FOUR CANADIANS ON WNBA ROSTERS AS SEASON KICKS OFF TONIGHT | Canada Basketball

FOUR CANADIANS ON WNBA ROSTERS AS SEASON KICKS OFF TONIGHT

TORONTO, Ont. (May 24, 2019) – As the 23rd WNBA regular season begins tonight, Canadian fans will have plenty to cheer about this summer as four players from Canada have made opening night rosters. 

Now entering her fifth season in the league, veteran forward / centre Natalie Achonwa is looking to build off a career year in 2018.  Starting all 34 games for the Fever, Achonwa, who was drafted ninth by Indiana in 2014, established new career highs in points (10.3), rebounds (6.9), assists (1.4), steals (0.8) and blocks (0.6).

Forward / centre Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe is back for her second year with the New York Liberty after spending last summer with Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team preparing for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.  In 32 games with the Liberty in 2017, Raincock-Ekunwe, who played for Simon Fraser University, averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

After being selected 10th overall by New York a season ago, guard Kia Nurse made an instant impact with the Liberty.  Appearing in all 34 games during her rookie season, the Hamilton, Ont. native finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.1 points per game.  Nurse returns for her sophomore season with New York after helping the University of Canberra Capitals capture their eighth WNBL Championship.

Raincock-Ekunwe and Nurse will kick off the season versus their Team Canada teammate Natalie Achonwa and the Indiana Fever tonight at 8:00 PM (NBA TV, YES). 

Bridget Carleton became the 17th Canadian player to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was selected last month by the Connecticut Sun with the 21st pick. In her senior season at Iowa State, Carleton was named Big 12 Player of the Year and received the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award after establishing school records for points scored (760), scoring average (21.7 PPG), field-goals made (254) and field-goals attempted (543).  

Carleton and the Suns open the season on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30 PM (Twitter) against the Washington Mystics.

All four players were extended invitations to attend the Canada's Senior Women's National Team Program Assessment Camp, however are unable to participate due to WNBA commitments.

WNBA PLAYERS

 NameAge2017-18 TeamTeam

NATALIE ACHONWA

26

Indiana Fever

 

34 GP, 10.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 26.0 MPG

Indiana Fever

BRIDGET CARLETON

22

Iowa State Cyclones (NCAA)

 

20 GP, 21.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 35.0 MPG

Connecticut Sun

KIA NURSE

23

New York Liberty

 

34 GP, 9.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 22.8 MPG

New York Liberty

NAYO RAINCOCK-EKUNWE

27

Team Canada (World Cup)

 

6 GP, 8.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 25.8 MPG

 

New York Liberty