In this week’s check-in on the WNBA players competing overseas, we touch base with some former top picks, some established veterans and a couple players who are still trying to find their identity in the league. These five players are in Turkey and Australia respectively, and are all playing at an impressive level.
Kelsey Plum – Las Vegas Stars
Plum, being the heralded 1st-overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, is over in Turkey playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish Women’s Basketball league. An electrifying scorer at the college level — the 2017 AP Player of the Year out of the University of Washington, she has been a useful addition to her team in Turkey, averaging 10.4 points per game. Plum and Fenerbahce are enjoying a tremendous 5-0 start to their season.
Courtney Paris – Dallas Wings
WNBA’s Peak Performer of the Year in 2014 and 2015 for rebounding, Paris, has been another player who has suited up in Turkey. Playing for Hatay, the former 7th-overall pick in the 2009 draft has been a crucial piece to her team’s 4-0 start to the year. In four games played, Paris has lit up the stat sheet, averaging 14.0 points, 17.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Kia Vaughn – New York Liberty
As one of the well-respected veterans of the WNBA, Vaughn is keeping her form over in Turkey playing alongside Plum at Fenerbahce. The former 8th-overall selection in the 2009 draft has led Fenerbahce in scoring through five games (12.8 points per game). She has also impacted the stat sheets by contributing 5.3 rebounds per game in her team’s 5-0 start.
Asia Taylor – Washington Mystics
Taylor has battled to earn her way since turning pro. A former 3rd-round pick in the 2014 draft, she jumped around a few teams in her first three seasons. Now as a member of the Mystics, she looks to show everyone why she once was First Team All-Conference in her senior year at Ohio State. In Australia’s Women’s National Basketball League, she is leading the Sydney Uni Flames in points (19.8) and rebounds (8.8) through their first 10 games.
Rachel Banham – Connecticut Sun
The Big Ten’s All Time scoring leader during her time at the University of Minnesota, Banham is a young, promising talent in the league. Drafted 4th overall in 2016 by the Sun, she joins forces with Chiney Ogwumike trying to bring their team back to relevancy. Over in Australia’s WNBL playing for Bendigo, she is averaging 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Her team has struggled out of the gate, with a 2-7 record, but it is good to see her have strong confidence in her game at a professional level.