From the Storm: Lauren Jackson to Miss 2014 Storm Season Jackson to rehab right knee, left Achilles SEATTLE – Following Monday’s surgery on Lauren Jackson’s right knee and left Achilles, the Seattle Storm and Jackson have announced that she will not return to Seattle for the 2014 Storm season. “I’m so sad that I can’t play this year…More
Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson underwent successful knee and Achilles surgery late Monday in Melbourne. The injuries were discovered while playing in China and she’s expected to need a four-month recovery in order to extend her career until she’s 40. But that means she’ll likely miss a second WNBA season, which opens training…More
The Storm has a new Seattle Center neighbor. Seattle’s burgeoning pro soccer team, Reign FC, will play at Memorial Stadium. It announced a multi-year contract Thursday to host home matches at the facility, partnering with Seattle Public Schools to renovate the locker rooms and make other improvements to the venue named in…More
From the Storm: Seattle Storm Announces 2014 Schedule Home slate features 10 weekend games SEATTLE – The Storm will tip off its 2014 campaign versus Los Angeles at KeyArena on May 16. The 2014 Seattle Storm schedule, announced by the WNBA on Thursday, features three home games against the Sparks and two trips from both the reigning…More
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 13, 2014) – Including 14 Olympic and/or FIBA World Championship gold medalists, the 33-player 2014-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected, was announced today. The USA National Team pool will be fluid, and athletes may be added at any time by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.
Highlighting the returning veterans are three-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) and Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks); 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); and Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun) and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), who were members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Further, Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), members of the 2010 USA World Championship Team that won gold, have been named to the pool.
Also named to the 2013-16 USA National Team roster were: DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), Stefanie Dolson (University of Connecticut), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks), Briann January (Indiana Fever), Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (University of Notre Dame), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars), Odyssey Sims (Baylor University), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars).
Watching recent WNBA news swirl the past week about the loss of the Los Angeles Sparks owners seems like most feel the league is one Tinseltown from becoming Bikini Basketball — some obscure version of hoops never to be heard of again.
A league spokesperson on Friday told The Seattle Times there is no update to report. The WNBA hasn’t even acknowledged the story on its website and the Sparks’ site streams along as if nothing has happened, Ticketmaster allowing you to purchase packages, too.
LA’s last tweet on its Twitter account was Dec. 27 asking for more followers. The Sparks have more than 28,000 as of Sunday morning.
Don't forget to tell your friends/fam to follow us! We need 30,000 by 2014 for someone to win the ultimate Sparks experience. #WeAreSparks
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) December 27, 2013
Everyone, including Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel, states the league was blindsided by the dropout, so it’s natural some details haven’t been broached. Like the NBA, the WNBA doesn’t open its books, so none publicly knows the real financial state of the league. A major television network has even dumped money in a failed league before (XFL anyone?), so ESPN investing in the WNBA through the 2022 season doesn’t cement stability.
Still, the WNBA isn’t going to crumble without LA. The NFL surely didn’t.
There’s a passionate fan base that’s started a petition to keep the team in the city. But honestly, the WNBA has long needed to return to the Bay Area.More
Positive news surfaced Thursday in the Golden State Warriors confirming it is interested in operating a WNBA team. Los Angeles Sparks chairman Paula Madison announced Thursday her family-owned business could no longer operate the team, laying off the front office staff and coaches on New Year’s eve.
Madison told the Associated Press her family lost $12 million since taking over the franchise in 2007, including $1.4 million last season. The Sparks lost its major sponsorship deal with Farmer’s Insurance in 2012, which added to the financial problems for the team.
LA and Phoenix were the first to sign those “marquee” deals in 2009, replacing the team name to the sponsors’ name on the front of jerseys.
The Storm could lose its title sponsor, Bing, according to team co-owner Lisa Brummel, who’s a Microsoft executive. Seattle isn’t expected to suffer like LA, however.More
Longtime Storm executive Karen Bryant resigned on Friday. The team is searching for a replacement for when her term ends at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
“I feel that now is the right time to step away from the Storm,” Bryant said in a released statement. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished the past 14 seasons. Right now, I am focused and excited about the upcoming celebration of the Storm’s 15th anniversary season.”
Bryant, 46, was the team’s first employee when Seattle was awarded a franchise in 1999. She previously was part of the defunct Seattle Reign, helping the city transition from harsh perceptions about the WNBA and its possible involvement in the dissolving of the ABL in December 1998.
A native of Edmonds who currently resides in Leschi, Bryant used her Washington roots to build the Storm into one on the league’s ideal franchises with a passionate fan base and perennial All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson who led Seattle to two WNBA championships (2004, 2010). The Storm advanced to a WNBA-record 10th playoff appearance in 2013, losing in the opening round to the eventual champion Minnesota.
Bryant led the Storm through four ownership groups, three coaches, two championships and one split from the NBA when the Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.
News of Bryant’s departure comes at a tenuous time for the WNBA. On Thursday, Los Angeles Sparks chairman Paula Madison announced her family-owned company could no longer be involved with the charter franchise. NBA commissioner David Stern, who initiated the birth of the league, is retiring in February and the CBA expired in September.More
Storm All-Star Tina Thompson and Seattle U coach Joan Bonvicini are among the city’s six women nominated for Female Sports Star of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission. Winners will be announced Jan. 22, 2014 during the 79th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet at Benaroya Hall downtown.
Created by Royal Brougham and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1936, the event celebrates achievements of those in the local sports community and industry. Anyone can vote once every 24 hours for the winners on the commission’s website.
Voting began earlier in December and runs through Jan. 15, 2014. The total vote is based 50 percent by the public and 50 percent by the Sports Star Committee.
Storm All-Stars Sue Bird (2002), Lauren Jackson (2003) and former coach Anne Donovan, who led the franchise to its first WNBA championship in 2004, were past winners from the pro basketball team. Former Stanford All-American, Kate Starbird, won in 1997.
Thompson, who won the inaugural four WNBA championships with the defunct Houston Comets, retired after a 17-year career in the league. Playing her final two seasons for the Storm, she finished as the all-time leading WNBA scorer with 7,488 points and is second on the all-time rebounding list with 3,070.More
Forget New Year’s Day, Samantha MacKay has Jan. 2 circled on her calendar.
Four months after her Hungarian team’s bus accident in September left two dead and her with three cracked vertebrae (C3, C4, and C7), MacKay will be cleared to travel to rejoin her Uni Gyor squad. Currently in a hard neck brace after the accident flung her through a window into a ditch, MacKay said she’ll finish her rehab in Hungary.
She’s determined to play this season.
“I’ve always been pretty stubborn,” MacKay said in a phone interview last week from her family home in Philadelphia. “Laying in the hospital that day, I was like, no matter what, you’re going to get back’ and I’ll deal with whatever has to happen.
“But I’m getting back to playing, again. The doctor said there’s no reason I can’t. I just need to allow it to heal and give it enough time and try not to rush back.”
Of the players able, MacKay, a former Storm training camp invitee, is the last member of the Hungarian team to return. Former Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky) and Storm F Joslyn Tinkle are some of the replacement players filling out the roster.More