Former Bruin Natalie Nakase Signs With Phoenix Mercury Of WNBA

April 19, 2007

Former UCLA point guard Natalie Nakase has signed a training camp contract with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and will join the Mercury for its April 22 camp.

Nakase, who lettered at UCLA from 1999-2003, has been playing in the National Women's Basketball Pro League (NWBL) since 2005, playing with the San Jose Spiders in 2005 and the San Diego Siege in 2006. Nakase was a three-year starter for the Bruins, averaging 4.9 points and 3.7 assists per game in her career. She earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in 2002 after averaging career-best totals of 7.9 points and 5.1 assists per game. She still ranks 10th on UCLA's record books for career assists (358) and single-season assists (148 in 2002).

Other former Bruin players in the WNBA are Noelle Quinn, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA draft by the Minnesota Lynx; Lisa Willis, last year's No. 5 overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks; and Nikki Blue, a second-round selection in 2006 by the Washington Mystics. In addition, UCLA Hall of Fame player Ann Meyers Drysdale is the General Manager of the Phoenix Mercury.

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