Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis working on her three-point shooting with new Storm assistant coach
Rob Fodor, in his first year as an assistant coach for the Seattle Storm, is known for improving offensive skills of NBA stars. He’s dubbed “The Shooting Guy,” last working for Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
In Seattle, Fodor connects with the top three-point shooter in women’s NCAA history in forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, the No. 3 overall draft choice this year. So, how do you improve a player who shot 44.7 percent from three-point range in college?
“There’s an incredible gap between the college and the professional game,” Fodor said. “It’s like two different solar systems. She’s going to face some different situations, so we’re going to give her some tools to free herself with the ball and without the ball because she’s got to be able to deliver. The techniques are, oddly, things most people haven’t seen before.”
What Fodor and Mosqueda-Lewis have been up to should debut at Seattle’s exhibition opener against Phoenix on Tuesday. Mosqueda-Lewis is one of six rookies on the Storm roster who’ll be competing for minutes.
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Mosqueda-Lewis’ billing is the three-point shot. The Storm’s game-operations crew is ready with graphics for every made three. And Subaru, a sponsor that plants a tree for every three-pointer made during the Storm season, is prepared to seed a mini-forest this fall.
“I’ve already been trying to work on footwork with Rob,” Mosqueda-Lewis said of the focus the first week of training camp. “I’m trying to get my first step quicker, gain more separation and get my shot off a lot quicker.”
Jennifer Azzi, a retired point guard for the Utah Starzz, is the WNBA’s career leader in three-point field-goal shooting at 45.8 percent. Storm forward Jenna O’Hea is next at 44.4 percent, but has played in only 97 games.
Storm all-star Sue Bird, who has played in 386 WNBA games, ranks 24th at 38.3 percent from deep.
“Watching Sue, she’s got one of the quickest releases in general,” Mosqueda-Lewis said of the 13-year veteran. “Looking at how successful she’s been, it would be best for me to get a little quicker. And we have an awesome coaching staff that’s super passionate about what they’re doing. It makes it more exciting for me to want to be here and want to learn.”
Storm coach Jenny Boucek said her aim is to keep any growth in perspective. Practice on Monday was mainly trying to get the young team ready to just play a WNBA game.
Phoenix is the defending champion, but Diana Taurasi isn’t playing this season to rest her body. Mercury all-star Brittney Griner, a 6-foot-8 center, will be with the team and is eligible to play. She was suspended for seven regular-season games after a domestic violence arrest.
“I’m definitely going to be a little nervous,” said Mosqueda-Lewis of the game, which tips at 11 a.m. at KeyArena. “There are going to be a lot of jitters to work out. For the most part, I think it’ll be good. I’ll get to see what I’ve learned so far in training camp.”
• Storm forward Abby Bishop is scheduled to have a segment aired Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” A film crew followed the Australian native when she arrived in Seattle with her adopted daughter, chronicling life as a mother and an athlete.