Sun Sign Willingham, Loffhagen

UNCASVILLE, CT. (February 27, 2006) — The Connecticut Sun added two more players to its preseason roster Monday, signing Le’Coe Willingham and Donna Loffhagen to one-year contracts.

Per team policy, no terms were released.

Willingham is a 6-foot-0 forward who has appeared in 41 games over the past two seasons for Connecticut, averaging 6.5 minutes, 2.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game during her career. Last year, she had a season-high seven points on 3-of-5 shooting against Washington (8/26). For the second straight year, Willingham played in Israel during the WNBA offseason.

“It appears that Le’Coe has worked on the things we asked her to work on with her team in Israel,” coach Mike Thibault said. “We need her to be more of a threat facing the basket as a power forward instead of a center. She has been a part of our success the last two years, and she knows the competition in our training camp will be fierce.”

Loffhagen, a 6-2 forward, is the captain of the New Zealand National team that will play for a Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month. She averaged 14.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game during three games against the Cuban National Team last week, and she was the leading rebounder at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Loffhagen has also starred in international competition for New Zealand’s netball team, and she has played for both the New Zealand and Australian professional basketball leagues.

“This is a player we’ve tried to sign for a year,” Thibault said. “She was the leading rebounder at the last Olympics, and she has been the glue and the go-to player for the National Team. Her commitment to netball kept her from coming last year. She will give us an experienced frontline player who will help with our rebounding in particular.”