Sept. 27, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Six former Lady Vols and two former assistant coaches at Tennessee will be in the mix when the WNBA Playoffs begin Thursday and Friday nights.
Kara Lawson and the No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun will face Kelley Cain and the No. 4 seed New York Liberty in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Thursday evening. Lawson donned the Orange and White from 1999-2003, playing in 143 games and averaging 13.6 points per game. She broke the Sun's single-season three-point field goal record this season.
Cain holds the UT individual single-game record for blocked shots, denying 12 shots against Alabama in 2010. She also is ranked first on the single-season list for blocked shots with 113 during the 2009-10 campaign.
Also on Thursday, the Western Conference Semifinals kick off with Candace Parker and Nicky Anosike leading the No. 2 seed Los Angeles Sparks against the No. 3 seed San Antonio Silver Stars. Parker has been named the Western Conference Player of the Week five times this season and on 10 occasions in her career. She has been honored with four Western Conference monthly distinctions in the past five months. Parker was the No. 1 pick of the Sparks in the 2008 draft. In her career at UT, she averaged 19.4 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game. She also holds Lady Vol career records for free throws made (526), free throws attempted (738) and blocked shots (275).
Anosike made appearances in 146 games for the Big Orange during her stint at Tennessee, sinking 381 of 586 free throws during her four years. Parker and Anosike joined Parker in helping the Lady Vols to back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008.
On Friday, Tamika Catchings and former UT assistant coach Mickie DeMoss join the second-ranked Indiana Fever, as they take on the third-seeded Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Catchings is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, most recently at the London Games with Parker. She has collected 18 Player of the Week honors during her WNBA career, second most in the league. She also was recognized as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for August. The overall No. 3 pick by the Fever in 2001, the Duncanville, Texas, native is the No. 4 scorer (2,113 pts.) and No. 4 rebounder (1,004 pts.) on UT's all-time career lists.
DeMoss, meanwhile, served as an assistant coach for the Big Orange from 1985-2003, helping UT to NCAA titles in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997 and 1998. She returned in 2010 and stayed until the end of the 2011-12 campaign before joining the Fever.
Shekinna Stricklen and former UT assistant coach Nancy Darsch of the No. 4 seed Seattle Storm square off against the No. 1 seed Minnesota Lynx in the Western Conference Semifinals. Stricklen, a WBCA All-American in 2011, was the second overall pick of the 2012 WNBA Draft. She totaled 1,882 points during her four years at UT, starting in 138 of 139 games played. Darsch served as an assistant coach for UT from 1978-85.
To see the full list of former Lady Vols in the WNBA and the WNBA homepage, click on the links below.