Former Cal star Kristine Anigwe will try to get her WNBA career going in the right direction on the West Coast.
Earlier this week, Anigwe was traded for the second time in her short pro career, as the Dallas Wings traded Anigwe and a third-round pick to the Los Angeles Sparks in exhange for a 2021 second-round pick. That 2021 second-round pick was originally traded to the Sparks in exchange for Marina Mabrey earlier in free agency, so the Wings essentially got that pick back.
As you can see the Sparks did not have to give up much to get Anigwe, but the 6-foot-4 Anigwe is just pleased to be on the roster of any team at this point.
Twenty of the 36 players selected in this year's WNBA draft were waived by Tuesday, when the 12 teams had to cut their rosters down to 12 players. A large number of p;ayers were cut, including former Cal star Reshanda Gray, who started 10 games for the New York Liberty last season.
“There’s only 144 spots,” Anigwe said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This is the best league in the world. … As you see, people get cut daily.”
Anigwe was the ninth overall selection in the 2019 WNBA Draft after being a second-team All-American at Cal. But things have not gone smoothly for Anigwe in the pros.
She was drafted by the Connecticut Sun and played 17 games for that team, averaing 7.1 minutes, 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds..
In early August, she was traded to the Dallas Wings in exchange for veteran Theresa Plaisance. Anigwe played 10 games for the Wings last season, averaging 12.9 minutes, 3.2 points and 3.8 rebounds.
She has yet to start a WNBA game.
Now Anigwe, who went to high school in Phoenix, Ariz., is back on the West Coast, although the Sparks are already well stocked with talented frontcourt players, including Candace Parker and the Ogwumike sisters, Chiney and Nneka.
"Kristine is a versatile, two-way post player who will provide additional athleticism and rebounding to our frontcourt rotation," said Sparks head coach Derek Fisher, according to the Los Angeles Times. "She was an efficient and prolific scorer at the collegiate level and our coaching staff is looking forward to working with her. "
The Sparks hope Anigwe can fill the void left by Maria Vadeeya, who is not expected to return from Russia and was suspended for the 2020 season.
“If I’m playing five minutes, if I’m playing 10 minutes, if I’m playing 20 minutes, I just have to accept the role I’m given and excel in that role,” Anigwe told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “That’s what I’m willing to do. … I’m just grateful for this opportunity to play on this team. It’s so rewarding for me.”
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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