Sunday, May 31

Kennedy Burke makes rookie WNBA debut, joining other former Bruins in the pros

Former UCLA women's basketball guard Kennedy Burke made her WNBA debut this week with the Dallas Wings. Burke logged a team-high 11 points in the Wings' first preseason game against the Atlanta Dream. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

The WNBA preseason is underway.

Former UCLA women’s basketball guard Kennedy Burke made her WNBA debut this week, while former Bruins, guard Jordin Canada and forward Monique Billings, enter their second seasons in the league.

Burke logged a team-high 11 points in 16 minutes of action off the bench in the Dallas Wings’ 82-59 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Monday. The guard played Billings – her former teammate – who registered six points and three rebounds.

Burke is part of a Wings rookie class that consists of former Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale and former Iowa forward Megan Gustafson.

After leading UCLA to its fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, Burke is continuing to produce in the pros. The 22nd overall pick notched 13 points and five rebounds to help Dallas to a 71-67 win over the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.

[Related: Women’s basketball guard Kennedy Burke earns second-round pick in 2019 WNBA Draft]

Dallas will return home for its preseason finale against the Indiana Fever on Sunday. Burke and the Wings are scheduled to face Canada and the Seattle Storm in the regular season July 12.

Canada – who won a WNBA title with the Storm during the 2018 season – earned herself a starting spot in Seattle’s preseason opener. The former Bruin poured in 13 points and dished out five assists, after averaging 5.7 points and 3.3 assists as a rookie last year.

Canada cracked the starting lineup while 17-year veteran Sue Bird sat out to rest. The Storm will play the whole season without league and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, who ruptured her Achilles tendon while playing overseas.

Canada, who was drafted fifth overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft, reunited with former California guard Receé Caldwell. Seattle signed Caldwell – who played her freshman year at UCLA – as a free agent.

Caldwell transferred to Texas Tech in 2015, and then played with Cal as a graduate transfer during the 2018-2019 season. Caldwell and Canada played on the same team for the first time in four years.

[Related: Friendship on point: Bruins’ new floor generals bond beyond basketball]

The Storm will wrap up preseason play on the road against the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday.

Managing editor

Hong is the 2019-2020 Managing editor. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, men's water polo, women's water polo, women's tennis, and beach volleyball beats.

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