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Kayla Alexander reunites with James Wade in time for Sky’s playoff standings climb

Alexander worked with Wade in four of her five seasons with the San Antonio Stars when Wade was an assistant on Dan Hughes’ staff. 

Kayla Alexander worked with Wade in four of her five seasons with the San Antonio Stars, who rebranded as the Las Vegas Aces in 2018, and averaged eight minutes per game with the Fever in 2018.
Kayla Alexander worked with Wade in four of her five seasons with the San Antonio Stars, who rebranded as the Las Vegas Aces in 2018, and averaged eight minutes per game with the Fever in 2018.
Chicago Sky

Center Kayla Alexander isn’t sure why she was a free agent before the Sky signed her to a seven-day contract on Thursday.

She started the year with the Fever before being waived two days the 2019 season began after averaging eight minutes per game with Indiana in 2018.

Alexander is two years removed from having the third-highest field goal percentage in the league among qualified players, averaging 6.2 points and 3.1 rebounds on 58.2% shooting in 2017.

But she said she believes everything happens for a reason. Alexander’s release from the Fever allowed her to reunite with coach James Wade by joining a playoff-clinched Sky team in need of frontcourt depth after forward Jantel Lavender suffered what is likely a season-ending foot injury.

“It’s nice,” Alexander said about reuniting with Wade. “He’s a great coach and a better person, so I’m happy to have the opportunity to play with him and learn.”

Alexander worked with Wade in four of her five seasons with the San Antonio Stars, who rebranded as the Las Vegas Aces in 2018, when Wade was an assistant on Dan Hughes’ staff.

Wade said Alexander has always been good for a team’s culture and he thinks she can only add into what the Sky are already doing.

“We needed someone who was going to be a good pro,” Wade said. “Someone that was going to fit in with the group we have and not take away from anything.

Wade also said their familiarity with each other will help both sides.

“I’ve coached her for four years, so I know what she likes,” Wade said. “I know the spots she likes and I know what she brings.

“It helps both of us. For her to just catch on quickly and we won’t be afraid to throw her in the fire because I know she knows me and the kind of coach I am.”

Alexander took advantage of her unexpected brief absence from an WNBA team by spending time with her family and playing with Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team in its European exhibition tour.

She trained at home to stay ready for a possible WNBA opportunity before Wade contacted her earlier this week about playing for the Sky.

Alexander can sign two more seven-day contracts with the Sky before the team has to sign her to a rest-of-season contract. Wade said she’ll be on their playoff roster.

“She gives us a lot of length,” Wade said. “She gives us somebody we can throw it to [with their] back to the basket. She gives us a defensive presence under the rim and she’s also good at defending without fouling, which I really like.”