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February 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Sign here…WNBA players begin to ink contracts

WNBABall.jpgIt was a slow opening day, but a few WNBA players have secured contracts for the upcoming season. Minnesota re-signed C Jessica Adair while Los Angeles traded PG Andrea Riley in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Riley, who averaged 3.4 points in 7.7 minutes for the Sparks in 2010, announced via Twitter that she is pregnant and due in March. She hopes to return to play by training camp in May.
The Shock is a good fit for Riley, if fully recovered from pregnancy. Not only is it close to where she starred for Oklahoma State and family in her native Dallas, Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson recently said he’s interested in finding a quality point guard to run his system. He was in Seattle in December, watching senior PG Courtney Vandersloot play Notre Dame.
Adair was re-signed by the Lynx in August 2010, playing in the final regular-season game and finishing with five points and eight boards in 14 minutes. The 6 foot 4 post was originally released after training camp.
Play overseas warranted a return to the Lynx roster. Adair is in Turkey, ranking second the Turkish League in rebounds (10.5), fifth in blocks (1.13) and 14th in scoring (13.9).
The Storm is preparing to make their announcement on Wednesday. A reliable source said the player is a returnee, knocking it down to six possibilities.
Actually Storm coach Brian Agler, who’s also the team’s director of personnel, said All-Star Swin Cash and C Camille Little were near locks to return and would be announced early in the signing period. The Storm anticipates another announcement next week, so figure on it being a one-two punch with those players.
Elsewhere, LA general manager Penny Toler expects to have PG Ticha Penicheiro returning to Los Angeles and Tulsa G Shanna Crossley is out for the 2011 season due to a left knee injury.
NOTE: Former Storm coach Anne Donovan was named “Sports Woman of the Year” by the New Jersey Sports Writers’ Association (NJSWA). Donovan, the first female head coach to win a WNBA title in 2004 with Seattle, is currently the head coach at Seton Hall. She got her first win in November against Temple.

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