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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 5/19/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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27 Big Ten Conference Alums on 2023 WNBA Opening Day Rosters

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ROSEMONT, Ill. (May 19, 2023) – A total of 23 standouts from current Big Ten Conference schools earned a spot on 2023 WNBA Opening Day rosters, with four other Big Ten alums serving on WNBA coaching staffs (including two head coaches), as the league begins its 27th season Friday night. The combined total of 27 Big Ten representatives in the WNBA includes former student-athletes from 12 of the conference’s 14 member institutions, with Maryland (7) and Rutgers (4) leading the way. No fewer than 11 of the 12 WNBA franchises (all but the defending champion Las Vegas Aces) have at least one former Big Ten player on their rosters.
This year’s Big Ten alums on WNBA Opening Day rosters and coaching staffs are as follows:
Atlanta Dream
Nia Coffey (Northwestern)
Naz Hillmon (Michigan)
Tanisha Wright - Head Coach (Penn State)

Chicago Sky
Kahleah Copper (Rutgers)

Connecticut Sun
Leigha Brown (Michigan)
Brionna Jones (Maryland)
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)
Stephanie White – Head Coach (Purdue)

Dallas Wings
Veronica Burton (Northwestern)

Indiana Fever
Grace Berger (Indiana)
Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State)
Erica Wheeler (Rutgers)

Los Angeles Sparks
Nia Clouden (Michigan State)

Minnesota Lynx
Rachel Banham (Minnesota)
Diamond Miller (Maryland)
Aerial Powers (Michigan State)
Katie Smith - Associate Head Coach (Ohio State)

New York Liberty
Betnijah Laney (Rutgers)

Phoenix Mercury
Megan Gustafson (Iowa)
Annalise Pickrel – Strength & Conditioning Coach (Michigan State)

Seattle Storm
Kaila Charles (Maryland)
Arella Guirantes (Rutgers)
Yvonne Turner (Nebraska)

Washington Mystics
Tianna Hawkins (Maryland)
Kristi Toliver (Maryland)
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Maryland)
Amanda Zahui B (Minnesota)
Big Ten Conference ( is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching, and public service. Founded in 1896, Big Ten Conference has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness, and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten Conference institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. Big Ten Conference sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013.