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Seattle Storm fan Q&A session

This weekend, the Seattle Storm invited some fans for a Q&A session. We've got the summary.

On Saturday, the Seattle Storm held a fan Q&A session to discuss the upcoming season.  I had an opportunity to attend the event and take some notes.  The Q&A was with Seattle Storm President and General Manager Alisha Valavanis and new Storm player Monica Wright.  Monica Wright was traded to the Storm from Minnesota in the middle of this last season; unfortunately, Wright was battling a knee injury and did not get to play with the Storm last season.

Here are the highlights from the Q&A:

Questions for Monica:

When asked about positions she can play: Monica mentioned that she had played backup PG in Minnesota and felt comfortable in that role.  Her main position is Shooting Guard.

On her rehab: Rehab has gone well and she is practicing with the assistant coaches and playing 3-on-3 pick-up games.  She will be ready for the start of the season.

Wright mentioned she always wanted to play in Seattle.  She always hated playing in Seattle as an opponent because the fans are so supportive of the Storm, but also very knowledgeable of the game where they can accurately criticize the opponents.  She also really enjoys all the restaurants and arts in Seattle.

On if there was any disappointment on being traded from Minnesota and then seeing the Lynx go on to win the championship: Wright mentioned that she had a feeling Minnesota would win the title this past season very early on.  Sometimes teams know or have a good feeling as early as the preseason.  The fact that she had already won two WNBA Titles with the Lynx softened the blow.

When asked by a little girl on what needs to be done to get to the WNBA, Monica mentioned that she was never the best player in the world but she worked very hard.  She told the girl to shoot for the stars and to never doubt herself.

Questions for Alisha:

On the Draft and Free Agency: Valavanis said that she can't name specific names, but they are working hard on Free Agents and preparing for the Draft.  She mentioned that before last year's draft, they were in need of a shooting guard and they were able to solve that with drafting Jewell Loyd.  Now the team needs help up front, so they'll be looking for a big.  They will also need to focus on a backup PG that could potentially take over for Sue Bird when Sue decides to call it a career.

On the logo change: They spent a lot of time working with Adidas.  They wanted to do a brand shift with the logo change, to usher in the next era of Storm basketball.  They were with the Sonics previously and wanted to honor the traditional Sonics colors.  They decided not to fully re-design the logo to keep some of the classic tradition.  Alisha also mentioned that the logo is really going to pop when you see it more.  And that the entire league is going to have big changes when it comes to uniform designs this season, but that will be announced later.  There will be a lot more color in the uniforms.

On the challenges of having to rebuild the franchise: Valavanis said that they've tried to focus on more of a reload instead of a complete rebuild.  The focus was to develop a young core to mix with the veterans like Sue Bird, Crystal Langhorne, and (now) Monica Wright.  It has also been very important to have a great relationship with the owners, with Coach Jenny Boucek, and the fans.  This is the city's team. 

On if Ramu Tokashiki will play with the team this season (due to the Olympics): She said that they are working on it with Ramu and the Japanese club and they hope to get Tok to play with the Storm before and after the Olympics.  Tok will leave to go play with the Japanese national team for the Olympics.

On how we can get more people to the games: Valavanis said they just need to expose the game to more people.  Get fans to bring their other friends that have never been to a Storm game before.  They are confident they have a strong brand of basketball and great for families to attend.

I want to thank the Storm organization, President and General Manager Alisha Valavanis and Storm player Monica Wright for their time during Saturday's Fan Q&A session.