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Shoni Schimmel returns to her Northwest home

Shoni Schimmel returns to her Northwest home

Atlanta Dream's Shoni Schimmel smiles while being interviewed after a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Seattle. The Storm won 88-68. Photo: Associated Press/(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Shoni Schimmel’s distinctive style of play first took shape on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in northeast Oregon.

The 22-year-old guard for the Atlanta Dream describes her version of Rez Ball, as it’s known, like this: Go hard, trust instincts and always play with heart.

Schimmel rode Rez Ball all the way from a stellar prep career in Portland to Louisville and the NCAA title game her junior year, and finally to the WNBA.

On Thursday, the Dream visited the Seattle Storm, marking Schimmel’s first game in the Pacific Northwest as a pro. The game was a sellout.

Though she’s been back to the West Coast before — when she was with the Cardinals — she says Thursday’s game is special to her. The Storm are planning to honor Schimmel before the game.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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