2008 in Review: Shyra Ely
Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | November 16, 2008
The Seattle Storm's depth limited Shyra Ely's role, but she still came up big for the Storm at times throughout the 2008 season.
When the Storm named Brian Agler head coach, he and Ely were reunited after she started her career with Agler as an assistant coach in San Antonio. The Storm re-signed Ely, a reserved player, to a new one-year contract in March, and she had a strong training camp as one of the few veterans in camp from day one. Ely averaged 9.3 points per game during the preseason, including a 16-point outing at Sacramento. Under Agler, while Ely continued to play both forward positions, she spent much more time as a post player than ever before in her WNBA career.
Ely opened the season as the Storm's backup power forward, scoring at least six points in three of the team's first four games. After a strong stretch in the middle of June, Ely's production waned later in the month. Over four games, three of them losses, Ely shot 2-of-17 from the field. At the same time, the Storm made a move to acquire forward Camille Little from the Atlanta Dream, giving the team another option in the frontcourt rotation.
Over the next three weeks, Ely played only limited minutes. Her role changed again when Lauren Jackson left the team to train with the Australian Olympic Team in late July, opening a spot in the rotation. With the Storm thin up front, Ely played more than 20 minutes in consecutive games late in the month, scoring what was then a season-high 10 points on July 25 at Phoenix.
The Storm called Ely's number again late in the season, when several players were injured or sitting out to prepare for the postseason. She played a season-high 32 points in the Storm's home finale against Atlanta, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds. That was followed up by a memorable performance in the last game of the regular season at Los Angeles. Ely scored a career-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, grabbed eight boards and knocked down a pair of three-pointers.
Overall, 2008 was Ely's most productive campaign since starting at the end of her rookie season with the Silver Stars. While her role varied, Ely saw action in all 34 games for the first time in her career and was one of three Storm players to do so. She used her improved perimeter skills to her advantage against post players, taking them outside to beat them off the dribble or making herself a threat running the pick-and-pop. Ely shot a career-best 40.9 percent from the field and tied her career high with 2.6 rebounds per game.
2008 Photo Gallery
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