Minnesota Lynx Exercise Options on 2004 Rookie Class

Ohlde, Hayden, Jones, Jacobs and Martinez Under Contract Through 2008 WNBA Season

March 10, 2006
The Minnesota Lynx today announced that they have exercised the fourth-year option on 2004 rookies Nicole Ohlde, Vanessa Hayden, Chandi Jones,Amber Jacobs and Nuria Martinez. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

“By exercising these options, we have solidified a major core of our roster for several years,” said Lynx Chief Operating Officer Roger Griffith. “We are trying to build a championship team in Minnesota and believe we have taken a step towards that by retaining these key players.”

Ohlde, a graduate of Kansas State University, has started all 68 of the Lynx’ games since being drafted sixth overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft. She has career averages of 11.5 points (.448 FG%, .755 FT%), 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 30.2 minutes. She led the 2005 Minnesota Lynx by averaging 11.2 points and 5.7 rebounds and finished second on the team in assists with 78 (2.3 per game).

Hayden, selected by Minnesota one pick behind Ohlde in the 2004 draft (seventh overall) out of the University of Florida, finished her second WNBA season by shattering the franchise record for blocked shots in a season with 68. She has 97 blocks in two seasons, making her the all-time leader in Lynx history. Hayden has career averages 6.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.62 blocks and 15.8 minutes in 60 games (26 starts).

Jones, the eighth pick of the 2004 draft by the Phoenix Mercury, was acquired by the Lynx from Detroit on July 30, 2005. She saw action in the final 10 2005 contests (nine starts) after the trade, averaging 8.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 3.0 apg in 28.1 mpg while shooting 34.9% from the field. She finished 7th in the WNBA in three-point accuracy, hitting 42.0% (29-for69) from behind the arc.

Minnesota’s third round choice (33rd overall) of the 2004 draft, Jacobs appeared in 33 of the Lynx’ 34 regular season games in 2005. She finished the season by averaging 3.7 ppg, 2.1 apg and 14.5 mpg, all increases over her rookie campaign.

Martinez, claimed by Minnesota off waivers from Sacramento on May 19, 2004, was a third round selection (36th overall) by the Monarchs in the 2004 draft. A native of Spain, Martinez appeared in one game in 2005 for the Lynx before returning to Spain to play for the Spanish National team.

Minnesota won the fifth annual WNBA Draft Lottery in October, earning the first pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft. The team also holds the seventh overall pick in the WNBA draft, which is slated for April 5 in Boston.