Uncasville, CT (May 16, 2023) – During its Home Opener, the Connecticut Sun will celebrate the career of WNBA legend Taj McWilliams-Franklin, honoring her contributions to the Connecticut Sun franchise during her eight-year stint with the organization from 1999-2006 (four years spent under the franchise’s previous name, the Orlando Miracle). McWilliams-Franklin’s No. 11 will join Margo Dydek (12), Nykesha Sales (42), Katie Douglas (23), Lindsay Whalen (13), and Asjha Jones (15) in the rafters during a special ceremony after the conclusion of the game. Mike Thibault and Lindsey Whalen, McWilliams-Franklin’s former coach and teammate during her time on the Connecticut Sun, will be in attendance to help McWilliams-Franklin and the Connecticut Sun celebrate the occasion.
“I am surprised and humbled at this amazing honor. I loved my time as a Connecticut Sun and grew as a person and a player,” remarked McWilliams-Franklin. “Learning that this organization viewed my contributions to this amazing sport as worthy of this type of honor, brings tears to my eyes. I did not have a big name. I did not come from a big D1 school, but I came with big goals and a big work ethic; and that’s what the Connecticut faithful appreciated and cheered for. I cannot even begin to grasp how or why, but I am thankful to the esteemed Mohegan Tribe; President Jennifer Rizzotti; Coaches Mike Thibault, Scott Hawk, and Bernadette Maddox; Mike Cound; my amazing husband, Reggie, and family; and many others, along with the welcoming fan base that has been down since Day 1 for their CT SUN and for being part of this journey with me. I have no words but THANK YOU.”
McWilliams-Franklin, who was drafted 32 overall by the Orlando Miracle in the 1999 WNBA draft, played in 243 games for the Sun franchise, starting in all but one. During her time with the organization, McWilliams-Franklin averaged 12.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks in 32 minutes per game. In all-time Connecticut Sun franchise history, McWilliams-Franklin is first in rebounds (1814) and offensive rebounds (649), second in defensive rebounds (1165) and blocks (267), third in points (3019) and double-doubles (50), fourth in game played (243) and steals (350), and ninth in assists (444).
As a member of the franchise, McWilliams-Franklin was a five-time WNBA All-Star (1999-2001, 2005, 2006); received Eastern Conference Player of the Week three times (6/13/2005, 7/24/2006, 8/7/2006); made All-Defensive Second Team in 2005 and All-WNBA Second Team in 2005 and 2006; won the WNBA Sportsmanship Award in 2005; and helped the Connecticut Sun clinch the Eastern Conference regular season title and reach the WNBA Finals in 2004 and 2005.
The Connecticut Sun tip off the 2023 season on Friday, May 19 at the Indiana Fever at 7:00PM EST.
Established in 2003, the Connecticut Sun is a professional women’s basketball team in the Women’s National Basketball Association that takes residence at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. For more information or to purchase season tickets, visit www.connecticutsun.com or call 1-877-SUN-TIXX.