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SEATTLE – As the Storm goes through this historic WNBA season in the Florida bubble, one man watches from Beavercreek, Ohio, with keen interest, occasional input – and undisguised pride in the team’s performance.
Officially, Seattle’s season ended Sunday when the No. 6 seed Storm lost 92-69 at No. 3 Los Angeles in the quarterfinals.
Storm coach Dan Hughes is back as the head coach of the team after stepping away for the first month of the season because of cancer. Hughes first game will be Friday against Los Angeles.
A terrible start to the WNBA season just got exponentially worse for the Storm, who will lose star point guard Sue Bird for significant time due to a knee injury.
Seattle Storm coach Dan Hughes had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract. The team provided no timetable for his return to the sideline. Hughes revealed the cancer diagnosis on April 19. The tumor was discovered after he underwent an emergency appendectomy.
Hughes said in a video released by the team Friday that a treatment plan is still being finalized by doctors in Seattle but that he is expected to undergo surgery before the new season begins in late May.
Whenever the pressure to lead the Storm to its first winning season since 2011 becomes too much, first-year coach Dan Hughes will slip on his Bose earpiece and listen to some of his extensive vinyl collection.
“It’s time to start winning,” Breanna Stewart said after a recent Storm practice inside a basement-level gym at Seattle Pacific University. “I don’t want to come off as crass or cocky or anything like that, but losing sucks. It does. That’s just how I feel about it.
Multiple people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that Dan Hughes has been hired to coach the Seattle Storm. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the move. Hughes spent 11 years as the coach of the San Antonio Stars before retiring after the 2016 season.