ACC Alums Set for WNBA Finals Clash

Natasha Howard, Chelsea Gray and Alana Beard set for the WNBA Finals

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference will again be represented in this year’s WNBA Finals with three alumni from two ACC schools participating. The 2016 WNBA Finals between the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx gets underway Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. on ABC.  

Natasha Howard (Florida State) will participate in her second WNBA Finals and first with the Lynx, while Duke alums Alana Beard and Chelsea Gray are both making their first Finals appearances with the Sparks. 

Howard has played in all 34 games during the regular season for the Lynx, making one start, and averaging 6.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. She has seen action in three playoff games averaging 11.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. 

Beard has started all 34 games, while averaging 7.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals.  Her 1.7 steals ranked second in the WNBA and helped her earn WNBA All-Defensive team accolades.  

In her second year in the WNBA, Gray has been a big part of the success as of late for the Sparks.  She averaged 17.0 points over her final five regular season contests.  In the clinching semifinal game Oct. 4 versus Chicago, Gray totaled nine points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes. 

Los Angeles is playing in its first WNBA Finals since 2003, while Minnesota has won three out of the last five WNBA titles (2015, 2013, 2011).