Next week, Seattle Storm forward Swin Cash will join teammate Sue Bird in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team training session at American University’s Bender Arena. Bird was one of eight players, all of them members of the 2008 Olympic squad, named to the National Team for the 2009-12 quadrennium. They will be joined by other potential members of the National Team, including Cash, for practices from Sept. 30 through Oct. 5, highlighted by an intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 4.
Cash in the 2004 Olympics. Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Cash, who represented the USA in the 2004 Olympics alongside Bird. “I think I’m in a really good place health-wise and basketball-wise. I think I’ve made it clear that I want to make the team next year for the World Championships. That’s one thing I haven’t done.”
Cash is happy to have the opportunity to play for USA Head Coach Geno Auriemma, who coached both her and Bird at the University of Connecticut.
“It’s going to be exciting, because a lot of players, whether they played at Tennessee or other colleges who haven’t played for him don’t know what to expect,” she said. “It’s funny the questions you’ll get. ‘I heard he’s this way or that way.’ As long as you’re working hard, you’re good. No worries. Trust me.”
While Auriemma will not have final say on the team’s roster, he told reporters on a conference call highlighting the initial selections to the National Team that players could play their way on or off based on how they fare in upcoming training sessions as well as in the WNBA. Cash takes Auriemma at his word, noting his desire to win rather than play favorites, and is ready to make the most of her bid for the roster.
“I just feel like there’s an opportunity,” she said. “That’s all I need. If you give me the opportunity, then it’s up to me to go in there and perform.”
Walker Reunited With Friend, Rival
Storm rookie forward Ashley Walker will have a familiar face alongside her as she heads overseas to play for the first time. Walker signed to play in Israel for Ashdod, reuniting her with Sacramento Monarchs center Courtney Paris. Like Walker, Paris and her twin sister Ashley (who will play for Israeli rival Ramla according to Safsal.co.il) grew up in Modesto, Calif. The last time Walker remembers the two playing together, however, was in fifth grade. Thereafter, they played for the same traveling team – which also included Walker’s future Cal teammate Devanei Hampton – but Walker played up in age because she is seven months older than the Paris sisters, who turned 22 on Monday.
“It’s kind of weird that we’re going back and going to be around each other again,” said Walker, who squared off against Paris during the preseason and early in the regular season.
Paris’ physical presence in the paint means Ashdod will ask Walker to play on the perimeter. That fits her goal of developing her skills as a wing player, a process that started during the season but was interrupted by the toe injury that sidelined her for half of the year.