UConn in the WNBA summer catchup

This July 19, 2017, file photo shows New York Liberty center Tina Charles (31) driving to the basket against Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

As the premier female basketball league in the world, the WNBA has some amazing talent and lots of tight competition. This regular season has been no different with teams fighting hard for playoff spots and bye weeks.

The UConn women’s basketball team, in particular, is well represented in the league, with 14 former players on active 2017 WNBA rosters.

UConn’s most recent addition to the WNBA is guard Saniya Chong. Chong graduated last year and was chosen as the second pick in the third round by the Dallas Wings. Chong joined a team that included all-star player Skylar Diggins-Smith and Michigan State standout Aerial Powers. The Wings are currently 15-17 on the season and have the seventh playoff spot.

Connecticut Sun's Jasmine Thomas (5) steals the ball from Dallas Wings Saniya Chong during a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 in Uncasville, Conn. (John Shishmanian/AP)

Another UConn standout making her presence known in the WNBA is center Tina Charles. Charles is averaging 19.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with the New York Liberty. Charles was recently named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the sixth time this season. The New York Liberty is currently ranked second in the Eastern Conference and have already clinched a playoff berth.

An unsurprising addition to this list of UConn greats dominating the WNBA is point guard Sue Bird. Bird is currently the oldest player in the league with 14 seasons under her belt and is just three assists away from breaking the WNBA assist record. This season she is averaging 10.3 points per game and 6.4 assists per game. Her team, the Seattle Storm, is 14-18 and hanging on to the eighth and final playoff spot.

This list would not be complete without a look at Maya Moore’s stats this season. While Moore’s offensive stats have been slightly down this season, her presence on defense has still been an impenetrable wall. Currently, her team, the Minnesota Lynx, is the number one overall team in the league. Moore is currently averaging 16.9 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game.

With all-star Angel McCoughtry taking this WNBA season off, Atlanta Dream player Tiffany Hayes has stepped into a leadership role for the team. This season, Hayes is averaging 16.3 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. She was also selected to play in her first all-star game this season.

As the WNBA regular season comes to a close and playoffs start, there will surely be much more buzz and talk about all the former UConn standouts in the league.


Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.