During the WNBA off season, many of the league’s best will compete on teams across the world to stay in their top form. This week we have a new crop of players that we think are playing exceptionally well for their respective clubs. Here is your update on some notable WNBA players who are playing overseas for professional teams in different countries.
Stewart is already one the WNBA’s top players and she only just finished her second season. The 2016 Rookie of the Year and second-leading scorer in the WNBA in 2017, is currently overseas playing in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association. In seven games for her club team Shanghai, Stewart is averaging 26.6 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Her season is highlighted by her Nov. 25 performance when she produced 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 steals, however it came in a loss.
Sims has had an illustrious start to her WNBA career, making the All-Rookie Team in 2014, and making significant impacts in every season since turning pro. Currently, Sims is in Turkey playing for Adana ASKI in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League, and per usual, enjoying a nice season so far. In six games, Sims is leading her team in points (17.0), assists (7.7) and steals (3.3). Her personal peak of the season so far came with the stat line she produced in a tough 85-78 loss on Nov. 25, when she scored 28 points, had seven assists and grabbed six rebounds.
As one of the WNBA’s more consistent scorers last season, McBride is showing the Turkish league why she is formerly the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft. In six games with Yakin Dogu, McBride is second on her team in points (14.2) and third on her team in rebounds (5.8). In the club’s two most recent games, she is averaging 14.0 points on 50 percent shooting. In their first and only defeat on the year, against Fenerbahce on Nov. 18, McBride tallied 17 points, shooting 70 percent from the field.
Sykes was one of the league’s most impressive rookies last season averaging 13.9 points, while making 23 starts for the Atlanta Dream. Currently, she is playing professional ball in Israel’s Division 1 league, for Hapoel Petah Tikva. In the club’s first six games, Sykes has stuffed the stat sheets, averaging 24.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists. In the team’s most recent game, Sykes exploded for 38 points (12-for-23 from the field) and 10 rebounds, in a close 77-71 victory.
Thornton has enjoyed a very productive season so far in South Korea, playing for Shinshan S-Birds in the Korean Women’s Basketball League. In nine games, she is averaging 21.9 points and 10.1 rebounds. In her two most recent games, Thornton is averaging 24.5 points, and 10.0 rebounds. However, her season is highlighted by her 37-point explosion on Nov.15, in a nail-biting 74-70 win. Perhaps her play in South Korea can have a carry-over effect to her time in the WNBA, as she is still looking to fully put her imprint on the league.