Lewis Arrives in Camp

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Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | April 28, 2008
While her Seattle Storm teammates ran drills Monday, guard Doneeka Lewis stood on the sidelines with Assistant Coach Shelley Patterson, going over the team's offense and defense on a clipboard. After practice, Lewis ran through the offense with Patterson and four teammates, getting the sets and plays down. Along with some time on the court, the learning was all part of Lewis' first day in Storm training camp after finishing her season in Italy last week and arriving in Seattle yesterday.

"She helps me out a lot," Lewis said about Patterson, who also coached her as an assistant in Los Angeles. "She's always taking to me on the sidelines. But it's always different to hear it and look at it and get out there and actually be a part of it. Once I'm able to do that and get my legs under me, I can fit in."

"I feel good that I'm going to be able to be here from the beginning."
Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images
Lewis arrived in Seattle last July, signed by the Storm to a pair of seven-day contracts and ultimately for the remainder of the season. As the Storm focused on making and preparing for the playoffs, Lewis saw only limited action, playing 33 minutes in seven games.

Joining the team midseason, "Was a very difficult thing," Lewis said. "I had never experienced anything like that before, so it was obviously very difficult for me. I feel good that I'm going to be able to be here from the beginning.

"Even though I'm a week late now and I'm so far behind - it feels like so many things have happened in one week - I think with time I'm going to be able to catch up and get adjusted to things that they're doing, as opposed to last year, when I never really understood what was going on. I think it's good to be part of training camp."

A restricted free agent at season's end, Lewis was signed to a training-camp contract by the Storm after new Head Coach Brian Agler visited and watched her play overseas. The Storm also added Lewis' twin sister, Roneeka Hodges (Lewis is married and no longer uses her maiden name, Hodges) in a trade with Atlanta, which Lewis called "unbelievable."

Lewis enjoyed her time in Italy, which saw her average 14.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for Fiera di Roma Pomezia

"For the most part, I think it was a great experience for me," Lewis said. "I had an opportunity to grow as a player and a person there, so overall it was good."

After Monday's practice, Head Coach Brian Agler discussed the team's progress and other topics with the media.
Back in Seattle, the Storm must see how Lewis fits into a crowded backcourt. She brings more experience to the group. Of the guards who have been in camp, only Sheryl Swoopes has played significant WNBA minutes. The Storm will also add more veterans in Hodges and Tanisha Wright, who remain overseas, but the young players have shown promise so far and the Storm will have to make multiple cuts in the backcourt.

A shooting guard during her college days, Lewis has played both guard positions in the WNBA, primarily focusing on the point during her three seasons in Los Angeles. She started 11 games as a point guard in 2005, her best WNBA season, which saw her average 5.6 points and 2.4 assists per game. Agler can see her at either position, calling her, "More of a combo, one-two type of player."

While her first day in Storm training camp was more about learning than playing, Lewis was glad to be back and excited about what is to come.

"It's good to be back here in the United States," she said. "I've been gone a long time. I'm looking forward to the season."