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February 7, 2009 at 6:15 PM

California guard Alexis Gray-Lawson going pro?

AGL2.jpgIn past conversations with WNBA president Donna Orender, she was offended that Houston folding was any implication the league wasn’t stable. But the WNBA tightened its purse strings, again, basically chopping team’s ability to sign injured-reserve players by cutting maximum rosters from 13 to 11.
That could also have an adverse effect on whether players like SG Alexis Gray-Lawson (pictured right by USA Today) bypass their final season of college eligibility and declare for the April 9 draft. Not that the shooter, who’s averaging 12.9 points for the No. 3 Bears, wouldn’t make a WNBA roster. But she doesn’t list the league as her lifetime goal in her media guide bio. That’s being a lawyer, real estate broker or social worker. And any player with those kind of smarts knows it may be better to get all of the free education she can get than play for about $40,000 and run the risk of facing further cuts by the WNBA as it fights to stay alive in these tough economic times.
It’s part of what Gray-Lawson is weighing. Like reigning MVP Candace Parker last season, the red-shirt junior can declare due to sitting out her sophomore season with an ACL injury. After helping her team defeat Washington on Friday, Gray-Lawson said a lot of people are talking to her about declaring for the draft. She hasn’t made a decision, yet.
“I’m thinking about it,” Gray-Lawson said.
If assistant coach Charmin Smith, a former Storm original, has anything to say about it, Gray-Lawson will be back in a Cal uniform. Either way, the Bears are going to take a hit after this season with their post rotation all being seniors.

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