Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sun sign Jekabsone-Zogota

The Connecticut Sun addressed their need for a shooter Friday, signing Latvian star Anete Jekabsone-Zogota to a training camp contract.

She'll likely arrive in late June or early July, Sun coach Mike Thibault has said, because of her commitment to play for the host Latvian team in the European Championships. The Sun open their season on June 6.

But when she does make it to Connecticut, she'll give the Sun, whose shooting struggles cost them in their first-round playoff loss to New York last summer, a scorer in the mold of former Connecticut star, Katie Douglas. The Sun made just 73-of-203 field goals (36 percent) and shot 22 percent from the 3-point line in that series.

"We’re really excited to sign her," Thibault said in a statement. "We feel she will make an impact when she comes."

Averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game for defending FIBA EuroCup champion Moscow Dynamo this season, the 25-year-old Jekabsone-Zogota is 22-of-44 from three-point range in 10 EuroCup games.

The FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year in 2007 and the FIBA Europe Young Women’s Player of the Year in 2005, Jekabsone-Zogota helped Moscow Dynamo win the EuroCup title last year, averaging 20 points per game in the finals. She is the daughter of former Latvian men’s basketball star Andris Jekabsone.

"She’s one of the best young shooters in all of Europe, and she is the captain of her Olympic team," Thibault said of Jekabsone-Zogota, who averaged 15.8 points for Latvia during the Summer Games in Beijing. “When we finished last season, we said we needed to add a great shooter to our team, we feel like she can do that. This is a big off-season signing for us."

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