WNBA Training Camps Tip Off Today
The summer of 2012 begins today.
by Stephen Litel / @stephenlitel
It is that time of year, WNBA fans. Around the league today, training camps begin and the summer of 2012 is right around the corner. A whole new draft class joins the league officially today, ready to make their mark on their respective teams, many finally fulfilling a life-long dream to become a professional athlete.
Number one pick, Nneka Ogwumike, will join the newly re-signed Candace Parker, Nicky Anosike, Alana Beard and Marissa Coleman to begin forming the new-look Los Angeles Sparks. The San Antonio Silver Stars will officially welcome Shenise Johnson into the mix, still pleasantly surprised she fell to them in the draft. Samantha Prahalis will join the Phoenix Mercury, ready and confident to begin the process or running the show for one of the most up-tempo offenses in the league. Natalie Novosel and LaSondra Barrett will team up in Washington, ready to help the Washington Mystics turn their fortunes around.
And, of course, that isn’t anywhere close to being all of the rookie storylines to follow throughout the summer of 2012. Others will be highlighted in this space with regularity during the year.
There are many veteran faces in new places, helping to bring the excitement level to an incredibly high level for the upcoming season as fans hope the additions their teams made in the off-season will bring them the WNBA championship trophy.
The Chicago Sky re-signed Sylvia Fowles, but brought in a great amount of veteran help in Swin Cash, Le’Coe Willingham, Ruth Riley and Ticha Penicheiro. Tangela Smith makes her way to San Antonio, swapping places with Roneeka Hodges, who heads to the Indiana Fever and don’t forget Smith’s new teammate with the Silver Stars will be Shameka Christon. Charde Houston will join forces with Diana Taurasi in Phoenix in what feels to be a perfect fit of player and team.
As is the case with the rookie storylines, there are many other free agent signings throughout the league and we look forward to sharing those throughout the season.
This is an Olympic season, so the break mid-season for the summer games will become a great opportunity yet again for WNBA fans to come together to root for one team, the United States. The Olympic committee selected an amazing team who should be considered significant favorites to bring home the gold and is a great representation of the best basketball players from the USA and the world.
Obviously, one of the main storylines of the 2012 WNBA season is if the reigning champion Minnesota Lynx can become the first team in a decade to repeat. If anything, the Lynx were able to become even stronger this off-season and head coach Cheryl Reeve has already laid out her plan to motivate her team for the great task of defending their crown.
Here at Year Round Hoops, I have a lot of fun things planned for the upcoming season. One of the new additions here will be weekly WNBA Power Rankings and, as always, I love input from the fans. Feel free to tell me why you agree or disagree with my choices either in the comment sections below each column or on Twitter.
Camps are tipping off and it’s an exciting day for WNBA fans. Let’s begin our year-round conversation.