Cal, which approached the WNBA season with three players on team rosters, briefly had none. But Reshanda Gray, waived last Friday by the Seattle Storm, was signed by the Phoenix Mercury and played for her new team Monday night.
The Mercury had a roster spot available after it waived fellow Cal alum Kristine Anigwe late last week.
Layshia Clarendon, who has played more WNBA games and scored more points any Cal alum, was waived by the Minnesota Lynx on the eve of the season in early May.
Anigwe’s departure from Phoenix was hardly noticed given two higher-profile stories involving the franchise.
Mercury star Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia and eight-time all-star Tina Charles unexpectedly exited the team last weekend after negotiating a "contract divorce."
Anigwe, 25, played in 10 games this season for Phoenix, averaging 1.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and just 6.5 minutes. She scored more than two points just twice.
A four-time All-Pac-12 player at Cal, where she set the Bears’ career scoring and rebounding records, Anigwe’s college production simply hasn’t translated to the pro game.
She has played for four teams, averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 64 games. Her 14-point game for the Los Angeles Sparks against the New York Liberty on Sept. 8, 2020 is her only double-digit scoring game.
Gray, 29, appeared in 11 games for Seattle this season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-2 forward had a season-high eight points at Phoenix on May 11.
Gray had two points and three rebounds in a 5-minute stint for the Mercury in its win over Indiana on Monday night.
A two-time All-Pac-12 player for the Bears in 2014 and ’15, Gray was the league’s player of the year in 2015. Her best WNBA season was last year when she averaged 5.9 points for New York.
Clarendon played nine seasons in the WNBA, averaging 7.6 points and 3.2 assists. The Lynx waived Clarendon early last month, saying the 31-year-old still wasn’t completely healthy after sustaining a leg injury late last season. Clarendon responded on social media, saying, “ I have no comments other than I am 100% cleared to play and practice. I’m feeling strong and ready to play!”
Clarendon remains without a team in the WNBA.
Cover photo of Kristine Anigwe with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2020 by Reinhold Matay, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo