Although it is the offseason in the WNBA, a few Minnesota Lynx players are still stepping in between the lines while once again taking their talents overseas between WNBA seasons.
Minnesota in past offseasons has had a handful of players head overseas to continue playing leading up to the new WNBA season, and there are a few Lynx players who are doing so again this year.
Key players currently playing include Kayla McBride, Jessica Shepard and Bridget Carleton, along with other players who either played for the Lynx in 2022 or have suited up for Minnesota in the past.
As the offseason rolls along, each week we will provide an update on those players overseas and how they have performed as of late in our Lynx Offseason Update.
Fenerbahçe — EuroLeague — Istanbul, Turkey
McBride is once again playing for global powerhouse Fenerbahçe for the second straight offseason, having spent previous offseasons with various teams in Turkey, Russia and Hungary throughout her career. McBride joins fellow WNBA players Kiah Stokes of the Las Vegas Aces, Natasha Howard of the New York Liberty and Emma Meesseman of the Chicago Sky on Fenerbahçe’s roster this offseason.
After a strong showing in Turkey last offseason, McBride is off to a strong start once again this year, recently being named Turkish Basketball Federation Women’s League Player of the Month in November after averaging 25.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists during the month.
In the month of December, McBride has continued her strong play while averaging 16 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and one steal in 29.3 minutes over three games in Turkey-KBSL action, while posting 20 points, one rebound and one block in 37 minutes during one EuroLeague contests.
In eight Turkey-KBSL games this season, McBuckets has averaged 21 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from three in 30.5 minutes a game. In five EuroLeague contests, McBride has averaged 18.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one steal while shooting 49 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from deep in 37 minutes a game.
Umana Reyer Venezia — Italy Serie A1/EuroCup — Venice, Italy
Shepard is once again playing in Italy this offseason after spending time with Dinamo Sassari in Italy last year, playing alongside fellow WNBA players Awak Kuier of the Dallas Wings and Lorela Cubaj of the New York Liberty on the Umana Reyer Venezia roster.
After dropping eye-popping numbers in Italy Serie A1 and EuroCup action last offseason, Shepard has been off to a strong start once again this winter with Umana Reyer Venezia. In three Italy Serie A1 games in November, Shepard averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds and 3.7 assists over 28 minutes. In three EuroCup games in November, she averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and 2.7 assists in 22.7 minutes.
In December so far, Shepard has played in one Italy Serie A1 game, where she posted 12 points, two rebounds and one steal in 17 minutes against Famila Wuber Schio on Dec. 4.
Perfumerías Avenida — EuroLeague — Salamanca, Spain
Carleton is the most recent addition to the list of Lynx players playing overseas this offseason, having signed with Perfumerías Avenida in Spain in late November. Carleton heads to Spain after playing in Israel for A.S. Ramat HaSharon last offseason. Moriah Jefferson, who played for Minnesota during the 2022 season, is also on roster for Perfumerías Avenida this year.
Next stop… . Can’t wait!! https://t.co/bmk8252tCN— Bridget Carleton (@bridgecarleton) November 28, 2022
Although she recently signed with the Spanish club, Carleton has already appeared in EuroLeague action in December, taking the court for Perfumerías Avenida in two games over the last week. In those two games, Carleton has averaged 9.5 points in 21 minutes.