Nov. 1, 2009
The University of Washington welcomed back a group of distinguished alumni for a practice with the women's basketball team at Bank of America Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The practice left Head coach Tia Jackson with the chance to mix-and-match lineups and player combinations in 10 controlled sessions as a preview to the Huskies exhibition opener on Thursday, Nov. 5 against Seattle Pacific University.
"The players went extremely hard," Jackson said. "Our freshmen really showed a lot of growth. Our post play was much, much improved. We talk all the time about having low-post dominance and today, more than anything, we actually looked at getting the ball to our post players and had some fun with it."
Among those alumni who returned to play were Traci Thirdgill, Jamie Redd, Tara Davis and Rhonda Smith, along with Kayla Burt and Loree Payne, who is an assistant coach for the Huskies. Karen Bryant, who is the general manager for the Seattle Storm, served as the de facto coach for the alums.
One thing that stuck out for Jackson was the physical nature of the practice, and the intensity that her team displayed. She spotlighted the rebounding, the hard cuts on offense and the defense players showed against the alums.
"We were extremely aggressive on the boards. We were relentless. That's one of the things we praised afterwards," Jackson said.