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Women's Hoops

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

May 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Around the WNBA: Spokane’s Briann January, Sue Bird return

WNBABall.jpgFirst, that was a longer layoff from the blog than expected. We changed internal systems at the newspaper and I got a new cellphone, so it took a minute to figure out how to operate and best use the new toys.
Since I’m still learning, I’ll use this space for bigger updates. Please check out my new Facebook “fan page” at Jayda Evans or Twitter (@JaydaEvans) for more immediate posts for now. Thanks for your patience through this. The outcome should result in better women’s basketball coverage.
Speaking of women’s hoops, the WNBA kicked off exhibition games this weekend and Spokane’s Briann January returned from a torn ACL. She scored a last-second layup to help Indiana defeat San Antonio 69-67 on Saturday.
January, a 5 foot 8 PG, missed the final 24 games of the 2011 regular season. In her comeback, she played 31 minutes and finished with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field, according to the team’s website.

Kirkland’s Cathrine Kraayveld signed with Atlanta in February, starting at forward in Saturday’s exhibition matchup against Tulsa. Onlookers weren’t too impressed with her 17 minutes. Kraayveled, 6-3, finished with three points on 1-for-5 shooting and three boards in a 91-89 win.
It was former Storm assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg’s first game as the new Shock head coach.

And what about the Storm? Well, the team is off Sunday but PG Sue Bird is back in town. She’s expected to report to camp on Monday, whether she can complete a physical in time for the late afternoon session will determine if she practices. You probably heard via Twitter that she helped lead her new Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, win the country’s title.
She’ll bring her normal calmness to camp, yet will split focus this week with USA Baksetball training in Seattle this weekend. That pre-Olympic training camp opens Friday with USAB facing China at KeyArena on Saturday.
It’s the first time since 1995 that the national team has played in Seattle. Then, Olympians like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes defeated the University of Washington 92-47 before 5,741 fans at Edmundson Pavilion.
As for the rest of the Storm team, the organization reports Spanish PG Silvia Dominguez should arrive Tuesday (but she tweeted an issue with her passport). Polish C Ewelina Kobryn will report Wednesday while G Tanisha Wright will join the team in Tulsa on Thursday. Seattle plays an exhibition game against the Shock on Friday.
Belgian C Ann Wauters, who won the EuroLeague Final 8 and Spanish league title with Dominguez and Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson, should arrive May 12. Seattle hosts Los Angeles in a exhibition game May 13 and plays its regular-season opener May 18 against, who else? The Sparks.
Lastly, in a twist I presume, former Storm G Svetlana Abrosimova was cut from Russian national team consideration. According to reports, she didn’t spend enough time the past two years playing in the country. Guess the Russians didn’t catch how valuable she was in helping Seattle win the 2010 WNBA title.
Given her age (31), this may open the door for Abrosimova to return to the WNBA instead of remaining in Russia to train for the 2016 Games. In prior interviews, the former University of Connecticut standout said she’d make a decision after the Olympics. Of course, salary cap space and interest from the Storm would be major factors.
Abrosimova posted via Twitter that she accidentally found out about the decision and was not contacted. I’ll keep you updated if there are any updates.



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