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On Aug. 19, the Storm welcomed the DigiGirlz to the team's practice facility and business offices. 11 participants in this year's Microsoft DigiGirlz High Tech Camp who indicated an interest in basketball were invited to attend a Storm practice and interview players Swin Cash, Ashley Robinson and Katie Smith while also meeting other members of the team. After lunch, they returned to the Storm offices to write about their experience, edit photos and build this webpage. The DigiGirlz will also attend the Storm's game against San Antonio next Tuesday and be recognized during a timeout. Check out their work:

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Cool, Calm and Collected: Katie Smith

by Lauren Celmer

Katie Smith can be seen across the gym - not because of her practice jersey, but because of her bright pink Nikes. Her shoes were for breast cancer awareness week, but she “likes to wear them all time because they are the most comfortable shoes” she owns.

A native of Ohio, Katie brought her 75 pound labradoodle, her experience and her positive attitude to Seattle to help the Storm bring home another championship. Katie definitely has made Seattle her home during her time with the Storm. She walks Logan, her dog, to the Space Needle and to the numerous parks in the Emerald City. She is a successful whale watcher and enjoyed the local activities during Seafair.

I would describe Katie as a more relaxed basketball player with a calm pregame routine consisting of getting warmed up, “breaking a little sweat” and drinking a cup of Seattle’s finest Starbucks coffee. A little-known fact about Katie is that she danced ballet and tap in high school. She also “sheered sheep in 4H club.”

Like most professional basketball players, Katie has an extensive collection of Nike shoes and T-shirts stacking up in her closet. She wants to make “a T-shirt quilt in the near future” to make practical use of her collection. Perhaps the quilt will include the 2011 champion shirt on it?


Neil Enns/Storm Photos

Cash for Kids

by Dorothy Kong, Nella Kwan, Janelle Razor, and Cossette Woo

Swin Cash, an astounding player who has demonstrated her skills throughout her years in the WNBA, is now in her fourth season with the Seattle Storm. Cash is a role model to many youth and hopes to contribute back to her community.

Not only has Cash proven her hard work on the basketball court, she has also shown her nonstop commitment through her own charity, Cash for Kids. Her humble beginnings of playing basketball in elementary school with her eight male cousins inspired her to give back to the community she once grew up in. Through endless research and phone calls, Swin was able to gather 12 sponsors, led by her own foundation, to complete her goal.

Just yesterday, Cash took 45 middle school girls from the Boys & Girls Club out for lunch with other Storm players. Following the lunch was a $200 shopping spree for each girl at Target. The WNBA star wanted to host an activity that would be “out of the box” and girl-friendly for back-to-school. Target was a perfect partner in that it is affordable and filled with a variety of clothing styles. Although Swin’s own style includes “tank tops, nice sweats and pair of Nike Air Maxes,” she enjoys shopping at Target as well.

On Sunday, Cash is taking the same 45 lucky girls on a Scavenger Stroll where they will learn about inspiring women and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Cash herself puts a lot of thought into her diet, quoting her mother in that “your body is your temple” and “what you put in is what comes out.” When asked to give advice to youth that have high aspirations for their futures, Cash says that practice is the key and that she encourages young boys and girls to “take ownership of who you want to be.”

Chatting with Ashley: Basketball, Friendship, and a Whole Lot of Swagger!

by Mahal Johnson & Giselle Gonzales

The WNBA is the top standard for women’s basketball throughout the world. For many of the players from the Seattle Storm, it has been a dream come true to play at this level. Women in sports are becoming increasingly popular, but Ashley Robinson believes the WNBA has allowed her to stay humble.

“It’s nice that you get to be an individual, and you aren’t such a superstar that you lose reality,” says Robinson. She uses Twitter as a source to personally connect to fans, just like any other celebrity would, yet is able to maintain her personal life privately. According to Ashley, basketball has become like “a best friend that never leaves you.” She seems thrilled to be able to share her love for basketball with fans.

Ashley possesses a certain “swagger” of maintaining style while on the court. She wants other young women like herself to know that no matter what you do, it is important to be a woman first and that it is O.K. to look like a girl while playing basketball.

“If I didn’t play basketball, I would be really prim, proper and prissy, so I stay that way!” says Robinson, who wants to look her best when playing in front of millions of people. I mean, wouldn’t you?

The Seattle Storm differs from any other team in the WNBA because of their close friendship. They are not associates, but women that truly enjoy each other’s presence at work. They share laughter, tears, frustrations and victories together, communicating even during the offseason! This definitely translates to their performance on the court and they all have high hopes that their camaraderie will allow them “to win another championship in 2011.”

For all the young men and women out there, even if you don’t aspire to be a professional athlete like Ashley Robinson, for anyone looking to achieve big goals, Robinson’s advice would be that no matter what, you always have to find what gives you joy in life. The more happiness you give, the more you will receive.