By Matthew Roberson
Any player’s rookie season in the WNBA presents a wild set of new challenges and circumstances. Then there’s the stuff off the court. For Storm rookie point guard Alexis Peterson, being drafted by Seattle meant getting an opportunity to play in the best league in the world, but also meant having to move to a new place where she didn’t know anyone.
“It was definitely a huge learning process,” Peterson said. “The transition from within a month’s time of ending your college season to coming here, I don’t think there’s a handbook for that.”
Of course, one can’t mention the words point guard, WNBA and Seattle in the same breath without conjuring up images of Sue Bird. While Peterson, like any competitor, surely would have liked more playing time, she is cognizant of the fact that waiting her turn behind Bird will pay dividends down the road.
“You learn something day-to-day or month-to-month,” Peterson said. “You have to be able to fight through adversity. To see how much of a blessing it is to play in this league, it teaches you that this is a professional setting.”
In her sparse bits of playing time in 2017, Peterson displayed several skills that should have fans buzzing about the ostensible heir apparent to Bird. Her coming out party came on Aug. 16 against the Minnesota Lynx. Bird did not play in that game due to injury, allowing Peterson to play 14 minutes as the backup to Noelle Quinn. While the stats may not sound like much (six points, two steals, two assists), Peterson had a major impact on that game. She beat the first quarter buzzer with a looping floater, giving Seattle a 22-20 lead and perhaps the confidence it needed in taking down the Lynx, 62-61.
Three games after helping spark the win against Minnesota – the second in a streak of four victories to propel Seattle into the playoff picture – Peterson got her career high in points. While her seven points at McCamish Pavilion came in a losing effort to the Atlanta Dream, it reminded the WNBA world what kind of player the Storm had chosen with the No. 15 overall pick in the draft.
“Being a point guard, there was definitely a lot to learn,” Peterson said. “It’s not as easy as it looks.”
In addition to getting her first taste of the league, 2017 also brought Peterson’s induction into the Greater Columbus Basketball Legend Association. The recognition was something Peterson called “super special” and a privilege that she will “cherish forever.”
If her strong play to end the 2017 regular season is any indication, Peterson could be well on her way to creating more super special basketball memories that she’ll cherish forever.
“Every day is a day of competition,” Peterson said. “Even after you make the final roster, I feel like you’re always competing.”
- Drafted No. 15 overall by the Storm in the 2017 WNBA Draft
- Drained 3-for-6 field goals for six points in Seattle’s Aug. 16 upset of the Minnesota Lynx
- Posted a season-high seven points on Aug. 23 at Atlanta
- Did not miss a free throw all season, going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe
- Finished in the top-ten among rookies in assists per game
- Nabbed four rebounds in a game twice (June 27 and July 15)