Seattle Storm player bios
Starters Swin Cash Position: Forward. Height: 6-1. Age: 31, born Sept. 22, 1979 in McKeesport, Pa. College: Connecticut. Acquired: Traded from Detroit...
Age: 31, born Sept. 22, 1979 in McKeesport, Pa.
Acquired: Traded from Detroit on Feb. 19, 2008 for the fourth pick in 2008 draft.
Hometown: McKeesport, Pa.
The word: A fierce competitor, Cash worked even harder on her outside shooting and midrange game to add a bigger punch to the Storm's offense. She shot a career-best 40.7 percent from beyond the three-point line last season, and averaged 6 rebounds. The three-time champion's leadership and consistency will be essential, again.
A champion is: "Someone that is a winner, that wins but ... makes the people around them better."
It's a good day when: "I wake up, can breathe fresh air and I'm healthy."
Age: 30, born May 11, 1981 in Albury, Australia.
Acquired: Selected No. 1 overall in the 2001 draft.
Hometown: Albury, Australia.
The word: The reigning MVP appears healthy after surgery on her left Achilles. She has not played since January, when she left Russia with the injury. The coaching staff wants her in better game-condition. She averaged 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season.
A champion is: "I call people champs every day. It's hard to answer. On the court, it's a person who's part of a winning team or a winner in their own right. In my eyes a champion is someone who has personality traits that have made them successful and is able to lead and be part of something worthy of the word champion."
It's a good day when: "You can go to bed happy with yourself."
Age: 26, born Jan. 18, 1985 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
College: North Carolina.
Acquired: Traded June 22, 2008 from Atlanta in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 draft.
Hometown: Durham, N.C.
The word: Little played in Israel last fall, spending a lot of time improving her three-point shot. She could play more on the wing, a natural slot for her size, but does most of her damage in the paint. Little averaged a career-best 10.1 points on 50-percent shooting last season with 5.2 rebounds per game.
A champion is: "Dedicated. A champion is hardworking. So many different words, but hardworking and dedicated is pretty cool."
It's a good day when: "It's not raining in Seattle."
Position: Point guard.
Age: 30, born Oct. 16, 1980 in Syosset, N.Y.
Acquired: Selected No. 1 overall in the 2002 draft.
Hometown: Syosset, N.Y.
The word: It's about time media looks at point guards for the MVP award. Bird was the clear, on-court orchestrator of the Storm's 2010 championship run. And if something failed, the five-time All-Star created the needed basket herself. Her improved dedication to defense and leadership are necessities if the Storm is to repeat. Bird, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was hindered by back spasms during training camp and last summer.
A champion is: "Tough."
It's a good day when: "It's sunny in Seattle."
Position: Shooting guard.
Age: 27, born Nov. 29, 1983 in West Mifflin, Pa.
College: Penn State.
Acquired: Selected 12th overall in the 2005 draft.
The word: Nothing has changed. Wright still prefers not to run the point. But she'll do it, again, this time with even better ballhandlers flanking her to help relieve pressure. Wright's love of slashing to the basket and pride in defense, often guarding the opponent's top player, is also needed. She averaged a career-high 4.5 assists and shot a career-best 41.1 percent from three-point range last season.
A champion is: "Tanisha Wright! What can I say? I'm a champion."
It's a good day when: "The sun shines when you open your eyes."
Age: 30, born Feb. 10, 1981 in Augusta, Ga.
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Feb. 9, 2010.
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
The word: Willingham dropped weight to be more versatile and quicker on defense. She was invaluable to Seattle last season, averaging 15.6 minutes off the bench and 5.5 points with 4.1 boards. Willingham's three-pointers were scarce, yet timely in numerous close games. The Storm needs more of the same from the two-time champion.
A champion is: "It's a lot of things — special, a leader, a great listener. It's a lot of different qualities that make up a champion. I can't just put it in one word."
It's a day good when: "I can spend time with my family and my loved ones."
Age: 36, born June 4, 1974 in Logan, Ohio.
College: Ohio State.
Acquired: Traded to Seattle from Washington on April 29 with forward Jacinta Monroe in a three-team deal for three draft picks.
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio.
The word: Smith isn't a big baseball fan, but she'll be a closer for the Storm. A three-time Olympian, this is her first stint playing off the bench — but she'll get significant minutes. A seven-time All-Star, she is a career 40-percent shooter from the field and can defend any position. Smith also has familiarity with the system, winning two titles in the defunct ABL with Storm coach Brian Agler.
A champion is: "Mentally tough."
It's a good day when: "The sun's out and I wake up."
Age: 30, born Jan. 10, 1981 in Mirboo North, Victoria, Australia.
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Feb. 9, 2011
Hometown: Mirboo North, Australia.
The word: Abruptly cut by San Antonio last summer. Snell has worked to be sure it doesn't happen again. She'll need to be deadly with her three-point shots and play solid defense. A WNBA champion (2007) and two-time Olympic silver medalist (Australia), Snell knows how to win.
A champion is: "A winner."
It's a good day when: "Everyone is healthy and everyone can play."
Age: 28, born Aug. 2, 1982 in Dallas.
Acquired: Traded from Chicago on June 29, 2006 for Cisti Greenwalt and 2007 second-round draft pick.
Hometown: Grand Prairie, Texas.
The word: Robinson averaged 8.2 minutes, 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds last season. In limited time, the blocks-happy center shot 41.3 percent. Producing positive stats while the starting post rotation rests is more Robinson's role. She's also a catalyst in locker-room chemistry.
A champion is: "A champion is the Storm!"
It's a good day when: "When the sun's shining in Seattle."
Age: 21, born Oct. 5, 1989 in Carson, Calif.
Acquired: Selected 24th overall in the 2011 draft.
Hometown: Carson, Calif.
The word: Converting to a full-time wing position after splitting time inside and on the perimeter could be challenging. Ibekwe, a two-time Pac-10 defensive player of the year, will also adapt well to the Storm's defensive mindset.
A champion is: "A hard worker."
It's a good day when: "I'm shopping for anything — boots, clothes, accessories, hair ties, sweaters, jeans. Everything."
Age: 21, born June 10, 1989 in Orlando, Fla.
Acquired: Selected 36th overall in the 2011 draft.
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
The word: Thomas was the final slot filled on the roster. She'll be a deep reserve, needed if the Storm has injuries in the post, and possibly developed for the future. Her rebounding and work ethic blend well. Thomas lacks shooting range, playing a true back-to-the basket post game.
A champion is: "Determined."
It's a good day when: "The sun is shining."
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