The Connecticut Sun signed former UConn Husky and Minnesota Lynx forward Svetlana Abrosimova on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2 Russian will join the team Friday in Atlanta when the Sun face the Dream. To make room for the acquisition, the Sun waived rookie guard Jolene Anderson, who averaged four points per game in 24 appearances.
Abrosimova, who finished her UConn career as the fifth-ranked scorer in program history and a member of the 2000 national champion team, averaged 10 points and 4.4 rebounds in seven seasons in Minnesota. She recently returned from Beijing where she won a bronze medal with Russia.
"Svetlana will bring us a great veteran presence at the three (small forward) and four (power forward) positions," Sun coach Mike Thibault said in a release. "Her ability to score from both the perimeter and in the lane will add a great dynamic to our offense."
Abrosimova has not played a WNBA game this season. Similar to Erin Phillips, she took the first portion of the season to train with her national team.
"I've been in the league for seven years and played for one team," Abrosimova said. "I made good friends there, but I'm excited to be going to a different team, and especially the team in Connecticut."
Abrosimova will be the fifth former Husky on the Sun roster, joining Asjha Jones, Tamika Raymond, Ketia Swanier and Barbara Turner. Jones and Raymond, who graduated in 2002, were teammates with Abrosimova, 2001 grad.
Some people may view this as another move by the Sun to draw interest from Connecticut fans following the month-long break. That's not the case. Abrosimova and the team have been in discussions since April, Thibault said, and as far as free agents go, she may have been the best available and certainly the best fit for Connecticut.
Still, Thibault called it a hard decision to let Anderson go. The Wisconsin grad made seven starts this year, but had seen her playing time fade toward the Olympic break.
"She's done a great job for us," Thibault said. "But our feeling as a staff is that we needed more veteran experience as we attempt to win a championship."