Six-foot-four Ashley Robinson was lost among the stars in Seattle, the 2010 WNBA champion, but will get a chance to shine with the Washington Mystics, who traded for her this offseason. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ashley Robinson’s slumped shoulders told the story better than any words she was able to muster. A day removed from going through Navy SEAL-style workouts as a team-building exercise, one of the newest Mystics was in the midst of her first two-a-day practice with Washington and the eight-year veteran could tell that her body had broken down.

This, though, was a welcome sign for Robinson, whom Washington acquired from Seattle in a trade for Victoria Dunlap this offseason. That anyone even noticed her fatigue was an encouraging change of pace after playing second fiddle to Australian star Lauren Jackson for much of her career.

“It’s nice to be somewhere where I feel my game is appreciated, and I can work on my game,” Robinson said. “They have a lot of faith in me, so if I have a bad day they’re disappointed in me. It’s nice to have a staff that depends on you so much to do well.”

Robinson is one of three veteran post players Washington General Manager/Coach Trudi Lacey has acquired in recent months, in the hope of filling the void that center Nicky Anosike never could.

Lacey is looking for a center who can score from the post and hit a high-post jumper, which would take some pressure off all-star forward Crystal Langhorne. Following last season, Lacey traded Anosike because her style of play didn’t mesh with Lacey’s system.

The 6-foot-4 Robinson could be the beneficiary. She’ll spend this year’s training camp as Washington’s starting center because Michelle Snow, who signed as a free agent this offseason, is still playing overseas in Russia.

“Ashley’s role will be increased from what she’s used to in Seattle, but I think players rise to the occasion and I’m anticipating her elevating her game and being the vet she is and bringing it every day,” Lacey said.

Though this will be Robinson’s fourth WNBA team, she could be on the cusp of big improvement. Last year in Seattle she started 13 games — the most since 2005 — with Jackson sidelined due to a hip injury. She averaged career highs in points, blocks and rebounds per game.

Perhaps more important to Lacey is Robinson’s championship pedigree. She made it to the national championship game twice under Coach Pat Summit at Tennessee and won a WNBA title with Seattle in 2010. Last year, when the Mystics stumbled to a 6-28 record in part because of injuries, Lacey felt the team lacked experienced players coming off the bench.

Robinson just seems happy that after years in the shadows, she’s finally being thrust into the spotlight. “I think I showed last year in Seattle what I can do with extended minutes,” Robinson said.

Notes: After a week of training camp Lacey has already made two cuts, releasing forward Kerri Gardin (Virginia Tech) and forward Tia Lewis. Lacey expects more in the near future, and couldn’t guarantee that the team’s two 2012 first-round draft picks — guard Natalie Novosel and forward LaSondra Barrett — would both make the opening-night roster. “It will be a dog-eat-dog fight,” Lacey said of training camp. “This year, you’ve got to earn it.”