Storm coach Brian Agler, who’s also the team’s general manager, said he intends to sign rookie C Waltiea Rolle to a second seven-day contract. Rolle signed her first deal with the Storm on July 21. Under the new collective-bargaining agreement, three is the limit for seven-day contracts per player, per season.
Rolle didn’t play in either of the three games Seattle (9-18) has played since she was signed. She’s had two practices with the team, getting her longest session on Friday. Agler had the starters run through a light workout, keeping the reserves and Rolle to play scrimmages against the male practice squad.
“We’re always looking to find young players and build for the future,” Agler said.
Rolle, who’s 6-feet-6, was a third-round pick by Minnesota in the 2013 draft. She opted not to play in the WNBA to complete her degree in sports administration and exercise sports science at UNC. Rolle was a top shot-blocker for the Tar Heels, named to the ACC All-Defensive team by coaches. Her 89 blocks her senior season ranks sixth all-time in program history.
Born in Nassau but having played high school ball in Texas, Rolle made a name for herself in Bulgaria. She averaged 23 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 25 games as a starter this season. Her team, Haskovo 2012, reached the country’s playoff Finals. Rolle was also named MVP for the Cup of Bulgaria tournament.
Rolle, 23, first reported to Minnesota’s training camp in May and was cut. She played in three Lynx exhibition games against the Australian national team. She finished with 17 points and six turnovers in 23 minutes of play in the final game against the Opals. Minnesota won 82-66.
“I saw her play in college and liked her,” Agler said. “She’s very mobile and finishes well. But in college, I thought she had a really good senior year. I didn’t see any of her games in Europe.”
With the Storm teetering on a postseason berth, it’s unlikely Rolle sees actual game-action unless she makes drastic strides in practice or there’s foul trouble among the bigs. She doesn’t know the system and Agler doesn’t want to hinder his team’s success because of player evaluations.
Seattle, which is on a seasonlong five-game losing skid, plays at Tulsa (8-17) on Tuesday. The teams are three games each behind Los Angeles for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Storm split its past two games with the Shock, which is 2-8 in its past 10 games.