The WNBA is celebrating its 20th season in existence by honoring the league’s biggest stars and most important moments. Unsurprisingly, the league’s history has a distinct UConn flavor to it. The Huskies have sent 34 players to the league since its inception in 1996. From Rebecca Lobo to Breanna Stewart, UConn has been omnipresent as the professional league grows to match the enthusiasm (and market power) built by Geno Auriemma in Storrs.
To that end, we thought we’d celebrate the WNBA in the best way we know how, by honoring UConn players and only UConn players. Below, we’ve compiled our own 20 at 20 list, ranking the Huskies who have had the most success in the league. Let’s go in reverse order, shall we?
Wolters only lasted 86 games in the WNBA following a stint in the defunct ABL (shout New England Blizzard). She averaged 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds, mostly off the bench.
It’s difficult to evaluate young players in the scope of history so read this list with the caveat that Hartley, in only her third season, is punished by her youth. She is well on her way to a stellar career, averaging 7.4 points and 2.5 assists per game for Washington.
Williams scored over 1,000 points in her WNBA career, which wrapped up over a decade ago.
Another youngster, Stokes has already found her niche in the league as a shot-blocking lunatic. She is UConn’s only alum to average at least two blocks per game. Stokes also has averaged an impressive 6.9 rebounds.
Ok, MoJeff may be only 14 games into her professional career, but she is already one of the best point guards in the league. Her 4.6 assists per game is the fourth highest total this season, all while helping to rebuild a bad San Antonio team.
The artist currently known as Tamika Raymond (discovered thanks to a statistical wild goose chase) was UConn’s fourth player selected in the 2002 Draft. She went sixth. Often overlooked, Williams (Raymond) set the record for field goal percentage in a season (66.8%) and averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in her career.
On a list of best personalities, half-basketball player, half-unicorn Stef Dolson would be at the top. On the court, she has been solid in her brief pro career, averaging 8.4 points, five rebounds and the purplest hair in the league.
Despite being one of the most important women’s basketball players of all time — and a generally perfect human — Lobo played only 121 WNBA games. She averaged a pedestrian 6.7 points and 4.1 rebounds, but does get bonus points for having cornrows at one point.
Houston played over 200 WNBA games, scoring 1,797 points — the 10th highest total of any UConn alum. Not too shabby.
Montgomery has made quite a career for herself, currently coming off the bench for the defending champion Lynx. With a career scoring average of 10.1 points per game, Montgomery has also kept up the standard UConn clutch act.
Abrosimova scored 2,411 points over nine seasons in the WNBA, a total that would be even higher had she not devoted several seasons to playing in her native Russia.
Tip is on the rise. In her fifth season, she has developed into a legitimate offensive weapon, currently averaging 14.2 points per game. She may be in line for her first All-Star appearance.
This should be controversial, because Stewart is ranked both way too high and way too low on this list. After all, she’s played a grand total of 15 professional games. But, she has also dominated and is a heavy favorite to top a similar ranking twenty years from now. Consider this: Stewart is in the league’s top five in points, rebounds and blocks per game… as a rookie.
Jones’ career average of 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game is similar to her old college teammate Swin Cash (more on her in a moment), but a shortened career due to injuries robbed Jones of gaudier totals.
Never one to shy away from an open look, Sales scored nearly 4,000 points in an abbreviated WNBA career. Her average of 14.2 points per game is the highest of the retired UConn alums. We mercifully did not punish Sales for her current job, assistant coach at UCF.
Cash announced that this season will be her last in the WNBA, ending a remarkable career. Cash has scored over 5,000 points and averaged 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 460 career games — the most of an UConn alum.
Charles is one of the best players in the league and is the only player in WNBA history (!) to average a career double-double: 17.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. She good.
Bird is arguably the greatest point guard in the league’s history. She ranks second in assists (temporarily), 11th in points, and ninth in steals. She also shows no signs of slowing down. After shooting a career-low 30.1 percent from three last season, she has rebounded to shoot 43.3 percent this year, the sixth highest total in the league. Most importantly, Bird also appeared on the A Dime Back Podcast.
Moore won the 2014 MVP award in one of the league’s greatest statistical seasons, the first of now three consecutive years on the WNBA’s first-team. Moore has also piloted the Lynx to three championships. In only her sixth year in the league, Moore has already established herself as one of the best players in WNBA history.
Taurasi is the greatest women’s basketball player of all time. That much could be gleaned simply by watching this video. She led the WNBA in scoring for four consecutive seasons, and after taking a year off to chill with Russian billionaires, may do so again this season (currently second to Charles). Taurasi has been named to the league’s first-team nine times. She is currently third on the all-time scoring list despite playing nearly 100 fewer games than the two players ahead of her. The only negative to be said about Taurasi is that she has yet to appear on the A Dime Back Podcast.