May 28, 2021 

What Mikiah “Kiki” Herbert Harrigan’s absence means for the Storm

The second-year player announced her pregnancy and will miss the rest of the season

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PALMETTO, FL – AUGUST 11: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan #21 of the Minnesota Lynx shoots the ball against the Washington Mystics on August 11, 2020, at Field Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

Seattle Storm forward Mikiah “Kiki” Herbert Harrigan has had an exciting past couple of years. Last year, she was drafted by Minnesota, where she played her rookie year. This offseason, the Lynx dealt her to the Storm for a draft pick. It’s been a good year on the court for her.

Herbert Harrigan revealed some exciting off-court news on Thursday, announcing that she is pregnant and will sit out the rest of the 2021 WNBA season.

“I’m excited to announce that I am expecting! I’m very much looking forward to motherhood and starting a family with my boyfriend, Stanford,” said Herbert Harrigan. “While I am disappointed to miss the 2021 WNBA season, I appreciate the supportive environment the Storm family has provided for me. I will be cheering on the Storm from the sidelines and wish the whole organization great success this season. See you next year!!”

Shifting from a player’s important personal news back to basketball always feels funny. Yet it’s still fair to wonder how her absence will affect the Storm for the rest of the season.

In the grand scheme, Herbert Harrigan missing this season likely does not change the team’s investment in her. They did give up an asset to acquire her, so she likely remains penciled in for a roster spot next season. WNBA roster spots are tough to earn, but Herbert Harrigan is young and has a valuable skillset.

Storm general manager Talisa Rhea said, “We are so happy for Kiki and her family as she starts this exciting new chapter of her life and look forward to welcoming her back in 2022,” so it certainly seems she remains a part of the future.

This season, the Storm will adapt. While Herbert Harrigan has appeared in just one game for Seattle so far, the Storm likely envisioned a larger role for her. This may mean more minutes for Katie Lou Samuelson when she returns, as well as increasing the importance of Candice Dupree.

Samuelson, in particular, may still benefit from Herbert Harrigan’s absence. Herbert Harrigan is probably a power forward at this stage in her career, but we don’t have a firm grasp on how the team planned on using her because she was a late arrival who played one regular-season game.

There is a lot to like about Herbert Harrigan’s potential fit with this team, but we’ll have to wait until 2022 to see what that fit is.

Written by Derek James

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