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Friday, January 7, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Wnba

Seattle Times staff reporter

From the Seattle Sonic Girls to the Sonicetts to the Seattle Chinooks to the Boom, they heard it all when it came to naming the city's WNBA team.

After months of debate, the team stuck to its original idea - the Seattle Storm.

After an extensive trademark search, the nickname was officially approved over the Christmas holiday. Yesterday Karen Bryant, the team's senior director of operations, confirmed that the team would be named the Storm.

"It's the perfect name because of the weather here and what the team plans to do in the league," she said.

But the unveiling was less than ideal for Bryant and Full House Sports & Entertainment, the business arm for the WNBA team and the NBA's Seattle Sonics.

Bryant's office sent invitations to the 7,200 season-ticket holders for a gala at KeyArena Jan. 19 for the announcement of the team name and logo, but a Miami newspaper yesterday revealed the names of all four expansion teams. The others are the Portland Fire, Indiana Fever and Miami Sol (Spanish for Sun).

"We don't know how they found out, (Coach) Lin Dunn doesn't even know," Bryant said. "We are disappointed we had to announce it this way."

Dunn got the word late last night from Full House while scouting the Auburn-Kentucky women's basketball game in Lexington, Ky.

Dunn liked the name because it sounds powerful and aggressive. And she even came up with a nickname for her top two draft picks, guards Sonja Henning and Edna Campbell.

"We can just call them Thunder and Lightning," Dunn said by phone. "That just came to me."

The nickname Storm is not new to Seattle, though. When the original Sounders men's soccer team folded in the mid-1980s, some players formed an amateur club called the FC Seattle Storm. After playing their final season in 1988, they let the trademark expire.

"We were aware of the team, but I don't think it was ever a debate," Bryant said. "Everything cleared and we own the trademark to the name."

Having picked up six players in the draft last month, and now with a nickname to go with the team, the only missing links are the Storm's schedule and the design of its uniforms. The logo and team colors will be unveiled Jan. 19, and league officials said the 32-game schedule would be released at the end of this month. The WNBA's fourth season starts May 30.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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