By Seth Dahle
It’s not often you see third-round picks of the WNBA Draft make it past the first month of the season. Waives come in bunches, and many of those cuts take their talents overseas for off-season adjustments.
But Lanay Montgomery is one of the very few who made it. And with a 6-foot-5 frame and sound knowledge of the game, it’s no wonder why the West Virginia product and third-round pick of the 2017 draft is sticking around as a post to be reckoned with.
Montgomery, who had never been to Seattle prior to being drafted, said she enjoyed her rookie season, despite the ups and downs.
“There has definitely been a transition from college,” said Montgomery. “What I enjoyed most were my teammates and getting to build another sisterhood. It was kind of a crazy rookie-year experience. I’ve never experienced a head coaching change. It was a bumpy road, but I definitely enjoyed my first year.”
Montgomery, who appeared in seven games in 2017, served as a role player for the Seattle Storm. She issued a relentless effort in practice everyday and used her Big 12 experience to bang with ‘bigs’ such as Carolyn Swords, Ramu Tokashiki, Breanna Stewart and Crystal Langhorne.
On May 13, Montgomery made her WNBA debut in the Storm’s season opener at Los Angeles. After playing just two minutes in the first two weeks of the season, she scored her first professional bucket (seen below) in a 94-70 triumph over the Indiana Fever on May 28.
In seven games this season, Montgomery compiled six points, five rebounds, four blocks and one steal, shooting 3-for-7 from the floor. Although her time on the hardwood was limited, Montgomery said she plans on finding her mojo in the coming months.
“For me personally, I didn’t see that many minutes this year,” said Montgomery. “So it’s about building my confidence back up. I know the type of player I am and that I was in college. It’s getting that little mojo back. It’s different when you go from playing a lot of minutes to basically sitting an entire season. That kind of plays with your confidence. It naturally happens to almost every athlete.”
Perhaps Montgomery’s brightest moment of the campaign came on June 27 at Washington. Despite the lopsided, 30-point setback, Montgomery was able to reap minutes down the stretch and embraced every tick, dialing in a career-high three blocks to go along with two boards and two points.
A strong off-season with tweaks of improvement should pay dividends for Montgomery. Her final appearance of the 2017 Storm season came on Aug. 20 in a 103-66 thumping of Chicago, where she was one of 12 players to score for the Storm – a first in franchise history.
In the offseason, Montgomery picked a league in Belgium, because it is the best for her safety and allows the opportunity to “develop her game.”
- Third-round pick (30th overall) in WNBA Draft
- Made her Storm debut on May 13 at Los Angeles
- Tallied her first career points on 5/28 vs. Indiana
- Pulled down a career-high two rebounds and came up with a career-best three blocks at Washington on 6/27
- Scored two points and had one block at Chicago on 8/20