he hadn’t seriously thought of her there so it just adds to the decisions his staff has to make.
QUOTEABLE: “What you about to do in your church socks on?” said Robinson to Jordan, who found a pair of Storm practice shorts and was going to wear those with his tan socks to play ball after practice. But he opted for jeans to play against Mom and the PR staff.



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