Lynx Re-Sign Smith, Sign Darling and Slaughter


Smith is the all-time leading scorer in U.S. women's professional basketball history.
David Sherman/WNBAE/Getty Images

April 27, 2004 — The Lynx today announced the team has re-signed guard Katie Smith and has signed guard Helen Darling and forward Gwen Slaughter. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The signings bring the training camp roster to 15.

In 2003, Smith led the Lynx in scoring for the fourth consecutive season (620); she finished fifth in the WNBA at 18.2 ppg. A four-time All Star and four-time All-WNBA performer, Smith led Minnesota to its first postseason appearance and averaged 17.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.0 apg in three playoff contests. Smith paced the Lynx in scoring Game 1 with 23 points, including a game-tying three-pointer with 24.4 seconds remaining, as Minnesota mounted a WNBA playoff-record 21-point comeback to beat Los Angeles 74-72.

A 5-11 guard, Smith is the all-time leading scorer in the history of U.S. women's professional basketball (ABL/WNBA) with 4,300 points. She is also a member of the U.S. Women's Basketball Team that will compete in the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Smith is the lone Lynx player who has been with the team since the inaugural season in 1999. In 159 career contests with the Lynx, Smith has averaged 18.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.4 apg.

A 5-6 guard from Penn State, Darling was selected by Cleveland in the second round (17th overall) of the 2000 WNBA Draft. In 2003, she averaged 4.1 ppg, 3.8 apg and 24.5 mpg in 34 regular-season contests (all starts), helping to lead the Rockers (17-17) to the 2003 WNBA Playoffs. She missed the entire 2002 WNBA season after giving birth to triplets. Darling averaged a career-high 6.1 ppg in 2001, and was one of only two Rockers to play and start all 32 regular-season games. While a rookie with the Rockers in 2000, Darling played alongside Lynx head coach Suzie McConnell Serio.

Slaughter was signed by Minnesota as a free agent on April 26. The 6-3 forward was a member of the Lynx' 2003 training camp; she totaled six points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes in three preseason contests. Slaughter finished her collegiate career as the second all-time leading rebounder (962) in Tulane history. As a senior in 2002-03, she earned All-Conference USA Second Team honors with 8.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg.

The Lynx may carry up to 18 players on their roster for the first 10 days of training camp before reducing their roster to 15 players for the remainder of camp. The final roster cut-down date for the Lynx' regular-season 11-player active roster is May 19. The team may also place two players on the Injured List. The Lynx' training camp roster follows.

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