KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Six former Lady Vols have played regular-season games in the WNBA this season, with four of those Tennessee alums remaining active with their teams around the league.
Candace Parker (2004-08) and Mercedes Russell (2013-18) have their defending WNBA champion Chicago Sky (10-5) and Seattle Storm (10-6), respectively, in third and fourth place in the league standings. Isabelle Harrison (2011-15) has helped her Dallas Wings (8-8) currently stand in sixth place, while Diamond DeShields (2014-17) and the Phoenix Mercury reside in ninth. (6-10).
Rae Burrell (2018-22) is out with an injury, but her Los Angeles Sparks (5-9) hold down the No. 10 position. Rennia Davis (2017-21) was with the 12th-place Minnesota Lynx (3-13) early in the season but is no longer on the roster. Alexus Dye (2021-22) was in training camp with the second-place Connecticut Sun (12-5) but was released prior to the regular season.
Parker’s team also has clinched a spot as the Eastern Conference team in the annual Commissioner’s Cup competition against Western Conference franchise Las Vegas. In its second year, the Commissioner’s Cup is an in-season competition featuring 60 regular-season games: the first home game and first road contest each team plays against its conference rivals.
The teams with the best winning percentage in each conference face off in the championship, which this year will be held on July 26 (streamed by Prime Video) at the home arena of the squad with the highest win clip in Cup play. There is a prize pool of $500,000 in the championship game for the players and at least $165,000 in charitable donations throughout this year’s series.
The WNBA All-Star Break will take place July 8-11. The 2022 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game 2022 will be played in Chicago at Wintrust Arena on Sunday, July 10, at 1 p.m. ET on ABC. The game will be the centerpiece of a weekend full of WNBA action.
6-1 / G-F / Los Angeles Sparks / 1st Season
Burrell appeared in three games, starting one, before undergoing knee surgery in late May…At the time, it was stated she would be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks…Was averaging 14.7 minutes per contest and tallying 1.7 points and 1.0 rebounds per game…Had five points, two boards and a steal in 15 minutes of action on May 6 vs. Las Vegas.
Next Game: June 21 vs. Washington (10:30 p.m. ET — Spectrum SportsNet, Monumental Sports Network)
6-1 / G / Phoenix Mercury / 5th Season
DeShields ranks fourth on the team and No. 16 in the league in scoring at 15.0 points per contest over 28.7 minutes per contest, while adding 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing…She is shooting 42.0 percent from the field and 73.8 percent from the charity stripe…DeShields has started 13 of 15 contests for the Mercury and has scored in double figures in all 15 games.
Next Game: June 21 vs. Minnesota (10 p.m. ET — NBA TV, Bally Sports Arizona Extra, Bally Sports North Extra, NBA TV Canada)
6-4 / F-C / Chicago Sky / 15th Season
Starting 13 of the 13 games she’s played in 2022, Parker is third on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per contest…Averaging 28.6 minutes per outing, the two-time WNBA MVP and five-time all-star also is putting up 7.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 blocks per game for the defending league champs…Her rebounding, assist and blocks averages rank No. 8, 10 and 12 in the WNBA, respectively…Along the way, she has carded three double-doubles, including a 16-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist triple-double at Washington on May 22…She is only the third WNBA player to have multiple triple-doubles in her career and the oldest player to record one, doing so at 36 years and 33 days old.
Next Game: June 21 at Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET — CBS Sports Network, MyLVTV, CW 26)
6-3 / F / Dallas Wings / 6th Season
Carding 11 starts in 16 games, Harrison is fifth on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per contest and ranks third in rebounding (5.7) while also chipping in 1.6 assists and a team-leading 1.1 steals per outing…Harrison is shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe, and she has carded a pair of double-doubles.
Next Game: June 21 at Atlanta (7 p.m. ET — NBA TV, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest Extra, NBA TV Canada)
6-6 / C / Seattle Storm / 5th Season
After missing most of the early portion of the schedule with a non-basketball injury, Russell returned to action on June 3 and has appeared in five games off the bench…She is seeing 10.8 minutes per contest and putting up 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free-throw line.
Next Game: June 23 vs. Washington (10 p.m. ET — CBS Sports Network, FOX 13+ / Amazon Prime – Seattle, Monumental Sports Network)