Kobryn Expected to Add Post Depth

Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | June 27, 2011

To adjust in the absence of Lauren Jackson, the Seattle Storm is adding size to its frontcourt. On Sunday, the Storm waived rookie forward Ify Ibekwe. The move was necessary to make room on the roster for newcomer Ewelina Kobryn, a Polish post player expected to join the Storm on the East Coast for the upcoming three-game road trip.

"We just needed some support in the post area - nothing more or less than that," Agler said of letting Ibekwe go. "We thought she was progressing, but with the status of Lauren uncertain, we needed support, and we thought Kobryn could be a really good post player for us - for now and down the road."

Evelina Kobryn in preseason action.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Kobryn played for the New York Liberty during the preseason before returning home to represent her national team.

Kobryn came available when her national team was eliminated in the second round of the EuroBasket competition ongoing in Poland this month. Her obligation to play in the EuroBasket was a reason the New York Liberty made Kobryn one of the team's final cuts in training camp after signing her as a free agent in April. Now, Kobryn is free to join the Storm for the remainder of the season - and potentially beyond. She will not have any national-team obligations next summer leading up to the London Olympics.

Agler views Kobryn, 29, as a player who can help the Storm off the bench.

"She's a typical European post player," he said, "though she's probably more defense- and rebound-oriented than some of them. She's versatile. She can stretch the defense and shoot the three-point shot. She has great instincts for the game. I've watched her play. Some of our team members have played against her. We've watched film on her. We have a good grasp of what she can bring us."

In club competition, Kobryn has played for TS Wisla Can-Pack Krakow alongside players like former Storm center Janell Burse, Yelena Leuchanka, Erin Phillips and Maria Stepanova. Last season, Kobryn averaged 14.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in Euroleague play, ranking second on the team in scoring and third in rebounding as Wisla advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to the eventual champions, Halcon Avenida. Wisla went on to win the Polish PLKK title.

At 6-3, Kobryn has the size to potentially play either post position for the Storm. She has swung between power forward and center depending on the personnel around her. Eventually, Kobryn could join starters Camille Little and Le'coe Willingham and reserve Ashley Robinson to give Agler the four-player rotation he prefers in the frontcourt, even with Jackson expected to miss a minimum of three week with an injury to the labrum of her left hip.

"I hate to make predictions," Agler said, considering Kobryn's role. "That's what we anticipate, but we'll have to let this play out."

Since she is joining the team at midseason during a busy part of the Storm's schedule, Kobryn may not initially have much practice time to learn Agler's system. However, she brings WNBA preseason experience, having played for the Washington Mystics last year and scored five points in the Liberty's lone preseason game this spring.

"I know she has a great desire to play in our league," said Agler. "I think it's a goal for her, so I think she's going to come in and adjust and really pick things up quickly."

blog comments powered by Disqus