Duke in the WNBA: Gray rehabs while Brown, Williams start strong

<p>Former Blue Devil guard Elizabeth Williams has performed well early in the season for the Chicago Sky. &nbsp;</p>

Former Blue Devil guard Elizabeth Williams has performed well early in the season for the Chicago Sky.  

With the WNBA season in full swing, there are a number of former Blue Devils playing at the highest level of women’s basketball. The Blue Zone breaks down their performances in the W thus far: 

Williams starts strong with Sky

In her second season with the Chicago Sky, Center Elizabeth Williams has been crucial to the team’s success. Brought in during the 2023-24 season to bolster the frontcourt, the veteran center provides reliable inside scoring, rebounding and rim protection. In the four games played by Chicago this season, Williams has averaged 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. The British athlete made crucial efforts in both of the Sky’s wins, racking up 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals in their win against the Dallas Wings.

As rookie center Kamillia Cardoso recovers from her shoulder injury and awaits her WNBA debut, the more experienced Williams has continued to succeed. She acts as a force in the paint while setting the tone for the other rookies new to the challenging WNBA frontcourt. However, the former first-rounder will surely welcome sharing inside responsibilities with a proven competitor in Cardoso. 

The Sky, currently sitting fourth in the league standings with two wins and two losses, hope to become a championship contender by providing Williams with much-needed support on the frontcourt with rookie forward Angel Reese and Cardoso. With those three holding down the frontcourt, the Sky look to will their way to a championship one rebound at a time. 

Gray looks to return later for Aces

Duke alumna and WNBA veteran Chelsea Gray had a 2022-2023 season full of triumph. She averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 assists and 4 rebounds per game en route to a second consecutive WNBA championship. However, amid her efforts, the starting point guard suffered a left foot injury in Game 3 of the 2023 finals, leaving her team without their offensive facilitator at the beginning of the current season. Currently, there is no timetable for her return, forcing Las Vegas to forge ahead in her absence. 

As for the Aces, the team is vying to become the second WNBA team ever to complete a three-peat championship run. The team currently sits at third in the standings with a record of 3-1. The Aces likely hope for a swift return from their veteran leader to provide consistent scoring and elite court vision to push towards the opportunity at another championship. 

Brown aims to help Sparks bounce back 

Entering her third year with the Los Angeles Sparks, veteran guard Lexie Brown has shown continued improvement. From her first season to now, the Boston native has nearly doubled her regular season average in points, assists and steals, averaging 12.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2 steals per game. She has settled into her role on the Sparks nicely, becoming a consistent contributor on the floor and a reliable source of backcourt defense.  

Sitting at tenth in the league standings with an abysmal record of 1-3 and having missed the playoffs in the last three seasons, the Sparks are in the midst of a rebuild and the veteran Brown is a crucial transitional piece. In February 2024, she signed a two-year contract extension with the squad to solidify Los Angeles as her home for the coming seasons. With the security of a veteran guard who understands the franchise, the Sparks utilized their draft picks to bring in forwards Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson, providing much-needed support to the frontcourt in a new era of WNBA bigs. The Duke alumna will be seeking to become a reliable scoring option while facilitating more opportunities to get her young, developing teammates involved in the game. 


Share and discuss “Duke in the WNBA: Gray rehabs while Brown, Williams start strong” on social media.