Jayne Appel with her team pregame – Michelle Smith photo
Appel, the former Stanford All-American center who was the No. 5 pick in the WNBA Draft in April, played more than 15 minutes, was 3-for-3 from the field and matched her WNBA high with seven points and three rebounds. Thus far, Appel has played in six games, averaging 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds. She said she is still “getting there.” But it’s difficult to feel too good about her own performance after an 82-61 loss.
Silver Stars coach Sandy Brondello evaluated Appel’s progress after the game.
“I thought it was good minutes for Jayne to get out there,” Brondello said. “She hasn’t played a lot of minutes, but she was trying hard. She gives us another low-block presence, which is what we need.”
Appel said her ankle, which hampered the end of her college season along with a stress fracture in her foot, is healing.
“My ankle is still obviously…it’s not day-to-day, but I’m still trying to feel it out and get used to having the confidence of playing back on it,” Appel said.
The Silver Stars are working with Appel to move her out of the block and expand her mid-range game, a necessity for WNBA post players. She spent the pre-game time working on the court with Stars assistant coach Olaf Lange, shooting from all areas around the basket.
She said she is still playing catch-up after missing training camp and the first few weeks of the season with her injury.
“But I’m still getting a chance to play and tonight was good, but definitely trying to catch up to playing at a higher level.”
Appel said she is also adjusting well to her new life in San Antonio, living on her own for the first time.
“It’s definitely new, but I’ve enjoyed it,” Appel said.