Feb. 6, 2012
SEATTLE - The Seattle Storm has announced the signing of Ann Wauters, a veteran center currently playing in the EuroLeague with Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson. Storm Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler returned from Europe Sunday after wooing and signing Wauters in Spain.
"We targeted her and we felt like she was very key to how we're going to build our team in the future," said Agler. "I've always had high regard for Ann, not only her ability to play - she's one of the better post players in the world - but also just the quality of person she is."
Wauters, 31, last played in the WNBA in 2009 before taking the last two seasons off. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers, she has also played for the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Silver Stars during her seven-year WNBA career. An All-Star in 2005, she holds career averages of 10.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and is closing in on 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in the WNBA. She posted career highs of 14.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 2008, helping lead San Antonio to the WNBA Finals.
Currently, Wauters is playing with EuroLeague power Ros Casares Valencia, where she leads the team in points (14.9) and rebounds (8.0) per game. The Belgian native has been named a EuroLeague All-Star three times and is the competition's all-time leading scorer, and second in EuroLeague career rebounding.
"I've always loved Seattle as a city," said Wauters. "To be able to play on such an incredible team in front of such loyal fans is a real privilege."
Wauters joins Jackson (2001) and Sue Bird (2002) as the third No. 1 pick to play for the Storm.
The Storm opens the 2012 season by hosting the Los Angeles Sparks on May 18 at KeyArena.