Sun Trade Tina Charles In Deal With Liberty

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (April 14, 2014) – Three picks after selecting Chiney Ogwumike No. 1 in the 2014 WNBA Draft, the Connecticut Sun traded former WNBA MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty on Monday night.

In exchange for Charles, the Sun received rookie Alyssa Thomas – chosen by New York with the fourth overall pick on Monday night – second-year center Kelsey Bone and the Liberty’s first-round selection in 2015.

“Learning that Tina was willing to sit out unless she was traded to New York was a shock to our organization and extremely unfair to a fanbase that has supported her efforts on and off the court,” Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. Monday. “We made significant changes to our roster this offseason based in part on her feedback. For our fans and this team to be left in the lurch was not an option. New York stepped up with a significant offer that will pay dividends now and in the coming years.”

Thomas is a 6-foot-2 forward from Maryland who was a four-time All American and three-time ACC Player of the Year who averaged 19 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a senior. Thomas established new Maryland career highs for points (2,356) and rebounds (1,235). She had 62 career double-doubles, including 24 as a senior. She also had four triple doubles this season, finishing with six for her career.

The 6-foot-4 Bone was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft out of Texas A&M by the Liberty, and she averaged 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds as a rookie. She had 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting at Los Angeles last July 4th, and 15 points and 11 rebounds at Washington on July 31st. Bone was an All-SEC First Team selection, SEC Tournament MVP and Wooden Award finalist in her final season at Texas A&M.

The 2012 WNBA MVP and 2010 Rookie of the Year, Charles set the single-season league records for rebounds (398 in 2010) and double-doubles (23 in 2011). She led the Sun in scoring and rebounding in each of her first four seasons with the team.

“When I took over as the head coach of the Connecticut Sun, one of the most appealing aspects of the job was the chance to work with and coach Tina Charles,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “To say I am disappointed with the way this turned out would be an understatement. But we are excited about the players we added to our roster today, and are looking forward to moving on in a positive direction with a hard-working, enthusiastic group that our fans will enjoy watching.”

The Connecticut Sun begin its 12th season at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 16th against the New York Liberty at 7 p.m. Season tickets and mini plans are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling a Sun Ticket Representative at 1.877.SUN.TIXX (786-8499) or via email at tickets@connecticutsun.com. To purchase season tickets online, visit http://bit.ly/sunseason14. Mini plans can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/miniplans14.