Julie Wojta really impressed members of the Minnesota Lynx organization during training camp this spring, so much so that it wasnt an easy decision to let her go despite essentially having their 11-person roster set prior to camp.
Thats why when Wojta, the 18th overall pick in last Aprils WNBA Draft, left Minnesota after the teams final cuts, coach Cheryl Reeve let her know that if any unforeseen situations arose during the season she should be ready to return.
Coach Reeve told me when I left to be ready and expect a call, Wojta said. So I took that seriously like a job. I continued to work and obviously Im glad I did.
Wojta, a guard/forward, returned to the Lynx on Monday for the teams practice at LifeTime Fitness Training Center before the squad took an early afternoon flight to Tulsa. Shell be in uniform when the Lynx and Shock square off on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.
Shes back with the Lynx on a seven-day contract, a roster move made because forward Rebekkah Brunson is expected to miss the next two games with a left calf sprain. Brunson, Jess Adair (right knee) and Devereaux Peters (broken left hand) are all currently injured, and per league rules a team can sign a 12th player if three roster spots are unavailable.
With the leagues month-long hiatus beginning after Thursdays game, Wojta is expected to remain with the team through the Olympic break even though she is signed to a week-long deal.
Returning due to a teammates injury isnt an ideal way to rejoin the team, but Wojta said shes still excited to be back and is equally happy that Minnesota decided to have her back in this situation.
Its just nice to know that I feel comfortable here and having those 2 weeks of practice earlier this year, and just fortunate that they liked what they saw and gave me a call, Wojta said.
The Lynx staff like Wojtas work ethic and her reputation for being a gamer while in college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She led the Horizon League with 19.5 points and 3.8 steals per game as a senior. During two preseason games with the Lynx, she scored nine points and added nine rebounds.
Reeve said the teams familiarity with her game was a big draw for adding her to the squad.
Its great to have someone who is experienced in camp and gets us through some tough situations, Reeve said. I dont know how much shell play, but I know shell play hard when shes called upon.
Wojta spent her summer training with the UW-Green Bay womens basketball program. She continued her weight lifting regimen and participated in speed and agility drills to keep herself prepared.
Shes joining a Lynx squad that is coming off three straight losses and looking to end the first half of the season on a strong note. That means the teams two games against Tulsa this week are extra important. Wojta said the team isnt lacking confidence despite the recent losing streak.
Youre going to have that throughout the season, she said. Youre going to have adversity. Coming in I didnt know what to expect, but theyre really positive. They know what theyre capable of doing and all the talent they have on this team. The energy is still high, and you can tell it hasnt affected their confidence. They still know theyre a good basketball team.
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