Fever Signs Veteran Power Forward Tangela Smith To Multi-Year Deal

News Release | February 2, 2011
Tangela Smith Photo Gallery

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the most durable and versatile post players in WNBA history, veteran free agent Tangela Smith has signed a multi-year contract with the Indiana Fever. Smith, No. 5 in WNBA history in points (4,773), also ranks among the league’s all-time leaders in rebounds (6th), blocks (4th) and steals (14th). Per team policy, terms of the contract are not disclosed.

A 6-4 forward/center, the 33-year-old Smith becomes the fourth WNBA All-Star on a Fever roster that includes Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown. The 2006 All-Star enters her 14th WNBA season, the past four of which were spent with the Phoenix Mercury where she won WNBA titles in 2007 and 2009.

Remarkably, she has played in every game in nine of the past 11 seasons and never has appeared in fewer than 25 games in a season. She has stretched her career by developing an outside game that includes career highs of 42 and 51 3-point field goals the past two seasons.

“Tangela brings great experience and versatility. She has won championships and performed at the highest level on a consistent basis,” said Fever Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. “I am very happy to be adding her to our front line. She was one of the top free agents available this year and we know that she will make an immediate impact.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to coach Tangela,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn who has coached against Smith at the college and pro levels. “I have followed her since high school in Chicago, and of course in the Big Ten at Iowa. Her experience, speed, quickness, length and 3-point shooting ability will be huge assets to our team. Anytime you can sign a player who has two WNBA championship rings, it’s great for the franchise.”

Drafted in 1998 by the Sacramento Monarchs, Smith has logged 415 games with career averages of 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. She has advanced to the WNBA Playoffs in eight different seasons with the Monarchs and Mercury, owning career playoff marks of 11.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. After seven seasons with Sacramento, she was traded to the Charlotte Sting in 2005. Two years later she was selected in the 2007 WNBA Dispersal Draft by the Minnesota Lynx, and later was part of a draft-day deal that sent her to Phoenix.

A native of Chicago, Smith was a four-year Big Ten Conference star where she led Iowa to conference championships in 1996 and 1998, and a tournament crown in 1997. A regular opponent of Fever star Katie Douglas and Fever assistant coach Stephanie White when Douglas and White were at Purdue, Smith joins Douglas, White and Jessica Davenport as former Big Ten Players of the Year.

A WNBA playoff participant in six straight seasons and seven times since 2002, the Indiana Fever begins its 12th season by hosting the Chicago Sky on Saturday, June 4 (7:00 p.m.). For season ticket information, visit FeverBasketball.com or call (317) 917-2500.