As the Connecticut prepares for their 12th season in the WNBA, the Sun held an open practice in front of a few hundred fans at the brand new Connecticut River Academy on the campus of Goodwin College in East Hartford Tuesday afternoon.
The Sun practiced for about an hour and held an autograph session immediately following practice.
Connecticut has its final preseason game on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. against the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Sun open the regular season a week later hosting the Liberty on Friday, May 16, at the Mohegan Sun Arena, at 7 p.m.
Fans got to see Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, the No. 1 selection in the recent WNBA draft, along with Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, another high-profile rookie. But the fans got to see plenty of old favorites such as former UConn point guard Renee Montgomery, now a veteran beginning her fifth WNBA campaign and other UConn stars Kalana Green and Kelly Faris.
And of course, there was Katie Douglas, who blossomed into a WNBA All-Star here in Connecticut before spending six seasons with her hometown Indiana Fever, winning one WNBA title in the process. But now Douglas, at the age of 35, is back.
There were plenty of smiles, a few t-shirts to grab in the stands and plenty of autographs and photos afterwards with the players.
The Connecticut River Academy – Goodwin College’s magnet high school – opened its $57 million, 105,000-square-feet building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 7. Located on the college campus beside the historic Connecticut River, the Academy is an early college high school with an environmental science focus that includes river studies; land, water and air quality; plant and animal growth; human ecology; and renewable energy.
ON LOCAL TV: New Haven’s MyTV9 (Channel 59) announced an eight-game television package with Sun on Tuesday afternoon. The television station will broadcast five home and three road games, including several games against WNBA opponents with former UConn stars.
May 29: at Indiana, 7 p.m.; June 7: vs. Indiana, 7.; June 12: vs. Phoenix; June 27: at Washington, 7; June 29: at New York, 3; July 1: vs. San Antonio, 7; July 27: vs. Minnesota; August 15: vs. Washington, 7.
Former UConn star Diana Taurasi plays with Phoenix and recent UConn players Stefanie Dolson and Brianna Hartley are now with the Washington Mystics. Of course, former WNBA MVP and UConn star Tina Charles is now with New York. Former UConn All-American Maya Moore and former Sun guard Lindsay Whalen are with defending WNBA champion Minnesota.
So far, the Sun are scheduled to play one national game at Atlanta on July 8 on ESPN2.