Surprising Storey Starts in Washington

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 7, 2006

A lower back injury to starting guard-forward Jared Jeffries opened the door for reserve swingman Awvee Storey to make his first career start last night against the Orlando Magic. Jeffries, who had started 44 of a possible 45 games this season, was a late scratch. But the injury, which has officially been described as a lower back contusion, is serious.

Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan's decision to start Storey was somewhat of a surprise considering that Storey had not played in nine consecutive games and had played 10 or more minutes only once this season.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Storey received a late invitation to training camp during the fall and fought his way onto the regular season roster by impressing the coaches with his hustle and ability to swing between the guard and forward positions.

Storey appeared in nine games with New Jersey last season and has bounced between several professional leagues, including stops with teams in South Korea and Venezuela, since leaving Arizona State in 2002.

Prior to last night, Storey had appeared in 12 games and averaged 1.9 points and 0.8 rebounds.

Storey looked sharp early last night. He made his first shot, a baseline jumper, to give the Wizards an early 10-6 lead and later completed a fast break with a layup that put Washington ahead 14-10.

In nine first-quarter minutes against Orlando, Storey made 2 of 3 shots and matched a career-high with four rebounds.

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