DURHAM, N.C. – When the 2017 WNBA playoffs kick off Wednesday, Sept. 6, six Duke women’s basketball alumnae will hit the hardwood. Monique Currie of the Phoenix Mercury, Karima Christmas of the Dallas Wings, Krystal Thomas of the Washington Mystics, Jasmine Thomas of the Connecticut Sun as well as Alana Beard and Chelsea Gray of the Los Angeles Sparks will all compete.
In the first round, Krystal Thomas and the sixth-seeded Mystics will kick off action Sept. 6 at 8 p.m., on ESPN2 against Christmas and the seventh-seeded Wings. Also in the first round, Currie and the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury will go up against the eighth-seeded Seattle Storm on Sept. 6 at 10 p.m., on ESPN2. The winners of both first round contests will advance to round two of the playoffs.
Jasmine Thomas and the Connecticut Sun are seeded fourth and will await the winner of the Storm/Mercury contest. The second round game will tip at 3 p.m., Sept. 10 live on ESPN2. The winner of the Wings/Mystics game will advance to face the New York Liberty Sept. 10 at 5 p.m., on ESPN2. The second round series is also single-elimination.
Gray, Beard and the Los Angeles Sparks are seeded No. 2 overall behind No. 1 seed Minnesota Lynx. The semifinals are slated to open Sept. 12. The semifinals and finals are a best of five series.
The Los Angeles Sparks are the reigning WNBA champions and the Blue Devils have featured a WNBA champion in four out of the last five seasons – Beard & Gray (2016), Tricia Liston (2015), Mistie Bass (2014) and Christmas (2012).
Duke alumnae featured outstanding seasons in the WNBA in 2017 featuring two in the top 25 in scoring (Jasmine Thomas – 21st, 14.2; Gray – 19th, 14.8), two in the top 10 in rebounding (Krystal Thomas – 3rd, 9.6; Elizabeth Williams – 10th, 7.2), two in the top seven in assists (Gray – 6th, 4.4; Jasmine Thomas – 7th, 4.3), two in the top four in steals (Beard – 1st, 2.1; Jasmine Thomas – 4th, 1.6) and two in the top 15 in blocks (Williams – T2nd, 2.0; Krystal Thomas – 12th, 1.1).