Fever Acquires Hometown Star Katie Douglas In Trade With Connecticut
INDIANAPOLIS – In one of the biggest trades in Women’s National Basketball Association history, the Indiana Fever has announced the trade acquisition of former Perry Meridian High School and Purdue star Katie Douglas, from the Connecticut Sun. In exchange for Douglas, Indiana has traded 2006 All-Star Tamika Whitmore and its first-round pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, along with rights to shooting guard Jessica Foley (third-round pick in 2005 who has remained in Australia.)
Douglas, 28, was a WNBA MVP candidate during each of the past two seasons, a two-time All-Star and the 2006 All-Star Game MVP. She has been named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive Team every summer since 2005. The six-foot sharpshooter was a first-team All-WNBA selection in 2006 and a second-team pick last summer.
The former Purdue All-American (2000, 2001) helped lead the Boilermakers to an NCAA Championship in 1999 and another Final Four appearance a year later. Four years after being selected as runner-up for Indiana Miss Basketball honors as a prep star south of Indianapolis, she was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2001. She was a first-round draft pick of the Orlando Miracle in 2001, and moved with the club to Connecticut in 2003 where she has become the team’s go-to player the past two seasons.
“Acquiring Katie Douglas is another big milestone for our franchise,” said Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. “She is one of the top 10 players in the league and has become one of the elite guards in the game. I have been impressed at how she has continued to get better each and every season. She is a fierce competitor who is in the prime of her career. I am very excited about adding her to our core group of players as we continue our quest for a WNBA title.”
Krauskopf added, “Katie’s impact will be felt immediately. I can’t say enough about how excited I am for our team and our fans. It will be nice for Indiana fans to finally see her in a Fever uniform since this is where she spent her early years developing her game.”
If Indianapolis is where Douglas developed her game, it is at Conseco Fieldhouse where she has often perfected it.
She won a Big Ten championship on the Conseco Fieldhouse hardwood in 2000, and some of her best games have come in Indianapolis against the Fever. Her 30-point career scoring high came at Conseco Fieldhouse last summer (6/22/07). Her playoff scoring high, 27 points, came in an overtime thriller in Indianapolis that was, ironically, her final game in a Connecticut uniform (8/27/07).
"I'm looking forward to coming home and playing in front of my family and friends,” said Douglas while traveling from Spain where she plays overseas for Ros Casares Valencia. “This is a dream come true for me, and I will give my best effort to make a major contribution to the team's success going forward."
Douglas rejoins Fever coach Lin Dunn, who recruited her to Purdue. Douglas also joins a Fever roster that includes 2007 Eastern Conference All-Star teammates Tamika Catchings and Tammy Sutton-Brown. Through seven WNBA seasons, Douglas owns career averages of 12.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Last year, she posted career-best averages of 17.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals.
One of the WNBA’s best all-around and most versatile players, she finished ninth in the WNBA in scoring last season, and was fifth in steals. During each the past two WNBA seasons, Douglas, Catchings and Fever point guard Tully Bevilaqua have all finished together among the league’s Top 5 in steals.
Said Dunn, “Trading for Katie sends a message to our fans that we are serious about challenging for an Eastern Conference title and a WNBA championship. Katie is a winner, on both ends of the court and in the community. She has a very high Basketball IQ, she is one of the top defenders in the league and is such a tough competitor! It will be great to play with her, instead of against her.”
Whitmore, 30, is one of the league’s most seasoned veterans and playoff performers. She joins her fourth team while beginning her 10th WNBA season. The 6-2 power forward averaged 15.5 and 10.9 points per game, respectively, during two seasons in Indiana. She was selected to her first All-Star Game in 2006, and set a WNBA Playoffs Record with a 41-point scoring effort in Game 2 of the 2006 Eastern Conference First Round at Detroit. She boasts career averages of 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds.
“Moving Tamika was tough because of the impact she had on our team as a competitor and an all-around great player,” added Krauskopf. “She gave us two outstanding seasons. She always came up big in our playoff games. I can’t thank her enough for what she did for our team while she was here.”
The Indiana Fever begins its ninth WNBA season by hosting the Washington Mystics on Saturday, May 17 (7:00 p.m.). Led by Douglas and Olympic gold medalist and five-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, the Fever bids for its first WNBA Finals appearance after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in two of the past three seasons. Season tickets are available at FeverBasketball.com or by calling (317) 917-2500.