DURHAM, N.C. – With the Fourth of July now in the rearview, the WNBA season enters the weekend with all five teams featuring Duke alumnae playing .500 basketball or better. Each week, GoDuke.com will update how the Blue Devils are faring in the professional ranks --
After losing four out of its last five games, the Los Angeles Sparks (Alana Beard, Chelsea Gray) have fallen to 12-7 and occupy fourth place in the WNBA standings. Phoenix Mercury now sits in first place with a 14-5 mark, while the Seattle Storm is second with a 13-5 record. Right behind the Sparks are the fourth place Washington Mystics (Monique Currie, Krystal Thomas) at 10-6 and the sixth place Connecticut Sun (Lexie Brown, Jasmine Thomas) at 10-8. At 9-8, the Dallas Wings is seventh and Atlanta Dream is eighth with an 8-8 record.
Milestone Week for Gray
Chelsea Gray recorded her 100th career steal and 400th career assist this past week, while averaging 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 steals across four games for the Sparks. Highlighted by a 22-point outburst against the Las Vegas Aces on June 29, Gray is making quite the case to be voted into the upcoming All-Star Game.
That no-look pass though 👀 pic.twitter.com/2gKuh50VUQ— espnW (@espnW) June 29, 2018
Milestone after milestone after milestone for @cgray209!🙌 Last night Chelsea recorded her 400th Career Assist!💪🏀 Let's congratulate her on another accomplishment! #GoSparks #All4LA pic.twitter.com/GvZ8wRj4Ip— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) June 30, 2018
Brown, Thomas Playing their Roles
The Sun only had three games this past week, but Lexie Brown and Jasmine Thomas were key role players in both efforts. In a tough June 1 loss to the Storm, Brown scored four points while chipping in two rebounds and an assist. J. Thomas tallied nine points, six rebounds, and three assists as well. The Sun righted the ship by beating the Sparks on July 3, as J. Thomas went for another five points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal in the victory. Continuing to show signs of growth in her rookie season, Brown added two points, five rebounds, and an assist to her credit. In a loss to the Mercury Thursday on the road, Brown (nine points on 3-of-4 three-pointers) and Thomas (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) had solid outings.
Mystics Aided by Duke Alumnae
Playing to the tune of a 2-1 record this past week, the Mystics have enjoyed a very successful season thus far and represent the WNBA’s third best record. Monique Currie and Krystal Thomas have been integral components of the winning formula, providing valuable minutes off the bench. Most notably, K. Thomas contributed six points and three rebounds in just 10 minutes of play on June 30 against one of the league’s best teams in the Mercury.
Vote for Former Blue Devils!
Voting for the 2018 All-Star Game in Minneapolis is now live. With many Duke alumnae worthy of a spot on the team, follow the links below to show support before the polls close.
One week remaining to vote for who you want to see at #WNBAAllStar in Minneapolis on July 28!— WNBA (@WNBA) July 5, 2018
Cast your votes on Twitter using #WNBAVote or submit your ballot here: https://t.co/WSNGAoya9m pic.twitter.com/t1uMZy0HWB
Blue Devils Among League Leaders
Through July 4, three different former Duke players can be found amongst the WNBA’s league leaders. Chelsea Gray remains fourth in the league in assists, averaging 5.3 per game to this juncture. Gray’s 1.6 steals are the fourth-most in the WNBA as well. Also ranking in the top 10 in assists is Jasmine Thomas, whose average of 4.4 is good for seventh. Rounding out the trio, Elizabeth Williams’ 1.7 blocks per game is the fifth-best in the WNBA.
Eight Blue Devils Open on WNBA Rosters
This season, a total of eight Duke alumnae made final roster cuts across five different WNBA teams: Alana Beard (L.A. Sparks), Lexie Brown (Connecticut Sun), Karima Christmas-Kelly (Dallas Wings), Monique Currie (Washington Mystics), Chelsea Gray (L.A. Sparks), Jasmine Thomas (Connecticut Sun), Krystal Thomas (Washington Mystics), and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).
Duke Sports Second-Most Players in WNBA
With final rosters being trimmed down on May 17, Duke opened the season with eight alumnae playing for WNBA teams. This is the second-most of any school in the NCAA, trailing only UConn, who has 17. The teams of former Duke players are 9-4 through week one.
Friday, July 6 – Seattle at Atlanta at 7pm
Saturday, July 7 – Washington at Los Angeles at 7pm
Saturday, July 7 – Connecticut at Las Vegas at 10:30pm
Sunday, July 8 – Phoenix at Atlanta at 3pm
Sunday, July 8 – Dallas at New York at 3pm
Sunday, July 8 – Washington at Seattle at 7pm
Tuesday, July 10 – Los Angeles at Seattle at 3pm (live on Twitter)
Tuesday, July 10 – Phoenix at Dallas at 8pm
Wednesday, July 11 – New York at Connecticut at 11:30am
Wednesday, July 11 – Atlanta at Washington at 11:30am
Thursday, July 12 – Dallas at Los Angeles at 3:30pm