Seattle Storm coach gets Chautauqua girls excited about basketball

Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler poses with Dopler, the team’s mascot, during an assembly at Chautauqua Elementary School on Friday. - Photo courtesy of the Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler poses with Dopler, the team’s mascot, during an assembly at Chautauqua Elementary School on Friday.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Seattle Storm

Last Friday students at Chautauqua Elementary School received a special visit. Brian Agler, coach of the Seattle Storm women’s basketball team, spoke at an assembly organized to encourage elementary-age girls to participate in basketball.

Agler told the crowd in Chautauqua's gym that Doppler, the Storm’s mascot who was on hand to entertain the children and hand out prizes, had informed him that basketball enrollment, especially among girls, was low on Vashon.

“He’s concerned about that, and that’s one reason we’re out here today,” he said.

It was close to the truth. In reality, Agler was invited by Lauri Hennessey, a Vashon Island Junior Basketball (VIJB) board member and PTSA president. Hennessey said the board thought giving young girls a taste of The Storm might encourage them to enroll in basketball. She was pleased with what Agler said.

Angler told his young audience about the Storm’s success on the court and spoke of the benefits of getting involved in sports at a young age.

“It’s important when you’re young for you to stay active. … Team sports can teach you so much about how to get along with people, and you can use those life skills down the road,” he said.

After a short question and answer period, several games ensued, some involving teachers and middle and high school basketball players who had come to hear Agler speak.

By the end of the assembly, Hennessey said, the students were clearly pumped about basketball, and many girls and several boys took home VIJB registration forms.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better sort of delivery. … It was definitely a success,” she said.

Agler also encouraged the kids to support their local high school basketball teams, and particularly to attend Vashon High School girls games.

The young students cheered and promised to attend that night’s girls basketball game, where the team would beat Life Christian, 52 to 34.

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