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Barnes, Greco Go Camping

For the Seattle Storm players not participating in the Olympics, this month’s break taken by the WNBA has been not only an opportunity to return home or rest in preparation for the final month of the season, but also a chance to give back to their community. While everyone on the Storm’s roster has been involved in some way, two in particular, guard Michelle Greco and forward Adia Barnes, have used the break to conduct youth basketball camps.


Greco used the August break to return home and hold her annual basketball camp.
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty
This is the sixth year Greco has held her annual camp back home in LaCrescenta, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, but the first she’s done so as a WNBA veteran.

“The first week (of the break) I had my Michelle Greco Camp that I’ve had the last few years in my hometown of LaCrescenta,” Greco said. “It was at my high school, and I always look forward to going back home and putting on my camp for the little kids in the area.

“My hometown is so, so nice to me in terms of coverage. To this day, they always have me in the local paper, and my camp every year is in the local Glendale News-Press.”

It was also Greco’s first chance to return home for an extended period since last fall. Since then, she has been playing basketball virtually nonstop, going from Israel to Greece and then joining the Storm after spending only a day at home. Greco got to see her family again during the Storm’s road trip to Los Angeles in late May, but only briefly.

“It was very nice,” Greco said. “I got to go home and spend some time with the family, hang out with my friends, go to the beach, soak up that Southern California weather. It was good. It’s good to be back. I’m ready to go.”

Barnes also took the opportunity to soak up some sun during the break, taking a trip to Maui with teammate Tully Bevilaqua and also seeing her family.

“We figured we’d have a ‘girls’ vacation,’” Barnes said. “It was fun; a great, relaxing vacation.”

SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE
Fans are encouraged to bring school supplies to the game and drop them off in the bins located on the East and West Plazas before the game.

Suggested items include: backpacks, markers, glue, crayons, pens, pencils, pencil pouches, 1 inch 3-ring binders, wide-rule spiral notebooks, folders, construction paper and rulers. Items will be donated to High Point Elementary School.

While she was in Seattle, Barnes used the time off to work on her charitable foundation, Adia’s Dreams in Action. In addition to planning a school supplies drive for the Sep. 1 Storm game against Sacramento, Adia’s Dreams in Action has also scheduled a basketball skills clinic for boys and girls ages 7-14 this Friday at The Furtado Center, the Sonics and Storm’s training facility.

“It’s a free clinic for a lot of kids who don’t have the money to pay for it,” Barnes explained. “We’re going to bring the kids in, give them a good time, they’re going to learn skills for sure, and interact with Storm players. They’re going to get items like water bottles. I just want the kids to walk away with a great experience, something my foundation can give them.”

Registration is still ongoing for the clinc. Visit adiasdreamsinaction.org for more details.

Barnes has previously held camps in Tucson, where she attended college, but her Adia’s Dreams in Action activities have been focused on the Seattle area, a sign she’s put down roots after two-plus years with the Storm, as well as the strong support she’s received for her efforts.

“All the support that I’ve gotten from the community, it’s pretty amazing,” Barnes said. “The support I get from the Storm and the community enables me to do free clinics like that and give back to the community.”

While Barnes is one of just nine active WNBA players to have played a regular-season game for four teams (she also was in training camp for Phoenix in 2000 but did not make the team; Storm teammates Betty Lennox and Sheri Sam are also members of the four-team club), only three players, originals Simone Edwards and Kamila Vodichkova and 2001 addition Lauren Jackson, have longer tenures in Seattle.

Barnes’ longevity with the Storm is also remarkable given she initially joined the team as an allocated free agent in April 2002. Of the 82 players the WNBA allocated then, only four are still in the league, and Barnes and Washington’s Kiesha Brown are the only two to spend that entire time with the same team.

  • Guard Tully Bevilaqua sprained an ankle during Tuesday's practice, but it was not serious and she is expected to practice today.