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Duke in the WNBA Update - June 27, 2011
Saturday 06/27/2011  -  Duke Sports Information
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Courtesy: WNBA Photo
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Alison Bales
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DURHAM, N.C. – With the addition of Joy Cheek to the Washington Mystics squad this past week,  Duke now has eight former players in the WNBA.  Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Monique Currie (Washington Mystics), Jasmine Thomas (Washington Mystics), Karima Christmas (Washington Mystics), Joy Cheek (Washington Mystics), Lindsey Harding (Atlanta Dream), Alison Bales (Atlanta Dream) and Krystal Thomas (Seattle Storm) are all on WNBA rosters.

With the 2011 season gearing into full swing GoDuke.com checked back in to see how each player’s season is going.

Alana Beard- Duke ‘04
Washington Mystics, 5-11, Guard-Forward

Beard has been sidelined so far this season after spraining her left foot in the preseason.  Before the      injury Beard was set to come back after missing the 2010 season with a severe ankle tendon injury. Beard is listed as day to day and although she missed all of last season and has yet to play a game this season, she was named to the 2011 WNBA All-Star Ballot. You can vote for Beard at www.wnba.com or by texting BEARD to 69622.

Monique Currie – Duke ‘06
Washington Mystics, 6-0, Forward

Currie was the second leading scorer for the Mystics in the 2010 season and was a starter on the WNBA All-Star Team. Unfortunately, Currie will miss the 2011 season after having surgery for a torn ACL in her left knee, an injury which occurred while she was playing in Turkey during the WNBA offseason. Playing without two of their best players in Beard and Currie has certainly affected the Mystics performance as they have started the season with a 2-5 record.

Jasmine Thomas- Duke ‘11
Washington Mystics, 5-9, Guard

Thomas is getting acclimated to her new role with the Washington Mystics. She has gone from being the leader of her Duke team, where she averaged 32.6 minutes per game to being a role-player with Washington averaging 10 minutes per game.  It is no surprise that Thomas is adapting well to her new role, making the most of her minutes having scored six points in the Mystics last two games. Thomas is averaging 2.9 points, 1.0 rebound, and 1.3 assists per game this season.

Karima Christmas- Duke ‘11   
Washington Mystics, 6-0, Guard-Forward

Mystics Head Coach and General Manager Trudi Lacey had her eyes set on Karima Christmas and was excited she was still available with the 23rd overall pick of the 2011 WNBA draft. Christmas has certainly lived up to Lacey’s expectations averaging 5.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game. Christmas set a career high in the Mystics game at Tulsa on June 18th scoring 11 points in 12 minutes. Christmas set new career highs in points, rebounds and minutes against Indiana scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds in 27 minutes played.

Joy Cheek- Duke ‘10
Washington Mystics, 6-1, Forward

After playing her rookie season with the Indiana Fever, Joy Cheek signed a contract with the Mystics on June 24th, after they received a medical hardship from the WNBA. She averaged 2.1 points per game last year with Indiana. With the addition of Cheek, five of the Mystics 11 players are former Duke standouts. Cheek had one blocked shot in two minutes of action in the Mystics first home win against Tulsa on June 26th.

Lindsey Harding- Duke ‘07
Atlanta Dream, 5-8, Guard

Harding has started all nine games for the Atlanta Dream. She is averaging 9.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game.  She posted double-figure scoring outings in the Dream’s last four games – 14 against Minnesota on the 19th, 11 versus Chicago on the 21st, 13 against Phoenix on the 21st, and 13 versus San Antonio on the 26th. Harding has been named to the 2011 WNBA All-Star Ballot. Vote for Harding at www.wnba.com or by texting HARDING to 69622.

Alison Bales- Duke ‘07
Atlanta Dream, 6-7, Center

Alison Bales has seen more playing time this season averaging a career-high 19.3 minutes per game, which is up from 15.2 minutes per contest prior to this season.  Bales is averaging 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while registering a season-high eight rebounds in the Dream’s 86-92 loss to San Antonio on the 26th. She recently moved into the starting lineup, as she has started the last three games for Atlanta. As a result, Bales playing time has gone up to 23 minutes since being added to the starting line-up.

Krystal Thomas- Duke ‘11
Seattle Storm, 6-5, Forward

After being drafted 36th in the 2011 WNBA draft, Thomas worked hard to make the final roster of the Seattle Storm. Thomas even missed Duke’s graduation as it coincided with the start of Seattle’s training camp. The lone blue devil on Seattle’s Roster, Thomas has seen action in two games so far this season. She is averaging 1 block in 3.5 minutes per game.

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