The Storm held its annual Tip-Off Breakfast this morning at the Spirit of Washington Events Center in Renton and, as usual, it was a great deal of fun. First and foremost, however, it was for a good cause.
All proceeds went to benefit Renton Area Youth & Family Services, and FSN Stars – the community arm of FSN – helped the Sonics & Storm Foundation present the event. During the event, there was a raffle and also a silent auction of several items autographed at Monday’s Media Day.
Most of the schedule was devoted to Q&A with the players and coaching staff. Katie Gearlds, Wendy Palmer and Lauren Jackson joined Anne Donovan on the stage, while Sue Bird and Ashley Robinson took the microphones into the crowd and served as moderators.
There were plenty of comments that had everyone in attendance laughing.
The players on the stage were asked about what music they like to listen to before games and came up with very different answers: country for Gearlds (a decidedly minority choice), Nine Inch Nails for Jackson and gospel for Palmer.
Several players were asked for their picks in “best on the team” categories. Tye’sha Fluker went with former Tennessee teammate Shyra Ely as the best dresser (and, as she pointed out, Ely had matching shoes for her midnight blue dress). Barbara Turner was asked to choose Storm contestants for “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol,” picking Lauren Jackson and Tanisha Wright, respectively. However, Wright was unwilling to sing for the crowd.
Assistant Coach Heidi VanDerveer got in a good line when asked about creating Betty Lennox’s nickname, B-Money, during Lennox’s rookie season when both were in Minnesota.
“When she had a few turnovers, we called her B-Change,” said VanDerveer. Then she started playing well and we called her B-Money.”
Palmer couldn’t resist a dig at her coach when asked about whether the WNBA would ever go to shorter shorts.
“We don’t want to go back to the days of Charles Barkley and Anne Donovan,” joked Palmer, drawing a big laugh.
All in all, it was a fun morning as we moved one step closer to tipping off the season on Saturday against Houston.