Players across the league have spent recent weeks weighing up whether to play and this weekend saw the deadline come up for making a final decision.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests and ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in Florida and other states have seen at least 10 players including Chiney Ogwumike, Natasha Cloud and Renee Montgomery opt out of the season.
Australian Rebecca Allen chose to stay at home due to health concerns while Magbegor admitted she thought long and hard but decided to head over.
“I understand there is a lot going on in the world at the moment,” Magbegor told The Age.
“I definitely had to weigh up the whole COVID-19 situation. With things still being on hold with travel, I had to think about travelling to the states.
“I had a lot of things to consider but the WNBA have put in a plan and it has re-assured a lot of the athletes.”
Magbegor plans to wear a mask throughout her travels which will see her spend a few days in Seattle before flying to Florida.
Magbegor will join a Storm side with some of the WNBA’s biggest stars such as Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.
“I know you have to wear a mask for the whole flight which is understandable, I’m not expecting there to be a lot of people on the flight but we’ll see how it goes,” Magbegor said.
“Hopefully I’ll be asleep most of the flight. It’s a long time to wear a mask for but considering the situation I won’t mind doing it.”
Magbegor last played when her Boomers were knocked out of the WNBL semi-finals in February and she maintained her fitness as best she could using body bands and running around local ovals before the Opals and other professional basketballers were granted permission to resume training indoors a few weeks ago.
Magbegor also completed some units in her Deakin University degree and she plans to keep studying during the WNBA season as she will likely have time to kill.
“From what I’ve heard it’s similar to the AIS setup. We have all the teams in one place, you can’t really leave due to safety,” Magbegor said.
“The travel [between cities] is part of the whole WNBA experience but the circumstances are changing and I understand that.”
Magbegor isn’t setting big expectations for her first season, she plans to learn as much as she can from the likes of Stewart and Bird then give her side all that she can when on court.
She has more than held her own against WNBA imports in the WNBL such as her Storm teammate Mercedes Russell but the physicality and demands of the US league usually take some adjusting to.
Magbegor will be among the youngest players in the WNBA while Bird, 39, will be one of the oldest.
The Australian centre plans to learn as much as she can from the WNBA great but when it comes to everything outside the game, they will both be rookies.
“It’s a first experience for everyone,” Magbegor said.
The WNBA season has yet to release its schedule but expects to tip-off the season in late July.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.