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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lacy, Walker make Connecticut Sun opening-day roster

Ashley Walker (44) led Connecticut Sun in scoring
and rebounding in preseason to earn roster spot.
The Connecticut Sun finalized its opening-day roster by cutting forward Latoya Williams and former Cheshire Academy star Johannah Leedham.

Ashley Walker, the No.12th overall pick in the 2009 draft by Seattle, made the team after leading the team in scoring (10.3 points) and rebounds (5.3) during the preseason.  Veteran guard Natasha Lacy, who averaged 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the Sun's three preseason games, also made the squad. This will be the fourth team in as many seasons for the former UTEP star. Her best season came as a rookie in 2010 when she set career highs in scoring (6.3 points), rebounding (2.3), assists (3.5) and steals (1.4) with Tulsa.

Leedham, who averaged 5.3 points in the preseason, was taken by the Sun in the third round of the 2010 draft but commitments with the Great Britain national team kept her from coming over to training camp until this season.

"This was an extremely difficult decision and it honestly came down to the last possible day for our coaching staff,” Connecticut Sun coach Anne Donovan said in a statement. “Right from the beginning, everyone who participated in our training camp made a strong case for inclusion on this team. Certainly, Johannah and Latoya were in the mix until the very end. Unfortunately, with an 11-player roster, these are the tough choices we face.”

Leedham has a chance to return home and play for Great Britain in the upcoming European championships. That was one of the subjects she talked about at the team's media day.

"It is a little difficult for me to be here but I put it off for so long and I had to put myself first and this is what I want to do," said Leedham,. "We have EuroBasket which is in June so if I don'tr make the team here, I will also go back and try to make EuroBasket."

The EuroBasket tournament begins on June 15 in France. Great Britain's first game is against Serbia on June 15 in Trelaze.

The Sun's final two roster spots were opened up with veteran forward Asjha Jones' decision to sit out the 2013 season to rest her ailing body and wing Danielle McCray missing the season due to a torn Achilles.

Even before training camp began it was a formality that reigning league MVP Tina Charles, Kara Lawson, Renee Montgomery, Allison Hightower, Kelsey Griffin, Mistie Bass, Tan White, Kalana Greene and first-round pick Kelly Faris would be on the opening-day roster leaving two spots left to fill.

Charles, Montgomery, Greene and Faris are among 11 former UConn stars to make opening day WNBA rosters.

Atlanta: Tiffany Hayes
Chicago: Swin Cash
Connecticut: Tina Charles, Kelly Faris, Kalana Greene, Renee Montgomery
Minnesota; Maya Moore
Phoenix: Charde Houston, Diana Taurasi
Seattle: Sue Bird (injured but will be on roster for entire season)
Washington: Jessica Moore


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