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 Connecticut Sun

Sun Select Three In WNBA Draft

April 9, 2009 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Connecticut Sun News Release


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (April 9, 2009) - With the 10th overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft Thursday, the Connecticut Sun addressed a need for height, selecting 6-foot-5 Duke forward/center Chante Black.

The 2008-09 All-ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Black averaged 14.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game, leading the Blue Devils to a 27-6 record.

"I thought Chante Black was a very good pick for us," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "It was somebody we thought back in September would be in the top five in the draft. As the season played out, and more of the teams at the top needed perimeter players, it forced post players down in the draft which was great for us and several other teams. We've all talked about needing length. We've got a legitimately 6-5 player with long arms and can play at both ends of the court."

Black had 278 rebounds as a senior, the fourth-highest total in program history, and was only the third player in ACC history to finish her collegiate career with over 1,400 points, 900 rebounds and 250 blocks.

"They're an up-tempo kind of team," Black said when asked about Connecticut. "They love to run. They've got veterans in both areas, on the wing and the post. That's great. They're a great team."

With their second pick, 17th overall, the Sun chose Lyndra Littles, a 6-foot-1 forward out of Virginia who averaged 20.2 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior. Littles finished fourth all-time in UVA history with 1,889 points, and fifth all-time with 887 rebounds.

"Lyndra Littles, we did not expect to be there (in the second round)," Thibault said. "That was a surprise, and a great plus for us. When she was there on the board, we just felt we had a player we couldn't pass up. She can play three, she can play four, but she shoots. She has great range."

"I think I'll contribute wherever they need," Littles said when asked about her versatility. "Whether it's on the defensive end or the offensive end, I will probably be that player, if someone gets in foul trouble at the four (power forward), ‘Lyndra, we need you to go in there and play the four, or the three or the two.' I think it benefits a team to have somebody on the team like that. Whatever the circumstances, they know they can have someone come in and play that position."

Black is a native of Winston-Salem, N.C. who graduated from East Forsyth. She leaves Duke ranked second in program history with 995 career rebounds and 261 career blocks, and eighth all-time in scoring (1,438 points) and field goals (565). Her total blocks were sixth best in ACC history, and she ranks 19th in career rebounds.

In the third round, with the 36th overall pick, the Sun selected Alba Torrens of Spain. The 6-foot-4 forward/center is the starting forward on the Spanish National Team and is now playing with Real Club Celta Indepo. She has averaged 11.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game in five professional seasons in Spain.

"I got a chance to coach against her in the Olympics and saw her when she was younger," explained Thibault. "She's going to turn 20 this year. She's on the Spanish National team and starts at small forward for them at 6-4. She's long and athletic. We didn't plan on having her here this year. She's committed like our other players (Sandrine Gruda and Anete Jekabsone) through June, and I think it will probably be a year before she comes over, depending on how Spain's team does this summer."

The Sun will open the 2009 season with back-to-back games, hosting the Washington Mystics on Saturday, June 6th at 4 p.m. before visiting the New York Liberty the following afternoon in a rematch of last year's WNBA Eastern Conference Semifinal Series.

Connecticut Sun season ticket plans are on sale and can be reserved by calling a Sun Ticket Sales Representative at 1.877.SUN.TIXX, e-mailing the Sun at tickets@connecticutsun.com or visiting www.connecticutsun.com.


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