Ann Wauters to join Sky coaching staff as an assistant

Wauters was drafted with the first overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers at 19.

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The Sky will add former WNBA champion Ann Wauters as an assistant coach.

The Sky will add former WNBA champion Ann Wauters as an assistant coach.

Charlie Neibergall/AP

The Sky hired former WNBA champion Ann Wauters as an assistant coach on coach/general manager James Wade’s bench.

The Cleveland Rockers took Wauters with the first overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft. At 19 years old, she became the youngest player in the league at the time. She spent three seasons with the Rockers before joining the New York Liberty, where she was an All-Star.

Wauters was part of the 2008 championship-contending San Antonio Silver Stars team that beat Candace Parker and the Sparks in the Western conference finals during Parker’s rookie year. After playing overseas for several seasons and spending one season with the Seattle Storm, Wauters joined the Sparks in 2016, teaming up with Parker to win her first WNBA title.

“Ann has a wealth of experience,” Wade said. “She was always recognized as being a smart, skilled and hardworking player. I’m so happy that she’s decided to share that with us. I think we all benefit from having players on staff. Especially ones as accomplished and team-oriented as Ann.”

Wauters averaged 9.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in nine seasons in the WNBA.

On top of her accomplishments in the WNBA, Wauters is a four-time Euro-league champion, a two-time Russian National League champion and a five-time European player of the year. Wauters retired following the Tokyo Olympics.

Wauters will be joining assistants Tonya Edwards and Emre Vatansever for the upcoming season.

“I have known James for more than 20 years and I look forward to learning from him and the entire coaching staff,” Wauters said. “[I’m] excited to work really hard to bring back another championship.’’

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