UConn in the NBA/WNBA: Walker shines amongst the All-Stars; Husky-for-Husky swap in WNBA

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NBA:  

With the All-Star Weekend culminating in Sunday’s All-Star Game, the only UConn alumni involved in the festivities took his opportunity to shine and ran with it … until he dribbled it out of bounds.  

UConn great Kemba Walker started his fourth All-Star Game on Sunday for Team Giannis alongside the reigning MVP, putting up 23 points, with a few assists and rebounds (three of each) sprinkled in as well.  

After going 5-for-11 from 3-point land and 9-for-18 from the field, Walker was making a real case to take home the newly christened Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP Award, playing well into the minutes restriction he was originally given. Walker claimed it was his decision to play beyond his minutes restriction, and not the fault of coach Nick Nurse.  

Unfortunately, in the end, a few late game turnovers and missed 3-pointers took him out of the running, with the award going instead to the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard. However, Walker’s 23-point showing was nothing to scoff at, and a good sign for the Boston Celtics that their star point guard has gotten his rhythm back.  

Among the other Huskies in the NBA, the Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond will be looking to make an impact after playing just two games before the break for his new team.  

Drummond is looking to complete another season as the league’s premier rebounder, averaging over 15 per game for the third consecutive season.  

The newest member of the Washington Wizards, UConn legend Shabazz Napier, will be looking to carry his career-highs in assists (5.1) and points (9.7) per game from Minnesota to his new team where he should see similar minutes in the backup role this time behind Ish Smith. 

Finally, Indiana’s Jeremy Lamb has recently seen his minutes decrease thanks to the return of star guard Victor Oladipo to the starting lineup. With a few disappointing efforts going into the All-Star break, the Pacers will be looking for the former Husky to pick it up going into the back-half of what looks to be a promising season for the Pacers, who just got their best player back from injury. 

WNBA:  

Meanwhile during the WNBA offseason, Katie Lou Samuelson was recently dealt from the Chicago Sky to the Dallas Wings, along with a draft pick, for forward Azura Stevens. 

The fourth pick in the 2019 WNBA draft played 20 games last season, racking up only 2.5 points per game in her 20 games during an injury riddled season.  

Katie Lou now joins her sister in Dallas, as the Wings have added a talented young forward to a team looking to improve upon last season. 

Of course, this trade means that former Husky Azura Stevens will be headed to Chicago. The young forward/center only managed to play nie games for her Dallas Wings last season due to a foot injury. The former Husky and All-Rookie will look to make an impact for her new team this coming season. 


Richard Goyne is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at richard.goyne_iii@uconn.edu

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