Each week, we will provide an update on the Minnesota Lynx players overseas and how they are performing as part of our Lynx Offseason Update series.
Happy New Year to all of you!
With 2023 gone and 2024 officially here, the WNBA offseason is about to heat up with WNBA Free Agency kicking off in mid-January with players officially being able to sign with teams starting Feb. 1.
Before that takes place, Minnesota Lynx players and other players throughout the league have been taking the court overseas in preparation for the 2024 WNBA campaign. The Lynx have a total of eight players who are playing overseas, not counting Napheesa Collier, who played in Turkey earlier this offseason, and Diamond MIller, who returned home after playing in Hungary at the start of the offseason. Minnesota’s Kayla McBride, Nina Milić, Tiffany Mitchell, Lindsay Allen, Jessica Shepard, Dorka Juhász, Diamond Miller, Maia Hirsch and Bridget Carleton are playing overseas in Turkey, Italy, Hungary, France and Rwanda this offseason.
In last week’s update, Shepard and Carleton continued to thrive overseas, Mitchell wrapped up her time with REG and more. Let’s look at how the Lynx have performed over the past week around the globe.
Kayla McBride and Nina Milić
The Lynx duo of McBride and Milić have put together strong offseasons with global powerhouse Fenerbahçe and continued that once again over the past week with a pair of games on the schedule.
In a 103-83 win over Galatasaray in Turkey-KBSL action on Dec. 27, McBride led all scorers with 30 points on eight threes, seven assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block over 36 minutes. Milić didn’t appear in that game for Fenerbahçe.
To cap off the week on Dec. 30, Fenerbahçe topped Emlak 96-58 in a Turkey-KBSL contest, with McBride tallying 19 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal over 26 minutes and Milić posting 17 points, six rebounds, two steals and one block over 29 minutes.
Fenerbahçe will have a stretch off to begin the new year before returning to action on Jan. 11 against Dorka Juhász and Famila Schio in a EuroLeague battle.
Shepard has had an impressive offseason for Umana Reyer Venezia, posting nearly a double-double on a nightly basis. Over the past week, she nearly recorded another double-double in one game.
In a 70-55 win over San Martino in Italy-Serie A1 action on Dec. 30, Shepard tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists over 25 minutes per game.
Umana Reyer Venezia will have a stretch off before returning to action in the EuroCup playoffs on Jan. 11 against Gdynia.
Allen has been consistent with Botas SK this offseason, leading the offense as the floor general all year while continuing that level of play over one game this past week.
Allen and Botas SK fell to Ormanspor 80-63 on Dec. 30, with Allen tallying 15 points, a team-high nine assists and five rebounds over 39 minutes.
Botas SK and Allen return to the court on Jan. 7 when they face CBK Mersin in a Turkey-KBSL contest.
Carleton put together one of her best weeks of the offseason with UNI Györ in her last time on the court, though she and her Hungarian squad didn’t take have any games over the past week.
So far this offseason, Carleton has averaged 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in four Hungary-A Division games, adding 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals over four EuroLeague contests.
Carleton and UNI Györ return to action Jan. 6 against Vasas Akademia in Hungary-A Division action.
After joining Rwanda Energy Group (REG) on a short-term deal to play in the 2023 FIBA Africa Women’s Basketball League earlier this month, Mitchell concluded play in Egypt on Dec. 19.
Over seven games in FIBA African Women’s Basketball League action, Mitchell averaged 23.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals over 35.6 minutes per contest.
Though her time with REG is now over, Mitchell will join Athletes Unlimited when that season begins in the new year.
Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Hirsch continues to play in France for Villeneuve d’Ascq this offseason as we wait to see if she will ultimately join the WNBA in 2024.
Over the past week, Villeneuve d’Ascq didn’t have any games on the schedule, set to resume action on Jan. 7 in a France-LFB battle against Tarbes.
So far this offseason, Hirsch has averaged 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds over 18.2 minutes in nine France-LFB games, also tallying 5.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists over 16.5 minutes in eight EuroLeague contests.
Juhász has played well with Famila Schio this offseason, seeing her play improve as adds up the games played in Italy. This past week, Juhász didn’t appear Famila Schio’s lone game on the schedule.
In Famila Schio’s only game of the week, it dropped a close Italy-Serie A1 battle against Virtus Bologna, 79-76.
Juhász and Famila Schio will take some time off to begin 2024, returning to the court on Jan. 11 in a EuroLeague contest against Kayla McBride, Nina Milić and Fenerbahçe.