Kristine Anigwe tops the Connecticut Sun’s 2019 WNBA draft class

Cal star Kristine Anigwe adds another rebounding threat to Curt Miller’s Sun team

With the ninth overall pick, the Connecticut Sun drafted forward Kristine Anigwe from the University of California. Anigwe will add another rebounding threat to the team that led the league in rebounding last season.

Anigwe doesn’t see a specific role for herself, but rather: “Whatever role they want me to be in, is the role that I’m going to be in. I’m not going to try to overextend myself, because that’s the quickest way to make a coach angry. I’m going to do what they want me to do, I’m going to do my role and I’m going to try to excel in that role so my coach can trust me.”

Head coach and general manager Curt Miller said, “We’re ecstatic to get Kristine, one of the elite rebounders in the game of basketball, a physical presence … [It] really helped us out to have Anigwe drop and it couldn’t be a better scenario for us, we’re really, really excited.”

The 2019 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year led the nation in rebounding with 16.2 rebounds per game, something Miller believes will help her adjust quickly to playing in the WNBA.

“I think one skill set that really translates in this league is rebounding,” Miller said. “I think Anigwe’s rebounding translates immediately, the physicality. So there is a real place for her here.”

Anigwe is thrilled to get started and when asked what she was most excited to work on she quickly replied, “I’m excited to work on everything.”

She added,  “I know I need to work on everything, I know I need to put in the work. I’m ready put in the work. I’m ready to work on my game, to get in the gym. And I’m excited. Looking up to these people for so long and then playing with them, that’s a whole different type of feeling.”

There are two members of the team that Anigwe is particularly eager to get to play with, former Cal star Layshia Clarendon and Chiney Ogwumike.

Uncasville, Connecticut/USA – April 10, 2019: Connecticut Sun pick Kristine Anegwe as their frist round pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. Photo Credit: Chris Poss

“I know Layshia, she comes to Cal all the time,” Anigwe said at her post-draft interview in New York. “Chiney, that’s my role model, to be playing with her is a dream come true, we’ve been talking about this for so long, to have her in my corner, to have her as a mentor, they were talking about that yesterday, finding someone you trust. And I know Chiney, that’s my everything, my sister. I call her for everything, so now I can literally knock on her door and be like ‘hey, can you help me?'”

One thing Anigwe is ready for? Not just contending for a title, but winning a championship. “I’m excited. Being at Cal taught me how to be hungry, taught me how to excel, taught me different lessons and I just feel like bringing those lessons to Connecticut is going to be something special,” she said. “It’s going to be unreal. It’s going to be life changing for myself, it’s going to be life changing for the program. Winning a championship is something I’ve dreamed of since I started playing basketball.”

The Connecticut Sun also selected Bridget Carleton from Iowa State in the second round and Regan Magarity from Virginia Tech. The team also traded for the draft rights to Natisha Hiedeman, who the Minnesota Lynx selected with the 18th overall pick, for guard Lexie Brown.

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