It began with a
text close to midnight Monday from head coach Jim Foster. That was followed
shortly by a phone call.
Following the WNBA
Draft Monday night, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Taylor Hall
(New Tazewell, Tenn.) received an invitation from the Seattle Storm to
participate in training camp and fight for a spot on the 2014 roster.
“It’s hard to put
into words the opportunity that has presented itself,” Hall said. “It’s hard to
pass up something like this regardless of what my other plans were for after
graduation. Hopefully I can take advantage of it.”
came about with a little help from Foster who is currently in New Zealand as
part of his duties with USA Basketball.
“I talked with both
[assistant coach] Jenn [Boucek] and [head coach] Brian [Agler] within the last
few weeks and gave them my thoughts on Taylor.
translates to the next level because of her versatility. When you have a short
roster of players who can play more than one position, they become even more
In her time with
Chattanooga, Hall experienced many challenges. Her freshman year started a
little behind as she joined the team after the first semester. After her junior
year, she learned that there would be a new coach to lead the program. As a
senior, her role on the team changed with the new offense.
“Having two coaches
with different coaching styles makes you more rounded as a player with different
expectations from different people,” Hall said. “You have to adjust to what they
Hall adjusted well
and scored 495 points this season. She topped the 1,000-point career mark and
has more than 800 rebounds. She ranks among the best on her team, in the
Southern Conference and against the rest of the NCAA Division I
Hall posted 14
double-doubles this season and became the first player in Southern Conference
history to be named the league’s Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the
Year and SoCon Tournament MVP.
Hall will report to
training camp on April 27 at Seattle Pacific University. She is up against
current players, draftees and other training camp invitees for one of 14 spots
on the roster.
“It takes me back
to the AAU days when we were trying to get recruited to the college level,” I’ve
been in that situation before, of course, on a lower level then. You have to
compete every day and just do the things that you’ve been doing your whole life.
It’s effort and doing the little things and doing the things that you can
Hall becomes the
third UTC player to receive a look from a WNBA team. In 2008, Alex Anderson
(2004-08) was selected in the third round (39th overall pick) by the
San Antonio Silver Stars. While she did not make the team she is currently
playing for a championship in Finland for the Catz. Laura Hall (2004-08)
received a look from the Connecticut Sun with a training camp
“It’s terrific that
a player from Chattanooga gets an opportunity to play,” Foster said. “There’s
140-something jobs available in the league and players from around the world are
competing for them. It’s a great opportunity for her and great for the
6-foot-4 Michelle Plouffe (Utah) and Mikaela Ruef (Stanford) and acquired
Crystal Langhorne from the Washington Mystics in a trade that included seventh
overall pick in this year’s draft Bria Hartley (UConn) and second-year forward
The Storm opens
training camp on April 27 at Seattle Pacific University before hosting Los
Angeles in a preseason game on May 11 at 1 p.m. The Sparks return to KeyArena
for Opening Night on May 16 at 7 p.m.