By Colin Davenport
The new era of Storm basketball got underway Sunday, with the team opening training camp, with a roster that looks very different from a year ago. Of the 14 players who were in attendance (Bahamian center Waltiea Rolle is waiting on her visa to be approved) only Sue Bird, Alysha Clark, Crystal Langhorne and Jenna O'Hea were with the franchise last year.
From those four only Bird and Clark have been with the team more than a single season. The number of new players at camp, including five who have never played in a regular season game, has created a great deal of excitement and uncertainty heading into the season.
"(It's) a challenge, but it's a fun challenge," said new head coach Jenny Boucek. "Our goal all year is going to be to learn as quickly as possible."
Bird mirrored Boucek's sentiments, "We're off to a really good start. Obviously the first couple of days, maybe a week, there's going to be a lot of learning and getting adjusted and used to each other but I thought today was a good start."
Of the new comers the greatest focus is on number one overall pick Jewel Loyd and number 3 overall pick Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Both players, Loyd with her signature mid-range game and Mosqueda-Lewis with her lights out shooting and a surprising level of defensive intensity, demonstrated during scrimmages that they are ready to make an impact at the WNBA level.
"Overall I think it went really well," said Mosqueda-Lewis "We came out with a lot of excitement and a lot of energy."
"Everyone's focused," added Loyd. "We have all-stars who set the tone early on (and we are) learning from them."
Another newcomer is University Of Washington legend Jazmine Davis who was invited to camp after going undrafted in April. Despite being slightly nervous to begin the day, Davis held her own against All Stars Renee Montgomery and Sue Bird.
"I'm just coming in, taking it day-by-day and I'm having fun," said Davis. "I'm enjoying the experience and leaving it all out on the court."
With day one of camp in the books, the players now begin two-a-day sessions that will see the full implementation of Boucek's new system. It will also determine which two of the five training camp invitees might be on the roster for opening night on June 6th.