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Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Women of the Year Runner-up: Karen Bryant

  • Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant.

Though not as visible as Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird, the team's two star players, Karen Bryant was an integral part of the Seattle Storm's success in the 2010 Women's National Basketball Association season.
Bryant, a finalist for The Herald's Woman of the Year in Sports for 2010, originally joined the WNBA team in 1999 as vice president of business operations and received additional promotions over the next few years before becoming the team's chief executive officer in 2008. In her current position, she oversees the business and basketball operations for the franchise.
And in 2010, her skilled leadership helped the Storm to the WNBA championship, its second in the past seven seasons.
For Bryant, who grew up in Edmonds, it was another remarkable step in a basketball journey that began as a player at Woodway High School in the early 1980s.
For the Storm, the 2010 season was stellar in every way. Seattle surged to a 28-6 regular-season mark, which included a 17-0 record at KeyArena.
There was more good news in the playoffs as the Storm defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 2-0 in the opening round, eliminated the Phoenix Mercury 2-0 in the conference finals, and then swept the Atlanta Dream 3-0 in the WNBA Finals.
When it was over, Seattle not only had the title trophy, but Jackson was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the third time and Brian Agler was chosen Coach of the Year.
All of them pieces to a championship puzzle put together by Bryant.

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