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Storm drafts Jordin Canada, heir apparent to Sue Bird

SEATTLE – It was a bittersweet evening for the Seattle Storm on Thursday, as they used their much-anticipated first-round draft pick to select the heir apparent to franchise legend Sue Bird.

With the fifth overall pick, the Storm took UCLA guard Jordin Canada, a pass-first point guard who was a two-time Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“I love Sue Bird, she’s one of my role models,” Canada told the Associated Press.

The Storm are imagining a long, bright future with the trio of Canada, Bre Stewart and Jewell Loyd as the nucleus under new coach Dan Hughes.

Hughes said he planned on putting Bird and Canada on the court at the same time in some situations.

“Those two can probably find the court and some minutes together, because they’re different in what they do,” Hughes told Q13 News. “We felt really fortunate we could put a player on our roster who could fit those kind of needs.”

Hughes acknowledged there will be a period of growth for the Storm’s young players.

“We want to be good right now, but I also think there’s a reality to getting good and trying to stay good, and we tried to stay within those measures, too,” he said.

Hughes said that the immediate future holds an opportunity for Bird and Canada to work together for immediate success, even as Canada works on getting a world-class education.

“Keep your eyes wide open, because you’re playing with a player that you can teach an awful lot,” Hughes said. “I love the fact that we could pair a young point guard with Sue.”