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Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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June 1, 2008 1:45 AM

Santos leaves Storm

Posted by Jayda Evans

Storm F Kelly Santos is expected to leave the team to join her Brazilian national team in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women in Madrid. Iziane Castro Marques (Atlanta) will also leave the WNBA to join Brazil, but Dream teammate, C Erika de Souza, will not compete due to a stress fracture. The competition begins June 9 and Santos is not expected to return to the Storm until June 16.

Five spots for the August Games remain. If Brazil qualifies, the Storm will once again have three player representatives in the Games in Santos, PG Sue Bird, and F Lauren Jackson (Australia). In 2004, the team had Jackson, Bird, and Castro Marques. Seattle could have four, if F Swin Cash is given a berth.

Spoke to F Sheryl Swoopes at practice on Saturday and she stated she has no intentions of representing America, but if offered a fourth invite, she would compete for her country. Swoopes isn't anticipating that call, however, read more here.

Storm coach Brian Agler thinks Cash should be on the team. Some believe the decision is based on whether Indiana F Tamika Catchings can rehabilitate from major right Achilles tendon surgery quick enough. Swoopes said Team USA needs Cash and Catchings -- healthy -- in order to win gold because of their defense.

"She's [Swin] sort of our stopper out there on the perimeter," said Agler of Cash, who is averaging 15.6 points on the offensive end. "I know Swin is in the running for that [last three spots] and she's played exceptionally well here. If people are evaluating on how she's playing, I think she's showing the things that she can do on both ends of the basketball floor. And she can play the 2, 3, or 4. That's very valuable. Her game is speaking for itself right now."

According to the Olympic selection committee, Catchings is expected to make her Fever debut this month. Coach Lin Dunn said during training camp that the hardest thing is slowing Catchings down to make sure she's 100 percent because Catchings is itching to return. In the meantime, all we're seeing of her are those awful league commercials.

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