This weekend marks the start of the 27th WNBA season, which will include four former Duke women's basketball all-stars. Lexie Brown (LA Sparks), Chelsea Grey (LV Aces), Jasmine Thomas (LA Sparks), and Elizabeth Williams (Chicago Sky) are the Blue Devils' WNBA representatives this year.
Friday night will mark the beginning of the WNBA seasons for Brown, Thomas, and Williams. Williams and the Sky will begin the 2023 campaign in Minnesota (8 p.m. ET), while Brown, Thomas, and the Sparks prepare to play the Phoenix Mercury at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN. On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, live on ABC, Grey and the reigning champion Aces start their road trip to Seattle in an effort to retain their title.
Brown is sixth overall in the league as she begins her second season with Los Angeles. Brown averaged 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in her debut season with the Sparks in 2022, during which she participated in 34 games with 16 starts. She made 39.8% of her three-point attempts, which placed ninth in the WNBA.
Grey is in her ninth season in the league and her third with the Aces after helping the team win the first WNBA Championship in franchise history in 2022. She put on an outstanding performance in the series-clinching Game 4, scoring 20 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out six assists her way to winning MVP of the 2022 WNBA Finals.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Grey put up one of the most productive postseason performances in WNBA history, averaging 21.7 points, 7.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game while contributing to 379 of the Aces' 860 playoffs points (44.1 percent), which is the highest in WNBA playoff history. She recorded 31 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds in the series-winning victory over the Seattle Storm in the semifinals, becoming the first player in WNBA playoff history to surpass 30 points and 10 assists.
Thomas is in her debut season with the Sparks in 2023, starting her 13th WNBA campaign after being acquired in a three-player deal from the Connecticut Sun. Thomas participated in the first five games of the 2022 season before being forced to sit out the last five contests due to an ACL tear. Thomas averaged 6.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in those five games, contributing to the Sun's 4-1 start. With a 38.5 percent three-point shooting rate to open the season, she was also among the league leaders.
After committing to a two-year deal with the team during free agency, Williams begins his first season with the Chicago Sky. She most recently played for the Washington Mystics in 2022, where she averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15 minutes per game while serving as a key contributor to the team's first-round playoff run.