Storm cuts two players as training camp continues
Storm coach Brian Agler waived wings Bridgette Mitchell and Lauren Prochaska.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Meet the StormKrystal Thomas
Position: Center. Height: 6-5. College: Duke.
Age: 21, born June 10, 1989.
Acquired: Drafted in the third round (36th overall) by the Storm in April. Hometown: Orlando.
• Is the oldest of four siblings. Mother Natalie Thomas passed in January 2006 of breast cancer but authored a book "No More Than I Can Bear" before dying.
• Totaled 300 rebounds her senior season, becoming second player in Duke history to reach the mark.
• Surgeon: After breaking her arm when she was in the fifth grade, Krystal declared she wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon — after a lengthy basketball career, of course.
• Search engine: Thomas is obsessed with Google. "I just like to know things. ... It's quick on my phone."
Storm coach Brian Agler changed his mind regarding making cuts on Friday. By Sunday he was certain, waiving wings Bridgette Mitchell and Lauren Prochaska.
Mitchell caught the staff's eye at a combine in Indianapolis in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in April. Agler, a native of Ohio, saw Prochaska often since she starred at Bowling Green State.
Neither player performed as strongly as others in camp. Prochaska said she was wide-eyed at first.
"You're kind of star-struck at first when you walk in and see everyone, but you just try to hold your own and act like you belong here," Prochaska said. "Katie Smith is from Ohio and was definitely a big idol of mine when I was younger."
Mitchell, who was undrafted after graduating from Duke in 2010, recently played a season in France and planned to continue to pursue her dream to play in the WNBA.
Prochaska has an agent and will play overseas in the hopes of landing on a team, too.
Agler didn't want to travel with a full 15-player roster when the Storm plays an exhibition game at Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon. But the director of player personnel could still bring in other prospects.
"Our goals in L.A. (are) some of the newer people we'll have a chance to evaluate," he said. "And we'll sort of gauge where our team is in terms of execution, conditioning, how we defend and things of that nature."
Storm guard Sue Bird made international waves, announcing a change in her winter playing plans.
After winning four EuroLeague titles with Spartak in Moscow, she'll play for rival UMMC. Former teammates Diana Taurasi (Turkey) and Lauren Jackson (Spain) have already left the team since the murder of owner Shabtai von Kalmanovic in 2009.
"Basically it came down to weighing where I am in my career; what was the right fit for me," said Bird, who won't join the team until January, taking time to rest after the WNBA season. "In terms of not going back (to Spartak), it was not easy. That's a place that I spent a majority of my career overseas and I'm very connected. I will always feel a part of that club the same way that Diana left last year and she'd ask how we were doing."
Other Storm players hadn't decided whether they would return to their respective overseas homes. But Bird was surprised that Taurasi, her former college teammate, opted to return to Turkey after she was involved in a wrongful doping scandal last winter.
"It was a chance for her to play again and a chance to make good money, which she wanted to do," Bird said. "But the first thing I said to her was, 'I hope you have security.' They're pretty crazy and rabid about their teams."
• The Storm's new flagship radio station, KPTK 1090-AM, will begin airing "Storm Warnings" reports on Mondays at 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. The segments are expected to be minute-long features with a player discussing various fun topics.
KPTK will air all 34 Storm regular-season games.
• The Storm's annual kickoff at Green Lake is from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Fans can meet the players and participate in activities. The Storm also refurbished the outdoor court at the facility and will unveil it at the event.
• Guard Tanisha Wright (family emergency) and forward Swin Cash (commencement ceremony) have returned from trips to Pittsburgh. Both practiced Sunday.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org