Three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time WNBA champion Katie Smith will join the Seattle Storm for the 2011 season following a trade, Seattle Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced today. In addition, the Storm acquired Jacinta Monroe, also from the Washington Mystics, and the Indiana Fever’s second-round pick in the 2012 draft.
As part of the deal, Washington receives Jasmine Thomas, the Storm’s first-round pick this season, as well as Seattle’s first-round pick and Indiana’s third-round pick in 2012. Indiana receives Storm guard Erin Phillips and Seattle’s third-round pick in 2012.
“This is a trade that benefits all three teams,” Agler said. “That being said, in Katie Smith we are adding a great player, a great person, someone who is a tremendous competitor to a team full of competitors. Obviously we have some elite players on our team with Sue (Bird), Swin (Cash) and Lauren (Jackson) as well as some good young players coming up. Katie fits right into that group. She is the type of player and person who is going to give us quality depth and versatile lineups on the floor.”
Smith, a 5-11 guard who celebrates her 37th birthday the same day the Storm opens its 2011 season on ABC June 4 versus Phoenix, brings a familiar presence with a wealth of championship experience to Seattle.
Smith and Agler, both of whom are from Ohio, won a pair of titles with the Columbus Quest of the ABL in 1996-97 and 1997-98. She has played with Bird and Cash on the USA National Team, winning Olympic gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Smith also earned a WNBA title with Cash when the pair played for the Detroit Shock in 2006. Current Storm assistant coach Nancy Darsch was also Smith’s head coach at Ohio State during Smith’s collegiate career.
“I am very excited to join Seattle,” added Smith. “It’s a great team, in a great city, with outstanding fans. I have history and familiarity with the coaches and players. And they know what they are getting. It’s an easy, comfortable fit.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring in one of the all-time greats,” added Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant. “We’re determined to defend our championship in 2011. Adding Katie Smith was a huge step in the right direction toward that goal.”
Monroe, a 6-5 center, was the sixth pick out of Florida State in 2010. As a rookie with Washington, she played in 17 games, averaging 2.1 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game. A fractured left hand caused Monroe to miss 15 games. As a Seminole, Monroe set school records for career blocks (301), games played (136) and was named to the All-ACC First Team as a senior.
Smith and Monroe are expected to arrive in Seattle for the Storm’s training camp, which begins May 15.