Thursday, May 15, 2008

Storm Waives O'Neill


Aaron Last/Storm Photos

Roster decisions are never easy this time of year, but in the case of Edmonds native and UW product Kristen O'Neill, it's definitely personal. The Storm waived O'Neill this morning, ending her bid to make the team as a training-camp invitee.

"Making some of the final cuts is always difficult, but letting Kristen go was an incredibly tough decision," Storm Head Coach Brian Agler said in the press release.

Everyone who worked with Kristen during training camp came away impressed with her as a player and a person and there was certainly a strong contingent rooting for her to make the team. I know there's going to be a lot of disappointed fans out there who have watched O'Neill play at UW and even before that at Meadowdale High School.

The good news is this isn't necessarily a goodbye.

"We were all very impressed by her," Storm CEO Karen Bryant said in the release, "and have expressed a desire to keep her involved in the Storm organization this summer.”

12 comments:

Online ZenDoc said...

Ouch ... oh well, I guess I almost saw this coming. Lots of us were rooting for Kristen. It sounds like it was a very tough decision, but 2 more players had to go. I was hoping, but I thought she had something less than a 50-50 chance. At least the Storm is very positive about her and wants to keep her involved with the team. If someone gets injured, I imagine they might try to sign her if she's available. Hopefully, Kristen will make the team at some point.

The guards may be set now unless the Storm wants to keep both posts (Kelly Santos & the new Romanian gal) to evaluate a little longer. In that case, Doneeka Lewis or Kim Beck will still have to be waived. We will know within 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

:(

Anonymous said...

OK Brian -- too many short guards...

Sheila said...

And just how does the Storm "keep her involved" with the organization this summer? Practice squad player, hang out and if someone gets injured we'll call you, we'll bring you back on a seven day contract when LJ goes to Australia??? And how do they protect from some other team picking her up off waivers?

Anonymous said...

I was sad to hear that Kristen did not make the team. I know we have shooters in Katie and Sheryl but if Sheryl can't go or has continued issues with her ankle/back, I thought that Kristen would be a great person to have on the team. I knew her time might be up when at the last minute they brought in the 6-4 player.

I hope the Storm is smart and really makes sure Kristen knows how appreciated she was to them. It is a long season and it would be a shame not to have a shooter/defensive player like Kristen around.

Anonymous said...

BAD call. I would've kept her over Lewis and/or the new post. Her work ethic and versatility is EXACTLY what this team needs and her local connections would have helped sell tickets. For a player you're looking at for the end of your bench, she had it all. BAD call.

Anonymous said...

I heard that they would go small, and that Brian had no problem using Tanisha as a combo-guard along side Sue if Sheryl can't go. That leaves Beck and Lewis to be back ups. Either way. It sounds like Brian has a plan. And though I am VERY sad to see Kristin leave for now, I have no doubts that she'll be the first to come back(if she's not picked up first, which is totally possible becuse she is such a great role player).

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed. I hoped her size, youth and work ethic would be an asset to this team.

Here's hoping we will see her on the court with another team sometime in the future.

Online ZenDoc said...

Sheila, That's a really good question - How DO the Storm propose to keep Kristen involved with the team this summer if she's not on the roster? They can't have a practice squad can they? What are they going to do - offer her a job in the front office or public relations or something?

If Kristen is virtually the equal in terms of value to the team of 2-4 other players who are still on the squad, I'm wondering why they would not consider her value in terms of being a local star and the potential of selling so-many (x number) more tickets with her on the team than without her on the team. It's probably hard to compute that value, but there has to be a way to determine it.

On bubble players like Kristen, I wonder if Coach Agler and the GM seek any input from the owners or if they remain hands-off? I would think that when you consider Kristen's talent and the other factors, it's more than enough to increase her value to the team to a value greater than at least 2 of the other Storm players, if not 3 or 4 of them.

As far as I know, there's no way to protect her from being picked up by another team, and she certainly may be picked up. The only thing in the Storm's favor there is that every team is cutting players, so probably only experienced veterans (known quantities) are likely to be picked up at this time. I don't know if "keeping Kristen involved" with the Storm this summer is just appeasement (lip service) for her many fans in and around Seattle or not. I guess we'll see what, if anything, it means in the coming days.

Kevin Pelton said...

Maybe sooner than that.

Anonymous said...

how very cryptic of you, kevin. :)

Anonymous said...

Why can't the season start tonight?...the suspense is killing me. AAAGGGHHH!