Dietrick’s return provides depth on Storm bench

Blake Dietrick maintains ball possession under defensive pressure. Olivia Vanni/The Herald.
Blake Dietrick maintains ball possession under defensive pressure. Olivia Vanni/The Herald.

With only 144 to go around — at the most — every spot on a WNBA roster is hard-fought.

But few may know that struggle better than the Storm’s Blake Dietrick.

The 26-year-old guard out of Princeton has shown up frequently in the league’s transactions log since her first training camp stints with the Mystics and Sparks in 2015.

Her first regular-season action came the following year in Seattle after breaking camp with the team, only to be cut after appearing in two games. That was followed by a seven-day contract (and one more game) in San Antonio.

She made the most of her next opportunity, appearing in 26 games off the bench for Atlanta in 2018 after signing a training camp contract, but was once again on the outs as the team’s final cut before this season.

Enter a familiar franchise, in a Seattle team in desperate need of front court depth.

“I love it here, I love the city, and the people, and the Pacific Northwest in general,” she said prior to a game last month.

With Jordin Canada getting the lion’s share of minutes at the point, Dietrick’s playing time has been limited, but her focus — as with every stop in her career — has been simply controlling what she can control.

“We have amazing pieces … so getting them into positions where they can be their best is my job,” she said.

Head coach Dan Hughes praised her readiness for whatever role she may have on a given night.

“I think players like Blake help your overall mission,” said Hughes, who also coached Dietrick during her aforementioned stint in San Antonio. “You’re not afraid to bring her in, because she’s very smart, very tough, and its a great teammate, so there’s not a downside to it.”

Blake Dietrick, far left, and the Storm are in playoff contention despite a depleted roster. Neil Enns/Storm photos.
Blake Dietrick, far left, and the Storm are in playoff contention despite a depleted roster. Neil Enns/Storm photos.

For a team fighting for playoff position down the stretch, with Seattle five games out of the top spot, but less than two ahead of the No. 8 seed with seven games to play, that type of depth will likely come in handy.

Dietrick has also sensed a difference in the team since her last stay in Seattle, in a good way.

“I think everyone just knows their role really really well, and also, wants the team — the team is always above any individual person, and I think that’s been the heart and soul of this roster from the first day,” she said. “But just having the experience to play at this level and be successful at this level, everyone’s confidence is just a little bit higher.”

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