Rain can't rain on Seattle Storm's WNBA title parade
Friday's celebration had an intimate feel and people kept dry with the party being moved inside. Fans started waiting outside at 5 p.m. to sit as close as possible. They had to be told not to run in, with KeyArena ushers fearful of them slipping.
Seattle Times staff reporter
For more than 5,000 fans who came to celebrate the Storm's WNBA championship on Friday night, it didn't matter that they had to fight the rain to get into KeyArena.
Breyahna Coston, 22, didn't even bring an umbrella.
"This is Seattle, this is nothing," said the 22-year-old after getting warm inside KeyArena.
It seemed the Storm flag swaying atop the Space Needle provided a covering for all its fans below as the team hosted its victory parade Friday night. Players and owners piled into the back of Subaru Outbacks, using the trunk door as covering, as a police escort led them from the base of the Needle to KeyArena.
Inside fans stood and awaited their arrival while dancing in their seats.
"This is cool," said Coston, who was on the south baseline adjacent to the Storm bench. "This is one of the teams I always go for in Seattle; the rest don't really pull through. But this one, we always make it pretty far, if not win the whole thing, so this is my team."
The parade route was shorter than when Seattle won its first title in 2004. Then owned by Howard Schultz, the Storm left its old training facility behind the Space Needle parking lot and went to Westlake Center, celebrating with fans from an upper balcony.
Yet Friday's celebration had a more intimate feel and people kept dry with the party being moved inside. Fans started waiting outside at 5 p.m. to sit as close as possible. They had to be told not to run in, with KeyArena ushers fearful of them slipping.
"It's about time," said Terry Hamberg, 47, of Cle Elum. She and Jana E. Stoner arrived early to sit in the season-ticket holder seats they've had since 2000. "We've been through it and now it's that moment. It's like them (the players), you don't know how to put it into words."
KeyArena erupted when Storm CEO Karen Bryant said, "We did not lose a game in this building!" Some fans pumped brooms in the air to further emphasize Seattle going 21-0 at home through the regular-season and the postseason, sweeping its way to the 2010 WNBA title.
The day was recognized as "Seattle Storm Day" by the city, county and state. Tears started falling from players like Finals MVP Lauren Jackson when confetti dropped as a montage reel from the championship win Thursday played on the jumbo screen.
"It was really nice to come back to KeyArena," Storm guard Tanisha Wright said. "It would have been really nice to be here and win it in front of 15,000 fans, but the fans that came to Atlanta were great and to get the same response when we finally get back here is amazing."
All-Star forward Swin Cash couldn't let the moment pass without thanking the team's male practice squad. The men play against the team daily, often running the plays of the opponents to prepare the Storm.
"By the 20th practice, I knew they were going to win it," said Cory Christianson, who has been part of the practice group for five years.
The celebration ended with the team traveling to the four corners of the court. Fans were allowed to take pictures with both trophies, but the highlight was coach Brian Agler doing his now famous Stanky Legg dance at center court with Camille Little, Le'coe Willingham and Ashley Robinson.
"It was amazing, especially out in the rain. It was five-deep lining the streets," said Storm chairman Dawn Trudeau. "We really do have the best fans in the league."
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