May 20, 2024 

Source: Nika Mühl set to make WNBA debut Wednesday for Seattle Storm

Queen Victoria to blame for added Mühl delay

BROOKLYN — A source familiar with the situation tells The Next that Nika Mühl is expected to make her WNBA debut as soon as Wednesday, completing a Kafkaesque journey to get her work visa status resolved.

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The visa issues have kept Mühl out of each of Seattle’s first three games, and she has been ruled out of Monday night’s contest with the New York Liberty as well.

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But her P1 approval, though it came Friday from the United States, required a status change as well, according to the source familiar. That led to a Mühl trip to Canada just to get a status change approved, too. Coincidentally, Monday is Victoria Day in Canada, meaning the earliest that could get approved was Tuesday.

The plan is now for Mühl to get approval Tuesday, get her passport back, return to Seattle Tuesday night and be active Wednesday.

It all struck Liberty coach Sandy Brondello, no stranger to the process of being a player from overseas while playing in the WNBA, as a bit absurd.

“It amazes me,” Brondello mused. “I mean, I’m Australian, I got my visa pretty easy. But I wasn’t in college, I suppose. There’s other college players… it’s surprising me… it’s been a few weeks now and usually doesn’t take that long. But I’m not in that space either. So hopefully she’s back soon.”

For Seattle head coach Noelle Quinn, the return of Mühl cannot come soon enough.

“It’s going to be good to have Nika in the mix, just to have another point guard on the floor,” Quinn said. “And taking about the leadership, the presence that she has, what she can do defensively. She is all of 5’10, 5’11, whatever she’s listed at, and she’s very tough and strong and physical.”

Her teammates are eager to get her into the mix as well.

“We obviously drafted Nika for a reason, and she had a great training camp,” Storm big Ezi Magbegor said prior to Monday night’s game. “I think she showed what she could do in college, and it’s going to translate into the league for sure.”

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The Storm are 1-2 entering Monday night’s game in New York. Following the game, they’ll return home to face the Indiana Fever, where Mühl may well draw the assignment she faced in her final collegiate game at Connecticut: guarding Caitlin Clark.

Offensively, too, Quinn expects Mühl to provide knock-on effects for the team’s offense as well.

“I think that allows us to make some different lineups,” Quinn said. “It allows us to put Skylar [Diggis-Smith] on the wing a little bit more. And, the intangibles that she brings are missing at the moment. So just waiting on her to get back in the mix and see what she can do.”

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Jackie Powell contributed reporting to this story.

Written by Howard Megdal

Howard is the founder of The Next and editor-in-chief.

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