DURHAM, N.C. – A solid week for Duke alumnae in the WNBA as GoDuke.com updates how the Blue Devils are performing in the WNBA as of Aug. 7.
Duke’s eight alumnae in the WNBA all currently sit on teams that rank in the top eight of the WNBA standings as of Aug. 6. The Seattle Storm (22-7) remain in first place in the league. The Atlanta Dream (18-10) occupy second. In third place are the Los Angeles Sparks (17-11), who have struggled throughout the middle stages of the season. After that comes the remaining logjam of teams with former Duke players: the fourth place Washington Mystics (16-11), the fifth place Connecticut Sun (16-12), and the eighth place Dallas Wings (14-14).
Gray as Big Week for Sparks
In two games last week, Chelsea Gray scored 24 points and 18 points helping the Sparks to two victories. Gray averaged 21.0 points, 6.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals. She hit 18-of-31 field goals for a 58.1 percentage. Gray has scored 18 or more points in three straight contests for Los Angeles.
Thomas Notches Career High on Emotional Night
In a big game for the Connecticut Sun in the standings and an emotional evening raising awareness for breast cancer survivors, Duke alumna Jasmine Thomas shined as she scored a career-high 30 points to help the Sun down Las Vegas, 109-88. Thomas hit 12-of-15 field goals and five treys, while also notching three assists, two rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes. The Sun has now won four straight games following a streak of losing five of seven.
In Sunday’s game, the breast cancer awareness night meant a little more to Thomas as her mother is a survivor.
Dream to Hold Meet & Greet with Elizabeth Williams
Winners of 10 out of its last 11 contests, Elizabeth Williams and the Atlanta Dream continue to be one of the hottest teams in the league. The Dream will be holding a meet and greet with Duke staff and alumnae on Aug. 9 in Atlanta as the Dream host the Los Angeles Sparks. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie along with some Blue Devil staff will be making the trip to Atlanta to cheer on Williams along with Duke graduates Chelsea Gray and Alana Beard of the Sparks. It is expected to be a key contest as Atlanta currently sits second in the league, while the Sparks are third.
Tickets are available here!
Beard Returns to the Court
After missing four games due to injury, Alana Beard returned to the court this past week and started both games for the Sparks. The defensive leader for Los Angeles, Beard played a combined 58 minutes over the two games as the Sparks won both contests. She had not played since July 12 when she was limited to only five minutes.
Blue Devils Among League Leaders
The former Blue Devils can still be found in the top-10 across various areas in the league leaderboards. Chelsea Gray currently sits at fourth in the league in both assists (5.4) and steals (1.5). She also enters the week eighth in minutes (32.5). Also in the top-10 in assists is Jasmine Thomas, whose 4.5 in that category is good for ninth. Alana Beard’s 1.4 steals per game ranks eighth, while Elizabeth Williams finds herself in sixth in the WNBA in blocks (1.6).
Eight Blue Devils Featured 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.
Games to Watch
One game this week will feature Duke alumnae going up against each other as Los Angeles will take on Atlanta at 7 pm on Fox Sports South.
Tuesday, Aug. 7 – Las Vegas at Atlanta (Fox Sports South) – 7 pm
Tuesday, Aug. 7 – Washington at Phoenix – 10 pm
Wednesday, Aug. 8 – Los Angeles at New York – 7 pm
Wednesday, Aug. 8 – Connecticut at Dallas (Fox Sports South West) – 8 pm
Thursday, Aug. 9 – Seattle at Washington – 11:30 am
Thursday, Aug. 9 – Los Angeles at Atlanta (Fox Sports South) – 7 pm
Friday, Aug. 10 – Connecticut at Chicago – 9 pm
Saturday, Aug. 11 – Dallas at Atlanta (Fox Sports Southeast) – 2 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 – Atlanta at New York – 2:30 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 – Chicago at Connecticut – 3 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 – Dallas at Washington – 3 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 – Los Angeles at Phoenix (ESPN2) – 7 pm