Nobody on the planet can actually be expected to "replace" a player like 6-foot-6 Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson.
However, with the understanding that Jackson would have surgery and be out for 8-12 weeks this season, the Storm chose to waive rookie forward Ify Ibekwe on Sunday and sign 6-foot-3 Polish center Ewelina Kobryn for some immediate help as first reported by Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans.
Women's Hoops Blog | Storm signs Polish center Ewelina Kobryn | Seattle Times Newspaper
Assuming Kobryn...is able to obtain a visa and pass a physical, she'd join the Storm in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday during its White House visit. The Storm will be honored by President Barack Obama for winning the 2010 championship then depart on a three-game road trip against Connecticut (July 1), Washington (July 3) and Indiana (July 5).
Storm coach Brian Agler has done pretty well in the past scouting European talent (Czech forward Jana Vesela was a nice find for the team during their championship run last season as was luring guard Svetlana Abrosimova back to the WNBA from her native Russia) and says that he's had his eye on Kobryn for some time, according to Evans.
The 6-foot-3 Kobryn comes to the Storm from TS Wisla Can-Pack Krakow, where she has played since 2007. She is regarded by some as among the best players on the Polish National Team, but Luis Cristovao describes some of her limitations in making a WNBA impact in outlining her potential in an article for SB Nation's women's basketball site Swish Appeal.
Eurobasket: New Seattle Storm Signing Ewelina Kobryn & The Americans in the Competition - Swish Appeal
Kobryn has some difficulties attacking the basket, as she lacks the pace and mobility to be a major player in WNBA. However she is effective under the basket, where she gets nearly all her points, as she almost never gets to the line. When she did manage get to the line at Eurobasket, she was 21-of-23 in her attempts. Her effectiveness when fouled could give her another opportunity to add points and prompt the opposition to attempt to avoid giving Kobryn free throw tries.
Interestingly, getting to the line is something the Storm haven't done particularly well in, but right now any scoring presence off the bench would be a great asset - the Storm are 10th out of 12 teams in bench scoring as of right now getting only 13 points per game. With forward Le'coe Willingham likely taking her 7.2 points per game to the starting lineup to replace Jackson, that might be an even stronger area of need.
Ibekwe, was definitely a promising rookie, but as a defensive player in college who still needed some time to develop it should be obvious why the Storm opted for the more mature Kobryn in the face of Jackson's injury.
Kobryn will become the third Polish player to play a regular season game in the WNBA upon seeing her first game action. Agler was an assistant for the San Antonio Silver Stars when the WNBA's second Polish player, Agnieszka Bibrzycka, played for them in 2006.