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The Seattle Storm Gain A Thunderous Defensive Playmaker From UConn

The Seattle Storm Gain A Thunderous Defensive Playmaker From UConn

By Brenden Potts, 05/15/24, 7:00AM CDT


In the WNBA, there are many chances for teams to improve through the draft. In the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Storm added an important piece as well despite not drafting in the first round. After an amazing college career, point guard Nika Mühl (NEE-KUH Mul) is now in prime position to succeed with the Storm.

With the 14th overall selection, Seattle selected Mühl, taking the best player available. She broke many school records in college at the University of Connecticut (UConn), while proving she is a defensive pest. She fit UCONN's culture all four years due to her selflessness and toughness in her game. Mühl holds the school records in all-time assists (686), assists in a game (15; November 20, 2022 vs NC State), and single-season assists (284; 2022-23). She surpassed former Storm and UCONN legend Sue Bird when accomplishing some of these records, proving she is pro ready. Mühl is also a pesky defender, earning the nickname "The Secretary Of Defense" after guarding the biggest names under the bright lights. She was assigned to players like Clark, and Juju Watkins in the NCAA Tournament, and gave them her all. Mühl's defensive intensity and gritty play style make her the ultimate fit in Seattle, with a great chance to improve in Seattle.

The Storm built their roster the last two off-seasons through free agency and the draft. They added veterans like Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike (NEH-kuh Oh-gwoo-MIH-kay) to pair with Jewell Loyd, giving players that Mühl can learn from. When asked how she fits in, Seattle head coach Noelle Quinn spoke about her competitiveness and ability to face adversity. "(Mühl) plays with a lot of pride and she's competitive," Quinn said. "We saw a lot of times during the season it wasn't always great for her and there's something to say about a player who sticks with it and shows up." Mühl has a great supporting cast around her that can help her navigate the league in year one. Veterans like Diggins-Smith can help her through what will be a grueling season, and guide her through any struggles she may face. They both have a similar play style, and coach Quinn mentioned how that can elevate everything Seattle does in any setting. "To have players that are like-minded in that way, we know that that elevates the play and everything that we do," She explained. "We're excited about the opportunity to have (Mühl) here and learn from one of the great point guards in our game." With every rookie, there is a different adjustment period from the college game to the league. For Mühl however, she discovered new ways to make the transition more enjoyable and easier for her.

UConn is known for producing players who have successful WNBA careers like Bird. Mühl is part of an elite group, but the transition from college to the league isn't easy. When asked about the difference between the WNBA and college, she described the league's physicality and how that helps her. "Very physical and much more contact is allowed, which I like," She said. Mühl also pointed out how the terminology difference is the toughest adjustment for her. "The dictionary has been the hardest part for me because we run a lot of the same things, but the calls and the words are different." Before training camp, Mühl learned from one of the top players in the league. She accepted an invite to Dawg Class, a basketball camp held by Las Vegas Aces point guard Kelsey Plum for the next generation of hoopers. Mühl described it as an amazing experience, and loved learning from Plum, one of the greats in the WNBA. "There is no better way to get prepared for training camp than to go to (Dawg Class) and learn from the best," she explained. "(Kelsey) is such a great role model and she definitely takes her time to make an impact and I think she prepared me so well for (training camp)." In some areas the transition might be different for Mühl, but she will still impact the Storm in many ways.

In her first WNBA (pre-season) game, she played 20 minutes off the bench. Mühl recorded 6 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds in the 85-59 victory over the Phoenix Mercury. As the Storm prepare  for the journey to a fifth championship, they will be greatly assisted by their new secretary of defense.


Jordan Vasquez, Cal State San Marcos 2023-2024 World Exposure Report NCAA Division II Women's Basketball All-American Teams