Great feature from KING5 last night on Jimmy Quigg, a member of the Storm’s practice squad. Players and Head Coach Brian Agler spoke to the importance of the practice squad to the Storm, while Quigg described how he balances his work managing property sites with his extended lunch practicing with the team.
What didn’t entirely come across is that Jimmy is a world-class character whose presence livens up every practice. Even when we’re outside waiting to watch, we can hear him exhorting his fellow practice squadders or the Storm players to maintain their energy. Playing on the practice squad is often grunt work (”We’re the tackling dummies,” he put it in the segment), but Jim always brings an enthusiasm and passion that can’t help but be contagious.
A good topic for a follow-up article would be the sense of investment the long-time members of the practice squad like Jim feel in the Storm’s performance. There truly is a sense, in a unique way, of being part of the team. Jim’s especially reveling in the Storm’s recent winning streak, having predicted after the loss in Los Angeles to me and anyone else who would listen that the Storm was due for a 10-game winning streak. Six games in, so far, so good.
Elsewhere … Friday’s Storm game in Indiana will be the Fever’s Inspiring Women Night, and the guest of honor is former Storm (and Fever) Head Coach Anne Donovan. In preparation for Friday, FeverBasketball.com has a four-part Q&A with Donovan. Starting from the last part, you can read all four. It’s well worth the look. In part, Donovan talks about watching the Storm last month in Seattle against, strangely, the same Indiana squad.
FB: I didn’t realize that that was your first trip back, that makes this all the more compelling. So on your first trip back, you’re watching your successor run the Storm’s team. Any thoughts on Brian Agler and watching him, what was going through your mind?
AD: “I’m watching him and the relationships with players. I’m very much fascinated and intrigued by that piece of it, that’s why I love coaching. I love that emotional connection with players, more than anything, just watching that. Watching his interaction with Sue [Bird] and how she ran the team and his substitution patterns. More than anything, just watching how all the players were being taken care of and I’m really happy for Brian. He’s in a good situation and he’s done a tremendous job with the team.
Also from the Fever’s Web site is an update on Olympian Tamika Catchings. Catchings, who has been working hard to come back from last year’s torn right Achilles tendon, left yesterday’s loss to Atlanta after being kicked in her right heel. Here’s the update from the blog of the Fever’s Media Relation Director, Kevin Messenger:
Regarding Tamika Catchings, she left the game with 6:46 left in the fourth period after being kicked in the right heel – in the same location as her Achilles’ injury last fall. That doesn’t mean there was any damage done, that is what is yet unknown. She experienced significant pain, and obviously did not return. Fever trainers were with her immediately. She saw doctors when they got her off the floor, and she will see more doctors on Thursday. The official report is this: ‘She got kicked and will undergo further examination for a possible strain of the right Achilles’ tendon.’
Catchings will be listed as day-to-day until such time as she is determined healthy to go again. This is yet another reminder that while she’s back and playing again, this still is a continuation of a very long journey — she is still rehabilitating.
I think anyone who has followed the WNBA admires Catchings’ work ethic and hustle, so here’s hoping everything checks out with the doctors. It would be tough to see her suffer a setback so close to the Olympics.