Finally a rumor that can be fully confirmed, former Storm C Janell Burse isn’t returning to her Polish team because she’s pregnant with her first child. She’s past her first trimester and settling back into life stateside in Houston, surrounded by family.
Burse opted not to return to Seattle for the 2010 season, resting her body to play and make more money with Wisla Can-Pack Krakow. The 6-foot-5 post helped lead the team to the EuroLeague Final Four last year, the first appearance for the club.
I was able to catch up with Burse, 31, via e-mail to get her opinions about missing out on a second championship with the Storm and the latest baby news. Here’s what she had to say.
Women’s Hoops Blog: OMG! Congrats on the pregnancy. Who’s the lucky father and are you getting married soon? If Polish, tell me how you met.
Janell Burse: Lol! No, he’s from Houston! He actually plays ball too, he’s playing in Poland right now his name is Kenneth. We do plan to wed in the future. I just don’t want to go down the aisle with a great big belly. That’s really not how I imagined it being. He really is a great guy, I’m really glad that I met him and that we’re starting a family together even though it was unexpected.
WHB: How do you look back on your decision to skip the 2010 season given the Storm’s success?
JB: I don’t have any regrets on skipping the season. It was the best decision for me personally. Playing year-round basketball is extremely demanding not only on your body but also your personal life. I believe God puts people exactly where He wants them to be, for whatever reason. Them wining the championship this summer was truly a joy to watch. I was so proud of the girls. Knowing how hard they work, seeing it pay off was rewarding.
WHB: Did you watch/attend any games? If so, what was it like connecting with former teammates? What do you miss most?
JB: I actually didn’t go to any games this summer, but I did catch quite a few on the ESPN networks. I would say I missed my teammates the most. After playing with them and going through all the ups and downs any season entails, a bond is definitely formed that’s really hard to be broken.
WHB: Well then what did you do this summer?
JB: I basically spent the summer training, shopping, and pretending to be a Houston socialite! It was great networking in a city like Houston.
WHB: Sounds fun. But do you see yourself returning to the WNBA in the future? (The Storm has severed its rights to Burse, making the eight-year veteran an unrestricted free agent)
JB: I could see myself playing in the WNBA again. Especially now that I will have a child. In my opinion, it would be much harder raising a baby in a foreign country.
*PHOTO CREDIT: Former WNBA C Janell Burse posed for a photo by Adam Wojnar