San Antonio’s other professional basketball team tips off its season this Saturday with a dynamic young guard running the point. Drafted by the Stars with the number two pick in this year’s WNBA draft, Moriah Jefferson is a proven winner. The Dallas native captured four consecutive NCAA titles at the University of Connecticut, along the way winning back-to-back Nancy Lieberman Awards recognizing the nation’s best collegiate point guard.
“Moriah is one of those players that you have to watch in person to appreciate how quick she is,” Stars coach Dan Hughes told WNBA.com following the draft. “Her defensive pressure is relentless and she changes speeds well. Moriah is going to make some plays on both ends that will make fans keep coming back to Stars games.”
Now in his final season as head coach, Hughes hopes that the promising backcourt of Jefferson and sharpshooter Kayla McBride can turn things around for the Stars. San Antonio finished last season with an 8-26 record, good for sixth in the Western Conference. With three-time All-Star Danielle Robinson still recovering from an Achilles injury, the pressure will be on Jefferson to adjust to the WNBA game and help establish a fluid offense.
“You try to soak up as much as you can from the vets,” Jefferson told reporters at training camp. “Learn but still bring energy at the same time. You’re here for a reason and it’s not to be scared but it’s to come out and play. Play hard but play respectfully to the people that have been here before you.”
After going 1-2 in the preseason, the Stars are anxious to begin their campaign at home against the Atlanta Dream. This season commemorates the WNBA’s 20th Anniversary, and with Jefferson at the helm expectations are high in San Antonio. Earlier this month at an open scrimmage, Jefferson belted out a spirited rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” for the fans, which is exactly what she and the Stars will be looking for this year.
Stars vs. Dream Saturday, May 14, $10-$140, 7pm, AT&T Center Pkwy., (210) 444-5000, attcenter.com