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|IN THE SPOTLIGHT|
Sandy Brondello, Miami
Forget her 0-for-10 shooting performance against Cleveland on Sunday night. I like everything about Brondello, one of the most professional people I have ever encountered. She is a tremendous worker and a no-doubt All-Star. I have never seen a finer shooter than Brondello -- in the clutch or in practice. She can hit the runner. And for someone who is only 5-foot-7, she is so savvy in drawing contact. She can shoot off either foot, which a lot of players can't do. She can handle the ball, come off screens, and play either guard spots. Although she doesn't love to play defense, she can play it. Brondello entered the league known as a two-point shooter, but she has expanded her game to three-point range. She is a gamer and one of the smartest players I have been around. She is very much like Michele Timms, coaching as the game is unfolding. When I coached her in Detroit, I would have her in the huddle with me, and she would make informative suggestions. She has a great calm and sense about her. When Timms entered the league, no one really knew about the other Australian players. Everyone knew Timms, with her hair, from her Olympics. But Brondello was a fourth-round draft pick (34th overall) in the 1998 WNBA draft and probably the biggest steal in league history. She quickly proved she was the best Australian player.
-- Nancy Lieberman-Cline