We already know that a few Seattle Storm players have been waived following spring training. As much of a bummer as that is, it is news to be expected, given how many women were on the team to begin with and that it’s a given during any year. The fun part of training, however, is to follow the players while they train and see how well they are doing and find out where the strength of the team will be coming from for the season.
Right away the team found out that Breanna Stewart was the star player that she’s always been, blocking, running and scoring, showing that she really is the number one pick of the WNBA Draft. She said, “I think the biggest thing that anyone wants to show their teammates is that you work extremely hard. No matter what happens skill-wise – because you’re here for a reason skill-wise – it’s about that mentality of working hard, giving your best effort and enjoying being here.” Indeed, her teammates agreed that she worked hard during training.
Sue Bird was directing the team during practice after an off season of rest and strengthening instead of more competition, which is what a lot of her teammates did overseas. Boucek says that the re-energized Bird’s level of energy and improvement was “unbelievable,” and Jewell Loyd said, “When you come into training camp with someone like Sue Bird as your leader, everyone is focused. Everyone is willing to learn.” Boucek said that Chrystal Langhorne was also in great form during camp after a great off season in Slovakia.
In addition to assessing the players and their skills, training was all about preparing the players for the upcoming season. Boucek wanted to make sure that all of the athletes were on the same page and ready to work together as a cohesive unit. Although the team still has 12 players from last year’s team, which should make working as a unit together much easier than it woul d be with all rookies, there is still enough fresh blood on the team to require plenty of hard work and communication among the women of the team. Bird said, “The biggest difference between this year and last year is that there’s quite a few of us that were here. So we’re able to move things along much quicker than the usual first day of training camp.” Hopefully moving more quickly translates to being ready for the season faster, too.
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