Storm

Rookie Dojkić a Veteran Gift for the Storm

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In Croatian, “Ivana” means “gift from God”. Fortunately, that’s just what point guard Ivana Dojkić (Eye-Vana DOY-Kitch) has been for the Seattle Storm.

After previous point guard Sue Bird retired from her 21-year journey in Seattle, the search for their next leader commenced. Dojkić brings both her experience and youth to the Storm, an organization that develops winners from the beginning.

Ivana Dojkić Shows Off Her Gift In Europe

At 16 years old, Dojkić started playing for Zagreb in the Croatian League. In the last two years, she has played for Virtus Segafredo Bologna in Italy’s top division. In EuroCup play, she averaged 14.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in six games. The following year, she averaged 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 34.3% from distance and 83.3% from the free-throw line.

Dojkić came into the WNBA as the most experienced player after nine seasons of professional basketball overseas, but that wasn’t recognized at first.

She got a contract with the New York Liberty in the summer of 2021, but the negotiations fell through because the WNBA season interfered with her EuroBasket priorities. Dojkić dominated EuroBasket play, averaging 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Her points average was the third-highest behind WNBA players Jonquel Jones and Emma Meesseman. Her shooting numbers did take a dip over the period with her becoming a primary scorer, but in contrast she showcased her elite passing skills.

Croatia only won one game against the Czech Republic and it was thanks to Dojkić. She scored 24 points, shooting 58% from the field and dishing out seven assists.

Two years after Dojkić dominated EuroBasket, she came to the Pacific Northwest in her return to the WNBA.

Ivana’s Presence Is A Gift To Seattle

When WNBA free agency was in full swing, the Seattle Storm signed Dojkić for the 2023 season. Head Coach Noelle Quinn called her “a passionate player who brings great size and energy to the Storm. She is an excellent passer with a natural feel for the game, and is a versatile scorer with the ability to get to the rim and shoot the three.”

Dojkić is the oldest rookie at 25 years old, but she’s also the most experienced. So far this season, she has averaged 9.6 points, 2.5 assists and shooting 41.7% from three-point range. As the season began, Dojkić logged her minutes off the bench, but she has since earned her way into the starting lineup, scoring 14.7 points and dishing 4.7 assists per game over the last three contests.

When asked how Seattle has impacted Dojkić and her game compared to the other places she’s played, she said “It’s a higher intensity and it’s a different environment. My focus of everyday growth and just bringing myself on point every game is for sure helping me improve my game.”

Seattle has the tendency to develop their players into superstars who will help them win. Bird helped the Storm win four times with help from Lauren Jackson, then later with Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd. Seattle is starting to form a bigger storm and it looks like Dojkić is becoming a part of it.

Ivana Dojkić Is An Essential Cloud For A Bigger Storm

There is no question Dojkić has the offensive ability Seattle was missing. However, her ability to defend isn’t talked about enough. Dojkić is currently averaging 0.9 steals per game which is tied for fifth on the team. Quinn has shown she is giving her rookies opportunities to earn their minutes as the season goes on, and Dojkić has earned her chance to become a star.

She leads a rookie class in Seattle that is already becoming dangerous. While the Storm will miss Bird this season, they have a new point guard who is ready to lead them to another championship.

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About Brenden Potts

Brenden is an American writer and Washington State University Sport Management student in Pullman Washington. He has less than a year of writing experience getting started with The Lead. He writes about the Seattle Storm for The Lead.

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