Recapping Alysha Clark's first season with the Seattle Storm
Former Blue Raider completes first WNBA seasonNovember 21, 2012 · @MTAthletics
After two years of ending up as the last cut by the San Antonio Silver Stars, Alysha Clark decided to try her luck with a new team in 2012, accepting an invitation to attend the Storm's training camp. While Clark didn't fill a pressing need for the Storm, her hustle and consistent play during practices helped earn her the 11th and final spot on the Storm's roster to start the regular season.
At first, Clark was guaranteed nothing, since the Storm would need to clear a roster spot in late June to make room for the arrival of Svetlana Abrosimova. While she was happy to get the opportunity to play in the WNBA, Clark also recognized she had more work to do. That mostly came in practice during the season's few months, when Clark's game action was sparing. She made her WNBA debut on June 1 against Tulsa and scored her first career point at the free throw line. Clark had two points and three rebounds in five minutes in the Storm's next outing at Minnesota, but those would be her longest stints during June.
With Clark showing promise on the practice court and teammate Victoria Dunlap limited due to concussions, the Storm decided to move forward with Clark as the 11th player on the roster after adding Abrosimova. Before the Olympic Break, a series of injuries in the frontcourt would give Clark the minutes to show her wares in game action. All season long, Clark worked on making the transition from post player at Middle Tennessee (where she led Division I in scoring as a senior) to WNBA wing. However, the Storm's limited post depth forced Clark to play up front against bigger opponents, and she thrived in that role.
In a series of four games leading up to the break, Clark set or tied her career high for scoring each time. She had five points and three rebounds on July 7 at Los Angeles, then followed up with five points and four boards the next night against Phoenix. Her seven points on July 11 against Atlanta were a new high-water mark until she broke it again in the Storm's win at Phoenix on July 13 to close out the first half of the season. Clark played a key role off the bench, scoring nine points and pulling down eight rebounds in 26 minutes.
"She's just energized when she plays," said Storm Head Coach Brian Agler. "She's helped us win a couple of games here of late. She competes very hard, she does a lot of the dirty work, she gets a lot of loose balls, she rebounds in crowds ... she makes things happen. She's been very productive for us."
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