Lynx Announce 2009 Opening Day Roster

The Minnesota Lynx today announced the team's 2009 roster for Opening Night - Saturday, June 6 vs. Chicago at Target Center. The Lynx finalized their 11-player roster earlier in the day by waiving players Anna DeForge, Tye'sha Fluker and Emily Fox.

The 2009 roster features four returning players from the 2008 squad, a team that improved six games from 2007. Back are two-time WNBA All Star and 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist Seimone Augustus, 2008 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year Candice Wiggins, 2008 All-Rookie Team member Nicky Anosike and second-year forward Charde Houston.

Augustus enters her fourth year with the Lynx as the all-time leading per-game scorer in WNBA history (21.3 ppg) and comes off her most prolific season overseas. Augustus lead Istanbul-based Galatasaray to the EuroCup Championship this winter and was named EuroCup MVP for her efforts. Wiggins, an All-Rookie Team performer in 2008, enters her second year in the WNBA after averaging 15.8 points per game average off the bench in 2008. That total bested Chamique Holdsclaw's 15.0 ppg in 2006 for the highest scoring average off the bench in WNBA history. The 2009 season will be Anosike's second-year in the league. The 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year, Anosike recorded 75 steals her rookie year, shattering the franchise record by 22 steals. Anosike's 2.2 steals per game in 2008 rank her second all-time among centers in WNBA history (Yolanda Griffith). The six-foot-three center was one of only two players (Lisa Leslie) to rank among the WNBA's top 15 in rebounds (6.8, 10th), blocked shots (1.3, 10th) and steals (2.2, 2nd) in 2008. Charde Houston comes off a rookie season in which she averaged 8.8 ppg, the most by a third-round-or-later pick in their rookie season in WNBA history.

The 2009 roster includes three WNBA rookies: former University of Connecticut guard and 2009 National Champion Renee Montgomery (first round, 4th pick), former Virginia Commonwealth University center Quanitra Hollingsworth (first round, 9th pick) and former University of North Carolina forward Rashanda McCants (second round, 15th pick).

Montgomery enjoyed a perfect 39-0 senior year at Connecticut. The 2008 Nancy Lieberman Award Winner - given to the nation's top point guard - finished her four-year career at Connecticut third all-time in assists (626), fourth all-time in three-pointers made (251) and sixth on the all-time scoring list (1,977 points). Hollingsworth enters the WNBA after elevating the Virginia Commonwealth program to national prominence. The six-foot-five center will become the youngest American-born player to ever appear in a WNBA regular season game when she makes her debut this Saturday at the age of 20 years, 203 days. McCants, a 2009 State Farm Honorable Mention All-American, comes to the Lynx after enjoying an outstanding career at North Carolina.

In addition to adding three players to its 2009 Opening Day roster via the draft, the 2009 offseason featured multiple moves designed to add playoff experience and veteran leadership to the club. In the busiest day, trade-wise, in WNBA history, Minnesota made three trades involving six players and four draft picks on Jan. 30, 2009. Minnesota got the day started by sending post Vanessa Hayden-Johnson to Los Angeles in exchange for forward/center Christi Thomas. An hour later, in perhaps the biggest move of the three, the Lynx added hometown hero Kelly Miller and forward LaToya Pringle in exchange for veteran Nicole Ohlde. Minnesota rounded out the day by trading point guard Lindsey Harding and its 2009 and 2010 second round picks to Washington in exchange for the ninth and 15th overall selections in the 2009 WNBA Draft.

In acquiring Thomas from Los Angeles, the Lynx added a five-year WNBA veteran with three years of playoff experience with the Sparks. Thomas comes into the 2009 WNBA season with career averages of 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game. In Miller, the Lynx added an eight-year WNBA veteran and one of the best three-point shooters in the history of the WNBA. The Rochester, Minn., native returns home for the 2009 WNBA season after spending the past three seasons in Phoenix, including the 2007 WNBA season when she led the Mercury to a WNBA Championship. The athletic Pringle enters her second year in the WNBA after enjoying a productive rookie season in Phoenix. The six-foot-three forward recorded 44 blocks in 2008, the sixth-highest total in the WNBA. Also new to the 2009 Lynx roster is four-year veteran guard Roneeka Hodges. Minnesota selected the 5-foot-10 guard with the fourth pick of the 2009 Dispersal Draft involving former Houston Comets players. The Lynx then signed Hodges on May 7, 2009. Hodges is a career 33.5 percent three-point shooter, including a career-best 36.7 percent in 2006.

The Lynx enter the 2009 WNBA season under the direction of first-year head coach Jen Gillom, who was promoted to head coach on Wednesday following the resignation of Don Zierden. Joining Gillom on the team's coaching staff is longtime collegiate head coach Jim Davis and first-year assistant Jim Petersen. Gillom, a WNBA legend, takes over the head coaching duties after serving the 2008 season as a Lynx assistant coach. In recognition of her storied career in women's basketball, Gillom will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 13, her 45th birthday. Davis adds more than 25 years of head coaching experience to Minnesota's staff. The Englewood, Tenn., native spent 18 years as the head women's coach at Clemson, where he left as the all-time - men's or women's - wins leader in program history. Davis finished his career at Clemson with a career head coaching record of 355-197 (.643). Petersen, an eight-year veteran of the NBA, transitions to coaching ranks after spending the past 11 years behind the mic as part of the Lynx and Timberwolves broadcast teams.

The Lynx open up the 2009 season tomorrow night at Target Center vs. Sylvia Fowles and the Chicago Sky. Tip-off for the Home Opener is set for 7:00 p.m. FS North will broadcast the game, with Tom Hanneman and Lea B. Olsen calling the action. Tomorrow night's game can also be heard on BOB FM106 with Lynx radio voice Alan Horton on the play-by-play. The Lynx will then travel to Indiana to face off against the Indiana Fever on Sunday, June 7 before returning home for matchups with Los Angeles (Wednesday, June 10) and Seattle (Friday, June 12).