The Connecticut Sun reached back into their past in hopes of a brighter future this season. The Sun signed free agent Katie Douglas, who blossomed into an All-WNBA star when she played in Connecticut for five seasons in 2003-07.
Douglas, who will be 35 in May, put together an MVP-caliber season with the Sun in 2007, averaging 17.0 points a game and career-high averages of 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. She was named to the All-WNBA team for the second straight year and the All-WNBA defensive team for the third consecutive season.
But she asked for a trade to be closer to her home in Indiana, where she grew up and went to college (Purdue). The Sun traded her to the Fever for All-Star Tamika Whitmore and a first round pick.
Douglas has played with Indiana for six seasons and won a WNBA championship with the Fever in 2012, averaging 16.5 points a game. But she missed virtually the entire season a year ago with a back injury, playing only four games.
Still, Douglas could be an tremendous addition to a Sun team that was battered by injuries a year ago and finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 10-24 record.
Guard Kara Lawson was recently traded to Washington and former All-Star Ashja Jones ruptured her left Achilles tendon playing overseas in Russia in December and will miss a second straight season.
Douglas is a four-time WNBA All-Star and has been named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive team five times. She is a well-rounded guard who can pass, shoot, defend and handle the ball. She can play both guard spots.
The Sun signed her to a two-year deal with an option for a third year.
“I am definitely excited to be rejoining the Connecticut Sun,” said Douglas. “I had a great five years there playing in front of some of the best fans in the WNBA. I look forward to reconnecting with the community and to helping Connecticut become a championship contender.”
Originally drafted by the Orlando Miracle in 2001, Douglas relocated to Connecticut with the rest of the franchise when it was purchased by the Mohegan Tribe in 2003. During five seasons in Connecticut, she helped the Sun reach two WNBA finals (2004, 2005) and four Eastern Conference finals while compiling a regular-season record of 104-64.
“We are very excited to have Katie return to Connecticut, bringing with her the experience and veteran leadership this team needs,” said Chris Sienko, the Sun’s general manager and vice president. “Katie was on our radar throughout the offseason.”
A 13-year WNBA veteran, Douglas ranks fifth all-time in league history in made threes (663), ninth all time in scoring (5,142 points) and 17th in assists (1,006).
In Sun history, Douglas still ranks in the top five of 11 career statistical categories, including second in made three-point shots (319), third in steals (342), and fourth in points (2,578), assists (536), games played (214) and minutes (6,366).
“Katie’s championship experience, her extreme competitiveness and her superior skill set will be a tremendous boost to our team,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “We are all really excited to welcome her back to Connecticut.”
The Sun open exhibition play on May 4 hosting the New York Liberty at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The regular season begins on May 16 with a home game against the Liberty.