June 5, 2013
WASHINGTON - Verizon Center will feature a pair of Hoyas this weekend as former Georgetown women's basketball players Sugar Rodgers and Rebekkah Brunson return to the District with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. It will be a first for rookie Rodgers who was selected 14th overall in the WNBA draft less than two months ago.
"I'm pretty excited, I never got to play in Verizon Center, so it will be my first experience," said Rodgers. "I'm excited to have Georgetown right there and my family make the three-hour drive to the game. I hope I get into play, but if I don't I will play my part."
Following the draft, the Suffolk, Va., native joined a short list of less than 20 players that have gone on to play professionally from the women's basketball program.
Rodgers is the most decorated player in Georgetown women's basketball history with unprecedented accomplishments. She was a three-time Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, a four-time First Team All-BIG EAST honoree and considered to be one of the best players in the nation four the past four years.
She was the only player in Georgetown history to earn First Team All-BIG EAST four times in her career and one of just two to be named All-BIG EAST all four years. Brunson was a two-time honorable mention honoree as a freshman and sophomore before being named to the first team as a junior and senior.
Rodgers is the all-time leading scorer with 2,518 points to her credit, making her the first women's player to surpass the 2,000-point mark as well as the first player in Georgetown history to go over 2,500 points, and the career leader in 3-pointers (346) and also holds the single-season record for points (711).
Despite her scoring prowess, she was not one dimensional holding the all-time steals record (326) as well as ranking 21st in blocks (43) and eighth in rebounds (674). The shooting guard was a stalwart for the Blue & Gray appearing in 130 games with 129 starts including 104 consecutively.
The Lynx roster features two Hoyas as Rodgers joins Brunson as the only two players in program history to appear in the WNBA. Brunson is a veteran who has helped Rodgers transition to the professional game.
"It's been pretty good," said Rodgers. "Not just Rebekkah, but the whole team has been helping me adjust and build my confidence to be able to play on this level."
In her 10th year in the league, this is always a homecoming for Brunson who hails from nearby Oxon Hill, Md.
Brunson was Georgetown's first All-American graduating in 2004. She was also the second WNBA draft pick in program history picked 10th overall in the first round of the 2004 draft by the Sacramento Monarchs.
At Georgetown, Brunson became the program's leading rebounder (1,093) and holds the record for rebounds in a season with 336 in 2004. She was an All-American as well as a four-time All-BIG EAST honoree and the 2004 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.
In her professional career, Brunson has played with teams in Spain, Italy, Russia and Belgium. She has been a two-time EuroLeague All-Star and her Russian team won the 2007 FIBA Women's EuroCup.
Brunson is a part of the United States National Team pool and won a gold medal with the U.S. squad in the FIBA Americas Tournament which qualified the squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also won a silver medal with the national team at the 2003 USA Pan American Games.
In the WNBA, she won a league championship in 2005 with the Monarchs and has been a two-time All-Star. Brunson has also been named a Second Team All-Defense on three occasions. With the Lynx, Brunson holds every rebounding record in the organization's history. Brunson supports The 32 Foundation which she started to help at-risk teens in the Washington, D.C., area stay out of trouble and overcome obstacles in a place that could limit their growth or achievement.
"It is always nice to get home and play in front of the fans that have watched you grow up and watched you develop as a player," said Brunson. "It's an opportunity to go home and play in front of my family who rarely gets to see me play. I'm here (Minnesota) or I'm out of the country. It's a nice feeling. It's a mini homecoming for a couple days."
The Lynx are coming off of another successful campaign where the team advanced to the WNBA Finals before falling to the Indiana Fever. The squad is 1-0 in 2013 defeating the Connecticut Sun, 90-74, in the season opener. Brunson started that contest posting 12 points and four boards, while Rodgers saw five minutes and had two points along with a pair of rebounds and a steal.
Saturday's game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m., at Verizon Center. The Mystics are running a special ticket promotion for Hoya fans to come out and enjoy the game. ClickHERE to purchase tickets using the promo code MYSTICS. Fans can also sign up for a postgame meet and greet with Rodgers.