PHOENIX MERCURY ACQUIRES GUARD ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE
Mercury sends 2013 second round draft pick to Minnesota

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Mercury has acquired restricted free agent Alexis Hornbuckle in a sign-and-trade deal that sent the team’s 2013 second round draft pick to the Minnesota Lynx, the club announced today. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Free agents could begin signing contracts Wednesday.

The 5-10 guard is entering her fifth year in the league and has already won two WNBA championships, in 2011 with the Minnesota Lynx and 2008 with the Detroit Shock.

Originally selected fourth overall by Detroit in the 2008 draft after winning back-to-back NCAA national championships at the University of Tennessee (2007, 2008), Hornbuckle is the only player to win a NCAA title and WNBA title in the same year.

“Alexis joins our team with a championship pedigree, having won at every stop,” Mercury Head Coach and General Manager Corey Gaines said. “We expect her versatility at the guard position to be a great asset to our team. She can defend, she can rebound, she can play multiple positions and she can score when called upon.”

Hornbuckle had the best statistical season of her career in 2009 with the Shock when she averaged 6.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, while starting 21 games for the defending champions. The following year she averaged 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists through 15 games for the relocated Tulsa Shock before being traded to Minnesota midway through the 2010 season. She has since served primarily in a reserve role behind All-Star guards Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen.

At the conclusion of her junior season at Tennessee, the do-it-all guard joined Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings as the only three Lady Vols to amass over 900 points, 500 rebounds, 350 assists, 250 steals and 50 blocks.

Hornbuckle will make her first return to Minnesota when the Mercury opens the 2012 WNBA season against the Lynx on Sunday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m. PT. The game will be nationally televised on ABC. The Mercury makes its home debut on May 26 against Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks, who own the first pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Flexible ticket packages for the 2012 season are available starting as low as $10 for lower-level seats by calling 602-252-WNBA or visiting phoenixmercury.com.