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Women's Hoops

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

May 14, 2008 at 3:18 PM

Live from training camp: LJ returns to Seattle

Spotted Lauren Jackson’s Jeep in the parking lot and her on the court, so the Storm is officially complete. Jackson arrived on Tuesday evening, according to coach Brian Agler, and passed a physcial this morning to be able to practice this afternoon. Agler specifically pushed the session back for Jackson.
We haven’t been let in, so I’ll continue with parking lot observations. In past years, the lot was loaded with bad rentals. Another payoff for playing overseas is getting a nice ride. Sue Bird drives a Range Rover, Shyra Ely is hopeful to ship her Yukon Denali to Seattle, and Yolanda Griffith sports a convertible Benz.
And one last observation before we go in, my guess is that Jackson is the most popular media draw. There are three cameras and three papers for her arrival today. Bird drew a big crowd, but only two TV stations.
STORMS SIGNS ROMANIAN: The Storm signed C Florina Pascalau today. The roster is back at 15 players with the need to trim to a maximum 13, including two inactive, by Friday afternoon. I’ll have more on why Pascalau, who’s 6-foot-4, was added in tomorrow’s newspaper. As for now, Agler did mention having difficulty communicating with post Kelly Santos during games, but liked her play. With C Janell Burse (foot) being out for the season, it’s understandable that Agler would want to find solid backup inside since Griffith isn’t going to be able to give 35 minutes a night and C Ashley Robinson is still developing her game.
LEWIS A LOCK?: Agler has the black team huddled up and it looks like the apparent first-teamers. Among the group is Doneeka Lewis, who was picked up by the Storm last July. On the court now is the anticipated starting lineup up in Jackson, Swin Cash, Sheryl Swoopes, Sue Bird, and Griffith. Jackson just made a smooth play on defense to get the ball, but was blocked by one of the male players when driving to the hoop on offense. (Tanisha Wright is also in black, everyone else, including Pascalau, is in white)
MOVING BETTER: Agler is running a three-guard lineup with Bird, Wright, and Lewis and it looks good. Lot of movement with Griffith and Robinson anchoring the inside. Agler is on the court giving pointers and showing players where the need to be. Jackson is seated on the sideline.
OWNERS IN THE HOUSE: Force 10 Hoops chairwoman Anne Levinson and member Ginny Gilder are seated among the media baseline. They joked that they can’t hide from all of the cameras here. Storm CEO Karen Bryant is also looking on.
NICE D: Katie Gearlds, yes, Katie Gearlds just caused one of the male practice players to show a lot of frustration because of her defense. In transition she shadowed him and forced a travel.
BREAKING IT DOWN: The expected starting unit is walking through an in-bounds play. Jackson just teased to Bird that she needs to “practice” the play. On the other end of the court, new assistant coach Nancy Darsch is running through the play with Kimberly Beck, Kelly Santos, Kristen O’Neill, Roneeka Hodges, Shyra Ely, KG, and Pascalau.
WRAPPING UP: That’s a wrap for practice and Jackson looks as if she wants to get the media part over, but she’s greeting the owners and gave a big huge to KB first. It’s her first time meeting part of the group. Bird also walked over and said “Hello.” The others have met the owners at various events throughout training camp.

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