WNBA

WHATZZZUP in the WNBA (HOLDSCLAW NOW A SILVER STAR)

WHATZZZUP in the WNBA (HOLDSCLAW NOW A SILVER STAR)

Holdsclaw signs with Silver Stars


SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Chamique Holdsclaw signed with the San Antonio Silver Stars on Friday after the former No. 1 overall pick said she could no longer play for the Atlanta Dream because of a falling out with the coach-general manager.

Holdsclaw signed a one-year deal with the Silver Stars two days after being released by the Dream, where the 32-year-old returned to the WNBA last season after retiring in 2007.

But Holdsclaw said she asked for a trade before training camp this year because of a dispute with coach-general manager Marynell Meadors.

Holdsclaw would not elaborate, only saying that it wasn’t about basketball and that it “was a thing of principle.”

“It was a lose-lose situation for me,” Holdsclaw said.

Meadors said before the season began that she didn’t know why the 6-foot-2 forward wanted to leave Atlanta. Holdsclaw averaged 13.9 points a game last season, helping the Dream go from four wins in their inaugural season to 18 and a playoff berth last year.

“I’ve overcome the demons of my past,” Holdsclaw said. “I’m enjoying the ride.”

Holdsclaw expected to make her Silver Stars debut as soon as Saturday against the Los Angeles Sparks, one of her former teams. San Antonio is the fourth WNBA stop for Holdsclaw, who entered the league in 1999 as the top overall pick after a celebrated career at Tennessee.

The six-time All-Star has averaged 17.3 points and 7.9 rebounds in her WNBA career.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON HOLDSCLAW TO SAN ANTONIO

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Dream Waives Holdsclaw; Leuchanka Joins TeamATLANTA, May 19, 2010 – The Atlanta Dream waived forward Chamique Holdsclaw today and announced center Yelena Leuchanka has joined the team.

Holdsclaw requested a trade prior to training camp and did not report to the team. The team actively pursued a trade per Holdsclaw’s request but was unsuccessful.

“We appreciate all that Chamique has done to help our young franchise and we wish her well,” said Dream General Manager and Head Coach Marynell Meadors. “We are excited about the team we have in place and look forward to building on our strong start to the season.”

Holdsclaw signed with the Dream in April 2009 after the team acquired her rights from the Los Angeles Sparks. She spent two full seasons in Los Angeles before announcing her retirement from the league five games into the 2007 season. Holdsclaw, a 10-year veteran, averaged 13.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last season for the Dream. She missed the final nine games of the 2009 regular season and the Dream’s playoff appearance after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Joining the team this week is Yelena Leuchanka, a 6-5 center from Belarus. Leuchanka reports to the team after leading her team Galatasaray to the Turkish Basketball League championship game and is expected to be active for Friday night’s game against Connecticut.

The first Belarusian player to play in the WNBA, Leuchanka played two seasons in the league from 2006–2007 for the Charlotte Sting and Washington Mystics. She was originally acquired by the Dream in the 2008 WNBA Expansion Draft but did not play in the WNBA due to commitments to the Belarus National Team. Leuchanka played collegiately at West Virginia University.

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Storm guard Loree Moore to have surgery on Monday

Posted by Jayda Evans

Moore2.jpg

Storm PG Loree Moore will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Monday to repair a tear in her left meniscus. Moore, 27, tore her left ACL as a junior at Tennessee and had a similar procedure in 2005, taking five weeks to rehab the knee.

But Moore (pictured left in AP photo on right) doesn’t have the same timeframe with Seattle. While Storm coach Brian Agler said the CBA leaves him options to retain her rights while she rehabilitates the knee — which could take up to eight weeks — he can’t keep her on the opening-season, 11-player roster. Agler will either waive or suspend Moore, who signed a training camp contract with Seattle after playing her previous five years in New York.

“With the salary cap, we just can’t go the long duration with just 10 players,” said Agler, who’s also the team’s director of player personnel. “We can’t afford to.”

Prior to training camp opening, Agler paid C Janell Burse a percentage of her near-max contract to break the final year on the deal. He also re-signed All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson to max contracts and Tanisha Wright to a higher contract. Add the WNBA’s move to shave the salary cap by $28,000 from the 2009 season and Agler was cash-strapped from the beginning.

He’ll continue to evaluate rookie PG Alison Lacey and training camp invitee Lindsey Wilson for the backup PG position. Seattle plays its final exhibition matchup on Sunday against Tulsa. Last year, Wright and Bird worked well sharing the ball-handling duties, but injuries to Olympian Shannon Johnson hurt the backcourt rotation.

“We really like Tanisha and Alison Lacey, so we’ll study that situation,” Agler said. “I expressed (to Loree) that we’re going to do everything that we can do to help her, but we also have to look out for what’s in the best interest of her team. Loree’s a pro and understood that whole scenario.”

Portland All-Star Brandon Roy returned from a similar surgery within two weeks to play in the NBA playoffs, not looking like his normal self. Candice Wiggins of the Minnesota Lynx also is undergoing the procedure, but will hold off returning until midsummer.

“Meniscus tears have such a range of the players’ ability to return,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It varies.”

Agler will also continue to scope the waiver wire for possible players as teams make cuts. One possibility who’s off the table is Australian PG Erin Phillips, who won’t play in the WNBA this season, according to Connecticut coach Mike Thibault. He tried with four teams to honor Phillips’ request to be traded and none worked, including Seattle, because the players offered didn’t fit the Sun’s needs. Phillips nixed another deal.

Moore will rehabilitate in Seattle. Depending on how injuries/the season goes, she could sign with the Storm at a later date.

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Sparks Acquire Guard Kristi Toliver From Sky
Posted May 13 2010 10:35PM
Story courtesy of WNBA.com

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired the rights to guard Kristi Toliver, it was announced today by Sparks Vice President/General Manager Penny Toler. In a deal with the Chicago Sky, the Sparks traded their 2011 second round draft pick for the rights to Toliver.

Toliver was selected third overall by the Chicago Sky in the 2009 WNBA Draft. In her rookie season she played in 27 games off the bench and averaged 7.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

“We are thrilled because yet another exciting and talented player is joining our team” said Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. “Kristi is a dynamic player and we’re happy she is joining the Sparks family.”

In 2009, Toliver led all rookies and was second overall in the WNBA in three-point shooting at 44.4 percent. She also ranked 8th among all rookies in assists and had a breakout game on August 28th when she scored a career-best 25 points in a win against the New York Liberty.

“I am very happy about having Kristi join our the team,” said Sparks Head Coach Jennifer Gillom. “We are adding a remarkable guard with a lot of versatility to an already great roster. It’s a blessing to be able to add this caliber of guard to your team; she is a combo guard who will be able to complement our existing squad.”

During her stand-out career at Maryland, Toliver was honored as a Preseason Wade Trophy Candidate and a Midseason Naismith Award Candidate. She was also named to the AP All-American 2nd Team, the Sports Illustrated All-American 2nd Team, and First Team All-ACC.She was awarded the Nancy Lieberman Award twice being the first ‘Terp to do so, and was named the WNIT Most Valuable Player. She finished her collegiate career as the 25th player in school history to score 1,000 points, ranking 11th with 1,433 points, and holds the school’s record for career free throw percentage with .870 and three point field goals made with 209.

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Nikki Blue traded to Liberty for Ashley Houts

The Mystics announced today that guard Nikki Blue has been traded to the New York Liberty for rookie guard Ashley Houts.

From the team’s news release:

A standout at the University of Georgia, Houts was selected by the New York Liberty in the second round (16th overall) of the 2010 WNBA Draft.

A four year WNBA veteran, Blue was selected in the second round (19th overall) of the 2006 WNBA draft by the Washington Mystics. Blue’s WNBA career averages are 12.8 minutes per game, 3.0 points per game and 1.8 assists per game. Blue also has a 79.6 free throw percentage.

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Wiggins Surgery Update
Apr 29 2010 9:53AM


The Minnesota Lynx today announced that Lynx guard Candice Wiggins underwent arthroscopic surgery for a small meniscal tear in her right knee yesterday. The operation, performed by Dr. Joel Boyd of TRIA Orthopaedic Center, went as expected and Wiggins is expected to miss approximately four weeks.


Lynx Issue Medical Update on Augustus and Wiggins
Apr 28 2010 10:53AM

The Minnesota Lynx today issued a medical update regarding the status of Seimone Augustus (photo below) and Candice Wiggins.

Augustus underwent successful surgery on Saturday to remove fibroids. An update on Augustus’ status for the remainder of training camp and the start of the regular season will be issued later in the week as more information becomes available. Augustus will not be available for comment until a later date as she recovers from surgery.

An MRI done upon Wiggins’ arrival to training camp on Saturday revealed a small meniscal tear in her right knee. Arthroscopic surgery will be performed on Tuesday of this week. Wiggins is expected to miss approximately four weeks.

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Time Right for Newton to Retire
Kevin Pelton, stormbasketball.com | April 27, 2010

After two days of training camp with the Seattle Storm, Chelsea Newton‘s body made the decision for her: She was ready to retire from basketball. Newton had been considering retirement for more than a year because of the physical toll her style of play took on her body, but wanted to come to camp with the Storm to make sure the time was right. It was, and Newton walked into Storm Head Coach Brian Agler‘s office after Monday practice and shared her decision with him.

“I asked Chelsea to really sleep on it and listened to what she had to say,” Agler said in announcing Newton’s retirement to the media after the Storm’s practice on Tuesday. “From our standpoint, she’s been somebody we’ve coveted for a period of time to be part of the Storm. We were looking forward to her being a part of our team this year. That being said, as much as we appreciated her as a player, it was a matter of really respecting her and appreciating her as a person. We are obviously supporting her on this.”

“I’m just lucky and grateful that I was able to win a championship and be part of a great team in Sacramento.”
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

“It’s time for me to move on,” said Newton, explaining her decision. “I’ve gone through six surgeries in my career and my body is just beat-up. I can’t continue to play the way I need to play at a high level being in the pain that I’m in. It’s just not the same for me anymore. I want to be able to walk when I’m 40.”

While Newton is just 27, she had dealt with multiple injuries in recent seasons. She underwent knee surgery last summer, but it was her right shoulder – originally injured in college – that ultimately caused Newton the most problems. She had it operated on twice, but tweaked the shoulder overseas and was still bothered by it this week. Newton feared another surgery would have left her shoulder non-functional. Besides the pain, the injuries left Newton unable to play the game in her trademark style.

“If you’ve seen me play, if you know anything about me, I’m a go-getter – take charges, hit the floor,” she said. “It was harder for me to get down and do that.”

Jenny Boucek understood the sentiment. The Storm’s director of player development and scouting, who coached Newton from 2007-09 as head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs, recognized the same readiness to retire and excitement about the next chapter of her life she felt when her playing career came to an end after one year in the WNBA with the Cleveland Rockers.

“When she talked to me yesterday, I could see in her eyes,” Boucek said. “I knew exactly where she was. I could see in her countenance it was right. She didn’t have to explain it, because I knew that feeling.”

Newton hopes basketball continues to remain part of her life as she pursues a career in coaching. She spent the 2006-07 season working at her alma mater, Rutgers, as director of basketball operations under Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. Newton said she’ll be sending out her resume and searching for an opportunity, though she’s also looking forward to taking some time off and relaxing at home in Louisiana between now and then.

Boucek believes that the same attributes that made Newton such a joy to coach will also help her during her own coaching career.

“You always knew that she was doing the right thing, saying the right thing,” said Boucek. “That’s why she’s going to be a great coach – because she already thinks about what is best for the team in her decision-making and her actions. As a coach, that’s ideally how you make your decisions.”

AUDIO
Listen to Brian Agler announce Chelsea Newton’s decision to retire and Newton discuss what led into her decision.

Newton retires having played five WNBA seasons, four of them with the Monarchs. During her rookie campaign, she achieved the highlight of her playing career, helping lead Sacramento to a championship as the team’s starting shooting guard.

“As a player, you want to accomplish some things,” Newton said. “I’m just lucky and grateful that I was able to win a championship and be part of a great team in Sacramento. When you think about that, there’s nothing else better. There’s a lot of players who have retired and never won.”

Never considered much of a scorer, Newton nonetheless carved out a niche as a second-round pick because of her defense (she was named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2007) and her heady play. She started all 34 games each of her first two seasons with the Monarchs. Three of her four Sacramento squads made the postseason, and Boucek credits Newton’s leadership as being key to the Monarchs making a run in 2008.

“We had lost several in the row, we were last in the West, and they had a players’ meeting,” Boucek recalled. “You never know what they’re saying in there. But then we went on to win seven in a row right before the Olympic break. We had a lot of vets on the team, but I found out through the grapevine that Chelsea was the one that spoke up. What she said resonated with the team and became their mantra for the rest of the season. She had a good finger on the pulse and enough respect (from her teammates) that she was very influential in turning the season around.”

Leadership like that will be a big part of Newton’s WNBA legacy.

“What do people say about Chelsea Newton?” asked Boucek. “I guarantee they all talk about her being the ultimate teammate, the ultimate warrior, the ultimate winner. Your team is better when she’s on the floor. She’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached. She has intangibles at the highest level. It doesn’t show up on the stat sheet all the time, but you want her on your team, you want her on the floor, especially at big times in the game, you want her in the trenches with you. ”

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April 25
The Chicago Sky signed Larrissa Williams, Kristi Cirone, Sami Whitcomb and Sandora Irvin to training camp contracts.
April 23
The New York Liberty signed Brandie Hoskins, Laine Selwyn, Tamara James, April Phillips, Katie Mattera and Erica Williamson to training camp contracts.
The Connecticut Sun signed Sha Brooks, Alicia Gladden, May Kotsopoulos, Judie Lomax, Pauline Love and Kaitlin Sowinski to training camp contracts.
The Indiana Fever signed Ashley Battle, Michelle Campbell and Meredith Marsh to training camp contracts.

April 22, 2010
The New York Liberty signed free agent Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
The Minnesota Lynx signed Ashley Ellis-Milan, Brittany McCoy, Vanessa Gidden and Jessica Adair to training camp contracts.
The San Antonio Silver Stars re-signed Edwige Lawson-Wade.
The Seattle Storm signed Svetlana Abrosimova.
The Seattle Storm released Janell Burse.

April 21
The Silver Stars added Diana Delva, Brittany Jackson and Lacey Simpson to training camp roster.

April 20
The Seattle Storm added Ashley Robinson and Heather Bowman to training camp roster.
The Chicago Sky released Katie Mattera.
The New York Liberty released Ashley Battle.
The Minnesota Lynx signed Nuria Martinez.

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Storm Signs Veteran Forward Svetlana Abrosimova
Janell Burse not to return to Seattle for ninth WNBA season

Abrosimova

SEATTLE – Seattle Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced today the signing of 6-2 veteran forward Svetlana Abrosimova.

“We are very excited to have Svetlana joining the Storm this season, as she is one of the more experienced perimeter players in the WNBA,” Agler said. “I had the pleasure of drafting her while coaching in Minnesota and I’m looking forward to working with her again. She is a very instinctual player with a tremendous amount of WNBA and international experience. Svetlana is a great three-point shooter and is excited to get back on the court with Sue Bird and Swin Cash, her former UConn teammates.”

Abrosimova, who was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2001 WNBA Draft, holds WNBA career averages of 9.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per games. Abrosimova last played in the WNBA during the 2008 season for Connecticut following the 2008 Olympic Games. She averaged 5.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in just six games for the Sun.

Most recently, Abrosimova has been playing for Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg. She averaged 5.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 16.3 minutes per game during 2009-10 Euroleague play. Abrosimova averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 23.1 minutes per game in 2009-10 Russian Superleague action.


Burse

In other news, 6-5 center Janell Burse has been released from her contract and will not return to the Storm for her ninth WNBA season. Burse played in all 34 games for the Storm during the 2009 season, averaging 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. The former Tulane player was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round (28th overall selection) of the 2001 WNBA Draft. In April of 2004, the Storm acquired Burse along with Sheri Sam from the Lynx in exchange for forward Amanda Lassiter and the Storm’s first-round pick (sixth overall selection) in the 2004 WNBA Draft .

The Seattle Storm will open its 2010 WNBA schedule on Sunday, May 16 in a 6 p.m. matchup versus the Sparks at KeyArena. The Storm will play on national television four times with all broadcasts airing on ESPN2. Highlighting the Storm’s national television coverage is a KeyArena home game against defending WNBA Champion and league MVP Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 27.


WNBA Champion & Six-Time WNBA All-Star Taj McWilliams Signs With Liberty
By NY Liberty
NEW YORK, NY – April 22 – The New York Liberty has signed unrestricted free agent Taj McWilliams, it was announced today by team President and General Manager Carol Blazejowski. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
McWilliams will bring her talent to the Big Apple in 2010, her 11th WNBA season.
NBAE/Getty Images

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to add another player with championship experience to our roster,” said Blazejowski. “Taj will provide a physical inside presence, bring veteran leadership that will help make our frontcourt one of the best in the league, and further position the Liberty to compete for the WNBA Championship this season.”

McWilliams joins the Liberty after spending two seasons with the Detroit Shock, where she won the 2008 WNBA Championship. The 6-2 center owns a 12.1 ppg and 7.2 rpg career average through 339 games with 336 starts, and has earned six trips to the WNBA All-Star Game over the course of her 11 WNBA seasons. McWilliams was originally drafted by the Orlando Miracle as the No. 32 overall pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft. She spent four seasons in Orlando, and four seasons in Connecticut when the franchise was relocated and renamed the Sun prior to the 2003 season. Through those eight seasons, she compiled a 12.4 ppg and 7.7 rpg average. McWilliams played for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2007 and the Washington Mystics in 2008 before being traded to Detroit seven games before the end of the regular season.

She began her professional career in 1996 when she was drafted by the Philadelphia Rage of the American Basketball League (ABL) and competed for three seasons.

“I am thrilled to work with Taj again and look forward to all the qualities that she will bring the Liberty, after having a solid, long standing relationship since she played for me with the Philadelphia Rage,” said Head Coach Anne Donovan. “Taj has proven to be invaluable on every team she has competed with. Her versatile skill set, strength and durability make her one of the best post players in the WNBA.”

The Liberty will tip-off the 2010 regular season at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, May 16 against the Chicago Sky. Individual game tickets are available for purchase by clicking here or visiting The Garden Box Office.

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Nikki Blue Returns to Mystics
Posted Apr 19 2010 6:33PM
provided by www.wnba.com/mystics
Washington, DC — Washington Mystics Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor announced today that Guard Nikki Blue has re-signed with the team. A four year WNBA veteran, Blue was selected in the second round (19th overall) of the 2006 WNBA draft by the Washington Mystics. Blue’s WNBA career averages are 12.8 minutes per game, 3.0 points per game and 1.8 assists per game. Blue also has a 79.6 free throw percentage.The Washington Mystics made a return to the playoffs in 2009. Season, group tickets and six packs for the 2010 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com. Individual game tickets for the 2010 season are also on sale through Ticketmaster outlets in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area or by calling 202-397-SEAT.

The Washington Mystics organization is dedicated to providing affordable entertainment, serving as an impactful community partner and maintaining accessibility to positive female role models. Supported by passionate fans, the Mystics are elite, hardworking athletes continually striving to win a Championship.

Click here to find  out more!
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Dream Announces Broadcast Partnership with FOX Sports South and SportSouth Networks to Televise 16 Atlanta Dream Home Games during 2010 WNBA Season
courtesy of www.wnba.com/dream

ATLANTA, April 19, 2010 – The Atlanta Dream announced today that the majority of Atlanta Dream home games will be televised by FOX Sports South and SportSouth during the 2010 WNBA season. FOX Sports South and SportSouth will combine to televise 16 of the Dream’s 17 home games with four games scheduled on FOX Sports South and 12 games slated for SportSouth. Coverage begins with the Dream’s home opener against the Indiana Fever, Sunday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET on SportSouth.

The telecast schedule includes key matchups against the Connecticut Sun and the WNBA’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft Tina Charles, as well as visits by Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks and Diana Taurasi and the defending champion Phoenix Mercury. The August 3 game against the Washington Mystics will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

“Our broadcast agreement with FOX Sports South and SportSouth is a major step forward in establishing the Dream among Atlanta’s sports landscape and in exposing women’s basketball fans across the Southeast to the exciting, fast-paced action of the WNBA,” said Toby Wyman, President and COO of the Dream. “We are excited to bring Dream fans great basketball from across the WNBA on two regional sports networks recognized as the leaders in local sports programming.”

Bob Rathbun and LaChina Robinson will serve as the broadcast team for all Atlanta Dream games on FOX Sports South and SportSouth. Rathbun has been the FOX Sports South and SportSouth play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Hawks for the past 14 seasons. His basketball resume includes nearly all major broadcast outlets, including NBA games on TNT and NBA TV and collegiate games on CBS, ABC and ESPN. Robinson played basketball at Wake Forest, where she was a four-year starter. She served as the Dream’s color analyst on WNBA Live Access last season and was an analyst this season for women’s college basketball on FOX Sports South and ESPN.

The Atlanta Dream tips off its third season this summer at Philips Arena, with the home opener slated for Sunday, May 16 at 7 p.m. against the Indiana Fever. Season tickets, group tickets and mini- plans are also available for purchase by calling 1-877-977-7729 or visiting www.AtlantaDream.net. Single game tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or all Ticketmaster outlets, the Philips Arena box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The regional sports networks serving the Southeast – FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas and FOX Sports Tennessee – collectively reach more than 12.6 million cable and satellite television households in seven states in the Southeast and are the television home of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies and the Nashville Predators, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference. SportSouth reaches more than 9.4 million homes in six Southeastern states and is the television home of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Thrashers and Southern Conference. SportSouth also offers expanded coverage of the University of South Carolina and University of Tennessee. Combined, the four networks produce more than 800 live local events each year. For more information, please visit www.foxsportssouth.com, www.foxsportscarolinas.com and www.foxsportstennessee.com.

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Storm Invites Loree Moore to 2010 Training Camp

SEATTLE – Seattle Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced today the addition of 5-9 guard Loree Moore to the 2010 training camp roster.Moore was selected in the first round (10th overall) by the New York Liberty in the 2005 WNBA Draft. In 2009, Moore averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 34 games for the Liberty. The 27-year old guard holds career averages of 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in five seasons at New York.

Moore finished her senior season with the Tennessee Lady Vols averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Additionally, Moore helped lead Tennessee to the Final Four each of her four years at the university and earned career averages of 6.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

The Seattle Storm will open its 2010 WNBA schedule on Sunday, May 16 in a 6 p.m. matchup versus the Sparks at KeyArena. The Storm will play on national television four times with all broadcasts airing on ESPN2. Highlighting the Storm’s national television coverage is a KeyArena home game against defending WNBA Champion and league MVP Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 27.

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (April 15, 2010) — The Connecticut Sun announced today it has waived veteran forward Tamika Whitmore.

“We thought this was the best course for both Tamika and the Connecticut Sun,” Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “Doing this now gives Tamika the best opportunity to find a spot on another team. We thank her for all of her contributions to the team, and wish her well.”

Acquired from the Indiana Fever in exchange for Katie Douglas on February 19, 2008, the 6-foot-2 Whitmore played 58 games for the Sun with 34 starts. She averaged 9.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game with Connecticut. The 32-year-old Whitmore was hampered by a knee injury last season, missing 10 games in the middle of the year

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Reigning WNBA champion inks veterans to multi-year deals
Mercury Re-Signs Taylor and Johnson
Posted: April 16, 2010The Phoenix Mercury announced today that the club has re-signed two-time All-Star veteran forward Penny Taylor and five-year veteran point guard Temeka Johnson to multi-year contracts. Per team policy, the terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“It should be no surprise how crucial we think these two players are to our organization,” said General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale. “Penny Taylor is regarded as one of the top players in the world and has been invaluable in this club’s championship success. In just one season last year, Temeka has shown her true potential to be a championship-caliber floor general, and is also a key component to our success. With Penny and Meek in Mercury uniforms, I couldn’t be more confident in our chances to defend our title.”

“Phoenix has become my second home,” said Taylor. “Winning championships and playing in front of such incredible fans – there is no other place I’d rather be. I’m looking forward to contributing to our success in any way I can over the next few years.”

In 2009, Taylor returned to the Mercury midseason (July 17, 2009) after missing the 2008 WNBA season due to commitments with her native country Australia for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2009, her fifth season with Phoenix, Taylor appeared in 14 games for the Mercury, posting averages of 10.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.2 minutes per game. She recorded double-figures in scoring in nine of 14 games played, and scored 15 or more on four occasions.

Taylor was also a critical piece to the Mercury 2007 championship run. In her most recent full season with Phoenix in 2007, Taylor averaged career-highs in scoring (17.8) and rebounds (6.3) and posted a team-best five 30-points games. During the 2007 postseason, she posted 19.3 points and a team-best 7.9 rebounds to help lead the Mercury to a 7-2 (.778) postseason record and the Valley’s first professional basketball championship.

Taylor, entering her ninth season in the WNBA, owns career averages of 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists through 226 career games. Taylor is a two-time WNBA Champion (2009, 2007), two-time WNBA All-Star (2007, 2002), 2007 All-WNBA First Teamer and two-time Olympian for Australia (2008, 2004).

Temeka Johnson enjoyed a breakout season in her first season with the Mercury in 2009. She started all 34 games for the first time since her Rookie of the Year campaign (2005 with Washington) and posted career-highs in scoring (9.6) and rebounding (3.5), while averaging 4.6 assists per game, good for fifth-best in the league. She shot 44.5 percent from the field, her highest-shooting percentage since her rookie season in 2005, including a career-high 41.4 percent from the three-point line.

“Coming to Phoenix last year and being a part of this team, playing in Coach Gaines’ system and winning the championship was a dream come true,” said Johnson. “I can’t wait to get back to defend the title for this city and these great fans!”

Johnson, who enters her sixth season (second with Phoenix), owns WNBA averages of 7.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 134 career games. She was acquired from Los Angeles on March 26, 2009 in a sign-and-trade deal in exchange for the Mercury’s 2010 first-round draft pick, which ended up being the last pick in the first round (12).

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(story courtesy of www.wnba.com/mystics/news)

Mystics Guard to Undergo Season Ending Surgery Next Week
ALANA BEARD OUT WITH ANKLE INJURY

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Mystics Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor announced today that Mystics guard Alana Beard will undergo ankle arthroscopy and ankle tendon repair surgery next week. She is expected to miss the 2010 WNBA season.

“We are disappointed for Alana because she is committed to doing whatever it takes to help our team to win. She is one of the hardest working players in the WNBA, so we are confident in a full and speedy recovery and look forward to having Alana back on the court during the 2011 season” stated Taylor. “We are excited about the talent and depth on our team with the addition of Katie Smith and our 2010 draft picks and plan to continue to compete for the Eastern Conference Championship.”

The surgery will be performed by world renowned foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. James Nunley who has previously treated Beard as well as other professional athletes.

The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2010 season with a back to back on Saturday, May 15 on the road against the Eastern Conference Champions, Indiana Fever followed by a match up on Sunday, May 16 at Minnesota Lynx. Washington will host the club’s home opener on Friday, May 21, against the New York Liberty. Season and group tickets for the 2010 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com.

The Washington Mystics organization is dedicated to providing affordable entertainment, serving as an impactful community partner and maintaining accessibility to positive female role models. Supported by passionate fans, the Mystics are elite, hardworking athletes continually striving to win a Championship.

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