Your Day in Women’s Basketball, April 23: Rizzotti, Sienko, and Cardoso on the move


A busy offseason continues for both college and professional teams

Familiar face in Uncasville

There has been some recent, high-profile turnover in WNBA front offices. It starts with a Connecticut legend returning home. Jennifer Rizzotti has one of the most impressive resumes in all of women’s basketball, bringing home the first NCAA title to UConn in 1995 (yes, there was a time when the Huskies had no championships). Rizzotti then went on to win two WNBA championships with the Houston Comets, before coaching tenures with USA Basketball and George Washington University.

The Connecticut Sun have hired Rizotti to be their new team president, replacing Amber Cox who left for Kansas City of the NWSL. It will be her first role in the front office after years of coaching as she returns to the Nutmeg state to begin her executive career.

Top dog out for the Dream

Down in Atlanta, a rather surprising move was made by the new Dream ownership group as they fired team president Chris Sienko just days after the WNBA draft. There is some irony in that Renee Montgomery was one of the first player’s Sienko brought to Atlanta, and now she is part of the team sending him away.

The most peculiar aspect is the timing, as the Dream just selected Aari McDonald at number 3 overall, as well as Raquel Carrera and Lindsey Pulliam in subsequent rounds, a process that Sienko certainly would have been a part of.

Another star flees western New York

The Orange have lost another big name in an offseason to forget. Earlier this month, more than half of the Syracuse roster opted to transfer from the program, highlighted by Emily Engstler landing in-conference at Louisville. The one bright spot was freshman phenom Kamilla Cardoso, who was seemingly still in the fold after winning ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Cardoso deciding to transfer from Cuse could be the biggest blow yet to Quentin Hillsman’s 2021-22 campaign before it even begins, and with four years of eligibility left the 6’7 Brazilian becomes the biggest prize in the portal. Both her volume and efficiency statistics are off the charts, especially for a freshman, which will leave coaches salivating to try and bring her onto their squad.

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