The Seattle Storm has signed forward Tina Thompson, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the WNBA, Storm Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler announced today. The team has also re-signed Ewelina Kobryn. A reserve player, Kobryn signed the team’s qualifying offer and has been added to the Storm’s training camp roster. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Thompson, who spent the previous three years with the Los Angeles Sparks, finished the 2011 season with 6,751 points over 15 seasons. With her addition, the Storm boasts the top three active WNBA players in career scoring, as veteran Katie Smith stands at No. 2 with 6,015 points and Lauren Jackson is No. 3 with 5,915. Along with former L.A. center Lisa Leslie, the Storm’s trio makes up three of the four leading scorers in league history.
Thompson was selected by Houston with the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural WNBA Draft in 1997. She played 12 years with the Comets, leading the team to an unprecedented four WNBA championships, before the team disbanded. Thompson was acquired by the Los Angeles Sparks when she became a free agent in 2009.
An eight-time All-Star and three-time All-WNBA First Team selection, Thompson was recognized as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All-Time in 2011. She teamed with Storm veteran Sue Bird to lead the USA National Team to Olympic gold medals in the 2004 and 2008 Games.
“I couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity to coach Tina,” Agler said. “I’ve been coaching against her for more than a decade and I sure prefer having her on my side.”
“Adding a player of Tina Thompson’s experience and championship caliber further complements our vision of building a championship team,” Storm CEO and President Karen Bryant added. “She knows what it takes to win a championship.”
Thompson joins newly acquired Ann Wauters (2000), Jackson (2001) and Bird (2002) as the fourth No. 1 pick to play for the Storm. Never before has a WNBA team had more than three No. 1 overall picks at the same time. Previously, Seimone Augustus (2006), Lindsey Harding (2007) and LaToya Thomas (2003) played together for the Minnesota Lynx in 2008.
Kobryn, a 6-4 forward/center from Poland, played in 18 games for the Storm last season after joining the team in late June.
Seattle previously re-signed veteran starters Bird and Tanisha Wright to multi-year contracts and added Wauters, a former All-Star center, as a free agent.