FORMER OHIO STATE STAR JESSICA DAVENPORT REPLACES GRIFFITH ON FEVER ROSTER

The Indiana Fever has announced the free agent signing of third-year center Jessica Davenport. Davenport, a two-time Big Ten Conference Player of the Year from Ohio State and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft, replaces WNBA legend Yolanda Griffith on the Indiana roster.

Griffith, who sustained a season-ending Achilles’ tendon tear against the Seattle Storm on June 9, underwent surgery in Indianapolis on June 16.

Waived by the Liberty in training camp this spring, Davenport becomes the first Ohio State graduate ever to don a Fever uniform, and she joins former Purdue star Katie Douglas as a second former Big Ten player of the year on the Fever roster. Davenport is no stranger to Conseco Fieldhouse, having led the Buckeyes to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in 2006 and 2007, and semifinal appearances in 2004 and 2005.

A member of the USA Basketball Senior Women’s National Team and a two-time finalist for national college player of the year honors, Davenport was the Big Ten’s freshman of the year in 2004. She was the league’s player of the year as a sophomore and senior, prior to becoming the second overall selection in the 2007 WNBA Draft by San Antonio. She was part of a draft-day deal that sent longtime Liberty star Becky Hammon to San Antonio.

The 6-5 Davenport becomes the tallest player on the Fever roster. “We are excited to sign a player of Jess’ caliber,” said Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn. “She has great size and really improves our depth at the center position.”

In two seasons with the Liberty, Davenport started 16 of the 47 games she played. She owns WNBA career averages of 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. She shot 45 percent from the floor and averaged nearly one blocked shot per game in two years with the Liberty. She owns a career high of 15 points, twice, and a career high of 10 rebounds, at Chicago in 2008.