Lennox Signed and Ready to Go

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Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | February 17, 2006
After six seasons in the WNBA, Betty Lennox earned the right to be an unrestricted free agent this winter. By this point, however, it meant little to Lennox - she already knew she wanted to stay in Seattle. She made that a reality Friday, signing a multi-year contract to remain with the Storm.

"It's pretty much exactly what I wanted," Lennox said by phone Friday afternoon. "I wanted to stay in Seattle. I never had any intentions of leaving Seattle. I can tell you the fans played a big part of it; they welcomed me in and I had to show loyalty to my fans. I'm very excited to be back in Seattle."

"It's pretty much exactly what I wanted. I never had any intentions of leaving Seattle."
Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty
In two seasons with the Storm since being selected in the 2004 Dispersal Draft, Lennox and the Storm's fans have developed a strong mutual admiration that was sealed when she won Finals MVP honors as the Storm defeated the Connecticut Sun to win the 2004 WNBA Championship. Lennox said at the team's victory celebration that she had found a home in Seattle, and the fans are a key reason why.

"I really appreciate their support and I do thrive off their energy," Lennox said. "I feel comfortable playing off their energy knowing that they're there. They've been that sixth man all through the years that I've played there and I want them to continue to support us and they're going to get 120% from me."

Lennox is also excited to continue to work with Storm Coach Anne Donovan, who helped her finish third in Most Improved Player voting in 2004, Lennox's first season in Seattle.

"I appreciate everything she's done for me," said Lennox. "I love having an opportunity for her to coach and teach me a whole lot more about the game, and Jessie Kenlaw as well."

After the Storm's surprising early end to the 2005 season at the hands of the Houston Comets in the playoffs, a disappointed Lennox quickly headed home to her native Missouri.

"(There was) a lot of disappointment because from day one of training camp, I'd put my mind on at least contending for the championship," Lennox said.

"It was a disappointing feeling to all of us because we had our minds set on the same goal as far as trying to defend our title last year. We weren't able to do that, getting knocked off in the playoffs. We had the opportunity to defend our title."

Lennox took a month off before heading overseas to play in China, a break that allowed her to rest both wrists. After being bothered by tendinitis in her right (shooting) wrist, Lennox partially tore a ligament in her left wrist in early August, an injury which forced her to miss six games. Neither injury troubled her in China, which was an interesting experience. Lennox played out of position at point guard, which was difficult but also will help her going forward.

"I'm looking forward to getting started and getting ready to compete this season for the championship."
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty
"I'm able to handle a lot of the pressure by dribbling the basketball," Lennox explained. "I'm able to get people in plays, get into the spots they need to be in; you know, the duties of the point-guard position. It extended my game, added more dimensions to my game as a shooting guard."

After completing her season in China, Lennox returned to the U.S. She spoke about her new contract and off-season from Houston, where she is one of several WNBA stars representing the league at All-Star Weekend. Lennox visited with children at the Memorial Hermann Hospital on Thursday and helped host a Be Smart - Be Fit - Be Yourself clinic as part of the All-Star Jam Session earlier Friday.

Lennox plans to take some more time off from the basketball grind while working with her Betty Lennox Foundation.

"My main focus is to get back on the court and be ready and in the best of shape for Seattle in the upcoming season," said Lennox.

"I'm one of those players who always looks forward to training camp. I'd love to see everybody there from day one, but I know with the overseas situations that's probably not going to happen. I'm looking forward to that and just getting started and getting ready to compete this season for the championship."