DURHAM, N.C. -- As the second week of the WNBA season wraps up, former Blue Devils continue to make headlines of varying sorts across the league. Each week, GoDuke.com will update how the Blue Devils are doing in the professional ranks --
The Connecticut Sun, starring Lexie Brown and Jasmine Thomas, currently sit atop the WNBA standings at 3-0. The Mystics and Sparks are not too far behind, as the two teams are 5-1 and 3-1, respectively. Rounding out the teams rostering Blue Devils, the Dream find themselves at 2-2 at this juncture and the Wings are at a modest 2-3.
Gray Named Western Conference Player of the Week
For the first time in her career, Gray was named the WNBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for games played May 18-27. Over this period, Gray led the conference with 7.3 assists and two steals per game, while averaging 18.5 points. Gray helped guide the Sparks to a 3-1 opening record during this time.
I so enjoy watching the LA Sparks @cgray209 . Healthy and in the best shape of her career, she’s showing all she can do.— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) May 30, 2018
Thomas Plays Key Role in Sun’s Early Season Success
As the Connecticut Sun ride a 3-0 start to the season, Jasmine Thomas has scored double digits in each game thus far. Thomas posted 13 points and eight assists on May 24 against the Sparks, with another 11 points coming on May 26 versus the Indiana Fever.
Gray Scores 1,000th Point in Season High Performance
Gray is coming off a season high of 23 points on May 27 against the Phoenix Mercury. In this game, Gray also scored her 1,000th career point, while tallying eight assists in the L.A. Sparks 80-72 win.
Currie and Thomas Power 5-1 Mystics
Aided by all-around contributions from Monique Currie and Krystal Thomas, the Washington Mystics are off to a 5-1 start and sport the most wins in the WNBA. Both players started in the Mystics’ 90-78 win over the Minnesota Lynx on May 27, as the team extended their season-opening winning streak to four games.
Williams a Valuable Asset in Dream’s Starting Five
On May 26, Elizabeth Williams recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks in the Atlanta Dream’s 78-70 loss to the Wings. Williams followed up the strong performance with eight points and seven rebounds in a 76-74 win over the Minnesota Lynx on May 29.
Blue Devils Among League Leaders
As week two of the season draws to a close, Chelsea Gray’s average of 18.5 points is good for 10th in the league. Meanwhile, the top two in assists are both former Blue Devils: Gray with 7.3 per game and Jasmine Thomas with 6.0. Duke alumnae are also near the top of the league in steals, as Gray and Elizabeth Williams are tied for third with 2.0 per game.
Williams and Beard Attend Business Seminar at Harvard
In recent years, the Harvard Business School: Crossover Into Business program has been available for NBA and NFL players interested in increasing their business knowledge. This past year, the invitation was extended to WNBA players, as Elizabeth Williams and Alana Beard both decided to take advantage of the opportunity. The semester-long program aims to assist athletes in making smarter business decisions by utilizing the Harvard Business School case method and matching each individual with a pair of MBA student mentors.
1-on-1 with Brown
Lexie Brown recently went 1-on-1 on the Sun’s Twitter page to answer some unique questions about herself.
Gray Delivers First Pitch at Dodger Stadium
On Saturday, May 26, the L.A. Dodgers held L.A. Sparks Night as part of their Women in Sports Night. A trio of Sparks, including Chelsea Gray, took part in throwing out ceremonial first pitches prior to the start of the game.
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.
Games to Watch
Among the games in the upcoming schedule featuring former Blue Devils, two will include Duke alumnae going head-to-head on both sides. When Connecticut and Washington collide on June 3, Jasmine Thomas and Lexie Brown will face off against Krystal Thomas and Monique Currie in a battle of two of the league’s top teams. On June 5, Connecticut will take the floor yet again, this time against Elizabeth Williams and a talented Atlanta squad.
Friday, June 1 – Washington at Las Vegas at 10:30 pm
Friday, June 1 – Connecticut at Chicago at 9 pm (ESPN 3)
Saturday, June 2 – Seattle at Dallas at 8 pm
Sunday, June 3 – Phoenix at Atlanta at 3 pm
Sunday, June 3 – Connecticut at Washington at 3 pm
Sunday, June 3 – Minnesota at Los Angeles at 5 pm
Tuesday, June 5 – Connecticut at Atlanta at 8 pm
Thursday, June 7 – Seattle at Los Angeles at 10:30 pm (ESPN 2)
Thursday, June 7 – Minnesota at Washington at 7 pm