Katie Lou Samuelson Finds a Comfort Zone with Sparks – Orange County Register

Maybe all she wanted was to click on collectively on the heels of her Puma sneakers and say: There is no such thing as a place like residence, there isn’t any place like residence, there may be…

Chicago. click on.

Dallas. click on.

Seattle. click on.

Within the fourth season of Katie Lou Samuelson’s WNBA profession, she landed in Los Angeles, the place she proved that if a sneaker is true, when it comes to consolation and design, efficiency numbers have to be adopted.

Kevin Kiernan, who was her coach at Mater de Excessive, stated she made a reputation for herself maybe the perfect highschool participant in Orange County historical past.


A number of weeks into her tenure right here, Samuelson considered the yellow brick spherical journey that took her residence, including one other class to her native legacy and doing so with the one skilled crew on the planet making it doable to complete coaching after which drive to satisfy her household for dinner.

“It feels proper,” she stated.

kiss her Established herself among the many greats at UConnprobably the most profitable girls’s faculty basketball program ever, Samuelson was a prep sensation in Southern California, so she may have had her personal present on HGTV.

As a highschool freshman, Katie Lowe—the youngest of three basketball-playing sisters—was the All-Nationwide Participant of the 12 months, sweeping the picks for Gatorade, USA Immediately, McDonald’s, the WBCA and Naismith. Whatever the a number of defenders thrown at her per possession, she set data for Mater Dei scoring 29.2 factors per recreation and capturing 62% of the sphere.

Brea Olinda coach Jeff Sinek known as her”The following day, Diana Taurasi‘ Kiernan stated afterwards that it was Finest attacking participant he is seen in 30 years. 3 times, Orange County’s document named her Participant of the 12 months; In all, the newspaper featured her in over 100 articles earlier than leaving for UConn.

Rooted in Los Angeles

Sparks’ advertising and marketing slogan this season is “It is Showtime.” Samuelson, who turns 25 this week, acquired the memo: Twice in 9 video games she hit her highs in a single recreation (17, 19). She’s averaging her profession better of 26.6 minutes per recreation coming into the subsequent 5 video games within the Sparks’ 9 days, once they face all three of Samuelson’s earlier groups, beginning Sunday in Dallas.

However final season’s title, “Rooted in Los Angeles,” in reference to the crew’s twenty fifth anniversary and the WNBA, would have additionally labored with Samuelson, whose place and connections inside the SoCal basketball group are deep.

As a baby, her father, John, would use annually his co-worker’s season tickets to carry his daughters to Lakers video games, the place they’d attempt to predict what number of factors Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher may rating.

Years later, it was Fisher, as Sparks’ common supervisor, who introduced Samuelson residence, predicting that her 6-foot-3 body, versatility and capturing aptitude would complement superstars Liz Kambage and Nika Ogomec. He traded Samuelson Husky’s teammate Gabe Williams to Seattle in change for a first-round decide and Samuelson.

Lower than a month into Samuelson’s stint at Sparks, Fischer was coach and GM, the crew he had put collectively for a gradual begin at 5-7.

Coaching below Fisher, Samuelson stated, was, “simply type of disbelief within the state of affairs he was youthful than he was.” However actually, it was regular – the identical means you keep in mind a film session with Bryant.

Samuelson met Bryant when she was in faculty and requested him for recommendation. His daughter Gianna was a fan of Huskies and Samuelson.

“It was incredible,” Samuelson stated. “I needed to watch them practice just a few instances and he or she was positively bitchy, identical to her dad.

“It was actually cool. Similar to that, like regular? It is the weirdest factor ever since you’re sitting there watching a film with Kobe Bryant and but it is like a traditional dialog.”

Meticulously, they studied the movie collectively after shedding Connecticut in Remaining 4.

“He checked out all the things,” she remembers. “Oh, what occurred there?”

“what are you speaking about?” I requested him.

He stated, “In outing.”

“What or what?”

“Look! Look what they are saying.”

Samuelson remembers, “And he reads the lips of the opponent’s coach!”

Katie Regulation had seen a number of recreation films, nevertheless it by no means occurred to her to concentrate to what was occurring throughout breaks within the motion till Bryant taught her to understand these moments as properly.

Lengthy earlier than that, the Samuelsons had moments with DeLisha Milton-Jones, they usually often educated with Sparks star co-coach Jason Wright.

“I may see the Samuelson sisters coming and all I heard him say: ‘Wait’ till you see the child!” stated Milton Jones, who was inducted into the Girls’s Basketball Corridor of Fame this month. “Child woman, hey Good! “

What impressed Carly probably the most—who additionally had some quick stints with Sparks and who, like Samuelson’s older sister Bonnie, was a standout at Stanford—was Milton Jones’ “ultra-gloss” nail polish. For Katie Lowe, her key was on/off the sphere: “One of many cutest folks ever. However whenever you watch her play, she’s only a beast.”

Being a task mannequin, as Milton Jones understood, is about extra than simply basketball.

“It is all one thing they take a look at, take screenshots of and apply to their lives,” stated Milton Jones, now head coach at Outdated Dominion. “I am glad I may have been a optimistic inspiration to them, by way of nail polish colours or being the fierce competitor.”

Katie Lou understands that, too.

alright to be okay

On Might 20, 2020, Katie Lowe Wrote an article on ESPN.com Share her experiences in coping with melancholy and anxiousness.

Writing concerning the psychological turmoil she went by way of, together with the emotional accidents she sustained whereas at UConn, emotions that lingered when she turned an expert, she wrote, “In faculty, I assumed, ‘Okay, on my subsequent journey, I will be in Higher emotionally. Then I began my skilled profession, it was like, “I really feel like this as a result of I do not play that a lot, which is why.” Then you definitely play somewhat bit extra, however that does not assist both. I have been always on the lookout for a purpose for that, however I’ve realized that generally there is not particular purpose.”

She was ranked fourth general in 2019 by Chicago Sky however performed solely seven minutes per recreation as a rookie earlier than being traded to Dallas, the place she would have averaged 5 factors per recreation off the bench earlier than being dealt once more , to Seattle to choose the primary draft in 2021.

She inspired others, particularly younger kids in sports activities, to share their emotions with an expert or somebody they trusted, as a result of “Once I began speaking about issues that I did not suppose made sense, it made sense to them. And I felt that weight was lifted off me.”

Carly did not know her youthful sister wrote the article till shortly earlier than it was revealed, and Katie Lu stated she was stressing about sharing till it was posted. However the overwhelming optimistic response made her imagine she had carried out the correct factor.

Kiernan is aware of it.

“As a trainer, coach and AD the final two or three years have been troublesome for kids – and adults and lecturers,” Kiernan stated. “When the children aren’t in class they usually’re alone and remoted, it has a long-term influence on the children, and we see it. So it was a very well timed message and that was actually essential for the children to know that they will speak about this stuff, that a number of different folks really feel that means. additionally “.

residence recreation

Katie Regulation’s latest contributions to court docket even have one thing to put in writing about again residence.

She and Carly led their membership at Perfumerias Avenida to consecutive La Liga titles during the last two WNBA seasons.

And now, in Los Angeles, Katie Lou — who was engaged this yr to Devin Canady of the Orlando Magic and in addition holds a grasp’s diploma in sports activities teaching and administration from Concordia College in Irvine — will nonetheless be beginning her means, stated Fred Williams, interim head coach.