Minnesota Lynx Acquire Rochester Native Kelly Miller
The Minnesota Lynx today announced that they have acquired Rochester, Minn., native and eight-year WNBA veteran Kelly Miller along with forward LaToya Pringle from the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for Nicole Ohlde. Miller, the former Rochester Mayo High School star, returns to the Twin Cities after attending the University of Georgia and spending the past eight years in the WNBA.
"We're really excited about adding Kelly Miller and LaToya Pringle to our team," said Lynx Executive Vice President Roger Griffith. "Miller is a proven winner and one of the best three-point shooters in WNBA history. She's led her team to a WNBA Championship before and we feel she'll be a great example and mentor to our younger players. Pringle gives us a young and athletic post player who has the ability to be a game-changer on the defensive end with her ability to block shots. While we're extremely excited to add Kelly and LaToya, we're also sad to see Nicole go. We're very appreciative for what Nicole has done for our organization the past five years. She's a true professional and we wish her the best of luck in Phoenix."
Miller comes to the Lynx after spending eight seasons in the WNBA with three different teams, including the Charlotte Sting, Indiana Fever and Phoenix. In 255 career games, including 160 starts, the 5-foot-10 guard holds averages of 8.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 24.5 mpg. For her career, Miller has connected on 38.8 percent (213-of-548) of her three-point attempts, good for eighth all-time among players with 100-or-more made three-point field goals. Miller's WNBA career began in 2001 when the Charlotte Sting selected her with the second overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft, between number one overall pick Lauren Jackson and number three overall pick Tamika Catchings.
Miller, co-winner of the 2004 WNBA Most Improved Player Award, enjoyed her best season in 2007 when, as Phoenix's starting point guard, she led the Mercury to its first WNBA Championship. That season, Miller averaged 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 4.6 assists in 34 games, all starts. Miller also shot a career-high 47.9 percent from the floor and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc in 2007.
Miller adds five years of playoffs experience to the Lynx roster, including 2001-03 with Charlotte, 2005 with Indiana and 2007 with Phoenix. In 19 career playoff games, including 13 starts, Miller holds averages of 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. In Phoenix's championship run in 2007, Miller averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists in nine games, all starts. In the deciding Game Five, Miller tallied 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in just over 30 minutes.
Miller and twin sister, Coco, who currently plays for the Washington Mystics, were co-Ms. Basketball in Minnesota in 1997 after leading Rochester Mayo to a perfect 27-0 record and its second state championship in three years. Miller will be the third Minnesota native to play for the Lynx, joining Minneapolis North's Tamara Moore and Susan King Borchardt of Holy Angels.
Pringle comes to the Lynx after spending 2008, her rookie year, with the Mercury where in 29 games, including seven starts, the 6-3 forward averaged 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 13.0 mpg. Phoenix originally drafted Pringle out of the University of North Carolina with the 13th overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. Pringle is currently playing overseas for Maccabi Ramat Hen of the Israeli D1 league where in 15 games she is averaging 17.6 ppg and a league-leading 14.0 rpg.
"We fill two needs with this trade," said Lynx head coach Don Zierden. "In Miller, we get an established three-point shooter and a point-guard who's led teams deep into the playoffs. LaToya Pringle provides us with superior athleticism in the post and has the ability to block shots and contribute offensively. It's unfortunate that we had to give up Nicole because not only was she a great player for us, but she was an even better person off the court. We'll miss her and wish her all the best in Phoenix."
Ohlde was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2004 WNBA Draft with the sixth overall selection. In her five seasons in a Lynx uniform, Ohlde averaged 10.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists. In 2008, the 6-4 forward appeared in 34 games, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game. Ohlde's best season came in 2004, her rookie year, when in 34 games she averaged a career-high 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game. Ohlde sits in fourth place on the franchise's career scoring list (1695 points), second in rebounds (898 rebounds, tied with Svetlana Abrosimova), third in assists (293 assists) and second in blocks (134 blocks).
The Minnesota Lynx open their 11th year of basketball in the Twin Cities on June 6, 2009 vs. the Chicago Sky at Target Center. Season and group tickets for the 2009 season are now on sale. For information on ticket packages, call 612-673-8400, e-mail email@example.com