Camille Little, who came to the Storm in a 2008 trade from Atlanta, will be back in Seattle for the 2011 season.
As expected, the Storm re-signed forward Camille Little.
The multiyear deal was announced Wednesday, a day after WNBA players were able to sign contracts. Little was a restricted free agent, meaning the Storm could match any offer made by any of the other 11 teams. But as early as the 2010 championship parade, Little stated her desire to return to Seattle.
“I love it here,” she claimed as confetti dropped at KeyArena for a post-parade celebration. “I’m sure we’ll get something done.”
Little was traded in 2008 to Seattle by Atlanta in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 draft, which ended up being Kansas State guard Shalee Lehning. Little, currently playing in Israel, broke into the Storm’s starting lineup at the end of the 2008 season due to three-time MVP Lauren Jackson undergoing ankle surgery.
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A former second-round draft pick, Little remained a starter due to her tenacious rebounding and ability to play well off Jackson inside. Undersized for a center at 6 feet 2, Little averaged 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds during Seattle’s 7-0 postseason run to the title.
It was Little’s first championship on any level and the Storm’s second overall.
“I’m just excited,” she said after winning the title. “I’m glad Lauren was back healthy so she could win another one. Swin (Cash) got three, Le’coe (Willingham) got two back-to-back. Hey! What can you say?”
Part of the reason Seattle was so successful during its 28-6 season was keeping the starting unit together for three seasons. Cash is currently an unrestricted free agent. Coach Brian Agler has turned his focus to re-signing Cash to a long-term deal.
Agler has repeatedly spoke confidently of being able to secure Cash. The All-Star averaged 16.1 points during the playoffs, shooting a career-best 50 percent from three-point range.
The Storm expects to make another player announcement next week, suspected to be Cash’s deal.
Agler was unsuccessful in getting return commitments from Czech Republic star Jana Vesela and Russian guard Svetlana Abrosimova, who might be busy with EuroCup and national team obligations this summer. Vesela intimated she wanted to return for the 2012 season.
Australians Abby Bishop and Alison Lacey are other question marks for Agler, who is also director of player personnel. Agler expects unrestricted free agent Ashley Robinson to be in training camp.
“We know the value of Ashley,” he said recently.
Agler will use free agency and the April draft to fill his roster. Training camp opens May 15. The season opener is June 4 against Phoenix at KeyArena.
• Storm president and CEO Karen Bryant and the team’s Force 10 Hoops ownership group will be honored as the Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s 2011 Women of Distinction at a leadership luncheon Wednesday. Bryant was previously named “Executive of the Year” by the Seattle Sports Commission.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org