Aces bring in two former Wings.
On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Aces announced that the team signed guard Saniya Chong and center Ruth Hamblin to 2019 training camp contracts.
Chong, a 5-foot-8 guard out of UConn, spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Wings. Drafted 26th overall in 2017, she averaged 2.7 points and 1.0 assists in her rookie season, but had just five on-court appearances with Dallas last season before being waived.
Currently overseas in Bulgaria, Chong is averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for Beroe Stara Zagora. While not a lock for a roster spot in Vegas, the guard will certainly bring a winning persona to the second-year franchise. In her time with UConn, she was a vital part of a Huskies squad that won three national championships.
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Hamblin, a 6-foot-7 Canadian center and Oregon State graduate, was drafted by the Dallas Wings one year earlier than Chong. The 18th overall pick in 2016, Hamblin averaged just 6.5 minutes per game in her first and only WNBA season.
Since then, Hamblin, nicknamed “The Canadian Hammer,” has spent time honing her professional game overseas. This season, she’s averaging 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Belgian League’s Castors Braine.
As a member of the Oregon State Beavers, Hamblin was a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. She also set the school’s single-season record for rebounds (370), the Pac-12 record for career blocks, the school record for career rebounds (1,027), and was named to the All-Pac-12 Tournament team in her senior year alone.
As a franchise in its early days, it’s important for the Las Vegas Aces to bring in players like Chong and Hamblin. It’s these players, the ones with so much potential that haven’t necessarily found the right fit in the league, that can help a fledgling team reach the playoffs for the first time.
The Aces’ second season gets underway on Sunday, May 26 at home against the Los Angeles Sparks.
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