"We see Abby as a critical piece for the future of this franchise" was the phrase Alisha Valavanis used to describe the importance of Abby Bishop rejoining the team when her signing was announced in late February.
After a rough first three games of WNBA action after a five year absence, Bishop showed Sunday against the LA Sparks just why Valavanis and the Storm are so high on her abilities.
In 27 minutes of action, Bishop led Seattle to a 60-54, come from behind victory. The Australian national team member contributing career high 18 points on 7-12 shooting including 4-9 from behind the arc in the winning effort.
Bishop's offensive barrage, most of which came in the second half, stood in stark contrast to her first three games in which she scored a combined 10 points on 4-18 shooting.
In a similar turnaround, first overall pick Jewell Loyd, who had been 5-31 from the field through three games heading into Sunday, finished the game with 10 points on 4-10 shooting.
With her mentor Kobe Bryant sitting court-side, Loyd managed to repeatedly get to the rim against the Sparks defense, and added three rebounds, two assists and two steals to go along with her first career game scoring in double figures.
Combined, Bishop and Loyd, two of the cornerstones of the Storm's rebuild, were responsible for scoring or assisting on more than half of Seattle's points, and also grabbed 18% of the teams 33 rebounds in the contest.
The combined performances from the two young up and coming stars showed the first glimpse of what Storm fans can expect in the years to come from both players.
The Storm return to action on Tuesday against Connecticut. The meeting will mark the first time that Renee Montgomery, Camille Little and Shekinna Stricklen will face off against their former teams after being traded this past offseason.