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August 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Reserve center Nakia Sanford leaves Storm

StormLogoReserve center Nakia Sanford left the Storm this week. Coach Brian Agler confirmed her absence on Thursday prior to the team playing Phoenix.

Sanford, a 11-year veteran, was cut July 18 before WNBA contracts became guaranteed. Agler signed her to two seven-day contracts, keeping a financial option open to sign a better player.

After signing the second on Sunday, Sanford left for her home in Atlanta.

“She just didn’t prefer seven-day contracts,” Agler said. “It was a mutual agreement. We can’t demand that she does anything. She’s a great person and was very professional about it. She looks at her situation as a business as we have to, too.”

Sanford, 37, will be paid for the full week. Agler said the team will sign a 10th player despite not even finding one to replace Sanford the past month.

Agler signed Sanford in the offseason to help fill a void left by international star posts Ann Wauters (Belgium) and Lauren Jackson (Australia). Wauters opted not to return in order to spend time with her young family while Jackson, a three-time MVP, underwent hamstring surgery in January.

But Sanford didn’t perform as Agler had hoped. She was a solid defender but an offensive liability, shooting 29.6 percent from the field.

Agler signed center Ashley Robinson on July 12. A member of the Storm’s 2010 championship team, Robinson didn’t intend to play this season. She expected to finish her playing career in Korea this winter.

Robinson, a 10-year veteran, usurped Sanford in the team’s rotation and her contract was guaranteed.

“I wasn’t coming back for a tryout,” Robinson said.

Robinson said returning was seamless.

“It’s crazy how you remember things,” she said of being a friend or former teammate of everyone aside from rookie Tianna Hawkins. “They’ve tweaked certain things since I’ve been gone and I’ve got to get my timing back for certain things. That’s normal. T (Tanisha Wright) and Meek (Temeka Johnson) are good guards, so they help you. Not having Sue (Bird due to knee injury), at least we have them.”

0 Comments | More in Storm, WNBA | Topics: Brian Agler

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