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July 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Notes from Storm practice: Returns, babies, and soccer

BabyBurse.JPGStorm F Camille Little returned to practice on Monday after apparently attending the wedding of former North Carolina teammate LaToya Pringle and Byron Saunders. No one from the Storm camp would confirm this however, including Little.
It’s just all over the web.
Apparently from several sources outside of the Storm camp, Los Angeles wasn’t even supposed to speak about Pringle and Little’s whereabouts last weekend. A reserve post for the Sparks, Pringles team still managed to defeat Tulsa 79-74 on Friday. Little, a starter, missed the Storm’s 69-62 loss in Minnesota.
True, it’s during the season, so that could be the beef. Yet, it’s a major life event equivalent to birth of a child or graduation — reasons NBA players regularly miss games. Doesn’t seem worthy of the mum treatment unless other players were denied missing games for a similar reason.
But what’s a WNBA bride to do? Even a reserve like Pringle has to squeeze in a personal life around a hectic year-round playing schedule. Only the uber elite like Sue Bird can take a few months off to enjoy real life and it seriously not cost them financially or playing-wise.
At some point the league is going to have to give a little. Not everybody thinks a winter wonderland-themed wedding is cute.
Anyway, Little may not be starting. But Storm coach Brian Agler said it didn’t have anything to do with her absence. He could be rewarding C Ashley Robinson (6-foot-4) with the treat of going against 6-6 Sylvia Fowles, the current Player of the Week winner who tallied a career-high eight blocks in a loss to Atlanta on Saturday. Fowles leads the league in scoring (20.4), helping the Sky go 6-2 at Allstate Arena.
Or Agler could make a different move, trying to clean up turnovers (Seattle is averaging 18) and get some offense going. The Storm was 9 for 23 from three-point range against the Lynx, getting outscored 22-2 midway through the loss.
“To me, when you say the shots don’t drop, that’s obviously a big part of the game but it’s an excuse,” Agler said. “I try to look at things we control or determine more than shots dropping…like making sure we get good shots and that we get shots, that we don’t turn it over.”
Seattle had an extended session on Monday, watching film before it hit the court.
“It was good stuff,” said G Katie Smith, who started in place of Little on Saturday. “We got a good sweat and competed. It was nice to compete and go hard. It’s a big game for us. Syl is the biggest challenge. You’re not going to stop her, but we’ll try to minimize her presence.”
AW SHUCKS!: Like most of America, the Storm was disappointed in the U.S.’s World Cup loss to Japan on Sunday. Many of the players watched from their hotel lobby after arriving in Chicago for Tuesday’s game, using Twitter and text messages to vent their excitement and frustration at the game.
“I was very sad, watching,” said Storm PG Sue Bird, who was with friends in Chicago but kept in contact with teammates like G Tanisha Wright via text. “Heartbreaking. It was a tough one.”
Smith agreed, tweeting her empathy for the Americans several times.
“It just hurts, but it was a great game,” she siad. “Ugh! You know it’s going to sit with them for a long time. We’ve all been there done that. It makes you not want to take any opportunities you get for granted. It gets your juices flowing, like let’s go out and compete.”
BABY NEWS: Perhaps you’ve heard about Tully Bevilaqua and her 14-week-old son Parker. Bevilaqua actually celebrates her 39th birthday on Tuesday. Well, another former Storm player, Janell Burse, also had her baby.
Burse, 32, physically gave birth, dealing with some complications prior to welcoming Kamron Blaise Henderson to the world on July 2. He weighed 6-pounds, 14-ounces and was 19 5/8 inches long.
“The scary part was me going in to the hospital because I didn’t feel the baby moving as much as he normally would,” wrote Burse in an e-mail. She married in May and hopes to rejoin the WNBA and play overseas, working out the day before giving birth. “When I got checked in, they put the baby on a monitor and his heart rate dropped two different times, apparently he had the umbilical cord tangled next to his head, and wasn’t getting enough blood and oxygen. So my doctor decided to do the C-section after his heart rate decreased the second time. Thank God I went to the hospital that day!”
Above is a photo of baby Henderson, provided by Burse.



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