Skip to main content


‘Honourary Canadian’ Quinn ready for WNBA game with Storm in Edmonton

Seattle Storm Noelle Quinn - Getty Images

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn’s basketball career has taken her all over the world, but she considers herself an honourary Canadian.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Quinn played 12 seasons in the WNBA, represented Bulgaria internationally, and played professionally overseas in nine different countries, including France and South Korea.

Watch the Seattle Storm take on the Los Angeles Sparks in Edmonton LIVE on Saturday May 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on TSN3 and streaming on and the TSN App.

Named the lead assistant coach for the Canadian women’s senior national team in January of 2022, Quinn has had the opportunity to see the game from a Canadian perspective while coaching the likes of Kia Nurse, Natalie Achonwa, Bridget Carleton and Aaliyah Edwards.

Quinn welcomes the opportunity to bring her day job north when the Storm take on Nurse and the Los Angeles Sparks in a preseason contest on May 4 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. It will be the second WNBA game to take place in Canada after last year’s matchup between the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx in Toronto.

“The game is growing at a high level,” said Quinn in a media conference call on Monday. “We saw what happened in Toronto last year with the preseason game selling out. We’re seeing what’s happening on the college landscape and also those college players coming into the W.

“It’s amazing to be a part of this growth and the fact that we’re globalizing, meaning we’re not just playing in front of our fans, but now other countries have the ability to watch us.”

Quinn had the opportunity to watch the Sparks as a child growing up in California, and said that experience shaped her dream to play professional basketball.

“You think about the youth and players who dream about playing professional basketball and they can actually watch on TV or watch on the internet and access to their favourite player and their favourite game of basketball,” said Quinn. “It’s connecting us all.”

The Storm had a down season in 2023 after franchise legend Sue Bird retired and Breanna Stewart departed in free agency to New York following the 2022 season.

After going 11-29 in Quinn’s third season at the helm, Seattle were one of the biggest winners in free agency, adding 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and six-time All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith to a core that already included last year’s scoring leader in Jewell Loyd and Ezi Magbegor.

While the Storm had their struggles on the court as they adjusted to life without Bird and Stewart, it allowed the team’s younger players like Jade Melbourne, Jordan Horston and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu to get more playing time.

Quinn is excited to see how those young players continue to develop while having the influence of Ogwumike and Diggins-Smith on and off the court as the Storm aim to return to their winning ways.

“They were able to play through mistakes, and because of that there’s a layer of learning they may not have gotten if our team looked a little bit different last year,” said Quinn of the Storm’s young players. “So, you now add those elite athletes to the mix and now those reps that our young athletes got last year they’re able to be more confident and understand systems and know where they can find success on the basketball court.

“The fact that Skylar and Nneka are here from a leadership perspective too. It breeds a positive environment; it breeds an environment where these young players can see these vets who are working so hard. Maybe that’s who they grew up watching because they’re so young.

“But to see what it takes to be the best of the best is very, very good for these young athletes who kind of sometimes don’t know what it takes to have longevity in the game.”