MISSOULA, Mont. - With a pair of degrees from Stanford University, Missoula native Joslyn Tinkle is good with the English language, but late last week when Seattle Storm head coach Brian Agler offered Joslyn a spot on his WNBA team, she struggled to find the correct response.
"I don't think I said a word, I think I was completely silent on the phone," recounts Joslyn of the conversation. "Obviously I was just in shock but I knew there was no way I could turn that opportunity down."
The next 48 hours was a whirlwind for Tinkle. She flew to Seattle on Friday for a physical, and then by Saturday evening she was flying down to San Antonio to meet the team for their Sunday afternoon matchup against the Silver Stars.
"Game day we had a walk through so I showed up and met the girls and boom I was literally just thrown out onto the court to do warm-ups and had to go with the flow and follow everyone."
Tinkle, who's been rehabbing her foot since she underwent surgery on it in May, didn't see any minutes in Sunday's game but she says just being there was an amazing experience.
"She didn't get into the game but she knew she wouldn't," said Joslyn's father and Griz head basketball coach Wayne Tinkle after Sunday's contest. "She doesn't even know any of their plays. I think she's confident she can play at that level once she gets to 100% so she's pretty excited and she wants to see where this whole deal goes."
With it being this late in the WNBA season, Joslyn's contract certainly looks interesting... it's a 7-day contract. But is that too short of a time for a player who's not 100% to try and prove themselves?
"I don't think so because it's a real bonus for her," says Wayne Tinkle. "You know when I texted her I told her you're playing with house money. You know you're not 100% and they know you're not 100% so just go do what you can do."
"That's all she needed I think was the opportunity," added Joslyn's younger brother Tres who led the Hellgate Knights to a state basketball title this past winter. "She'll prove people and she'll show what she can do."
Joslyn will be the first to tell you that she has a lot of work ahead of her, but this past weekend will definitely be one she always remembers.
"I'm getting tears just thinking about it right now. I'm just very honored that my professional career came a lot sooner than expected," said Joslyn. "I hardly ever say this but you know I am really proud of myself and how I've stuck with things and how hard I've worked."
"I mean it's hard to say that it keeps getting better but I mean it does," said Tres Tinkle. "It just shows you where your hard work can take you."
Seattle's next game will be Tuesday evening at San Antonio where Tinkle could possibly see her first ever professional minutes. Reporting in Missoula, Vince Bagby, NBC Montana.
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