Thousands of fans took to the streets Sunday (Sept. 16) to celebrate the Seattle Storm’s third WNBA title win. With 30 points from Breanna Stewart, 29 from Natasha Howard and 10 from Sue Bird, the Storm swept the Washington Mystics with a 98-82 victory. Seattle Storm season ticket holder Michelle Odo cheered along in the parade and attended the rally at Key Arena with her wife, Lily West, and 5-year-old daughter, Ida, in tow.
“Ida was really excited and waving at everyone during the parade,” says Odo. “She got bored during the rally, though — too much talking.”
At 3 months old, Ida attended her very first Storm game in a front pack. In her toddler years, she was able to last through the full game with the promise of snacks offered throughout. Odo says she’s enjoyed watching her daughter grow up with the team.
“I love basketball and it’s great basketball,” says Odo. “I like that it’s a good environment, which I always took for granted, until I took her to a Husky football game and there was a lot more yelling and negativity. The Storm is always positive.”
Fifty-one Storm games later (Odo tracks each game they attend on a spreadsheet), Ida is a devoted fan with a growing appreciation for the game of basketball. For the past three seasons, Ida’s favorite player has been Jewell Loyd. When not catching a Storm game, she likes to watch episodes of “Nature Cat” on the iPad with her Jewell bobblehead by her side.
“I’ve been surprised how into it she is,” says Odo. Odo likes watching the games on TV just as much because it gives her extra time to explain the game to Ida. “We’ll be watching and then I’ll hit the '8 seconds back' on my TiVo and explain what a pick-and-roll is or what made a good pass good,” says Odo.
A perk of being season-ticket holders is the opportunity to meet the players in person. “The players are so approachable, which is awesome, but because they straddle the line of celebrity, I don’t think she realizes that not everyone can play basketball like that.”
The Odo-West family with Ida's favorite player, Jewell Loyd. (Photo by Seattle Storm)
Odo says she likes that they are good role models for her daughter. “They always talk about what they do in the community and extend that positive impact.” The Seattle Storm Foundation focuses on programing that supports all girls to “lead healthy lives, boldly lead in the classroom and on the playing fields and joyfully lead in their communities,” according to the Foundation website.
Now that Ida is getting bigger, she’s allowed to participate in the traditional fourth-quarter conga line on the court led by the Storm’s weather-inspired mascot Doppler. “I went with her and it was chaos,” says Odo. “I’m kind of thankful she hasn’t asked to do that again. I’m looking forward to when she’s old enough to go down there by herself.”
With the team’s continued success, Odo and her family will have many Storm memories to make in the years to come.