Vanessa Nygaard Retires from WNBA
Retirement and Tanisha Johnson Make Up Transactions

The Houston Comets announced today that forward Vanessa Nygaard has decided to retire from the WNBA to pursue her coaching career at Pepperdine University. Nygaard, who is currently on staff at Pepperdine, is expected to be named the first assistant coach for the women’s basketball team.

“We are sorry to see her leave the team, but when opportunity knocks, you have to take advantage of it,” said Head Coach and General Manager Van Chancellor. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Vanessa and we wish her all the best.”

Nygaard (6-1, Stanford ‘98), who re-signed with the Comets on March 29, 2005, finishes her WNBA career with averages of 4.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 107 games over five seasons with the Cleveland Rockers, Portland Fire, Miami Sol and Los Angeles Sparks. Selected by the New York Liberty in the fourth round (39th overall) of the 1998 WNBA Draft, Nygaard signed with Cleveland as a free agent on May 24, 1999. She was then assigned to Portland as a free agent on May 1, 2000. Nygaard was later traded to Miami in exchange for Marla Brumfield and Katrina Colleton on May 22, 2002. She was then signed by Charlotte as a free agent on April 30, 2003, before joining Los Angeles for the regular season. Nygaard signed with the San Antonio Silver Stars on March 5, 2004, but was waived on May 13. She originally signed with the Comets on May 16, 2004, but was waived on the final roster cut on May 19.

As a collegian, Nygaard set the Stanford record for career 3-pointers made (210) and still ranks 16th in career scoring for the Cardinal with 1,279 points. She also played in three Final Fours with Stanford.

Nygaard also served as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Long Beach State (2003-04) before joining the Pepperdine staff (2004-05).

In another roster move, the Comets announced today that the team has waived forward Tanisha Johnson.