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Sparks' Samuelson joins Vanderbilt staff in non-coaching role

Adam Pantozzi / National Basketball Association / Getty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former UConn star and current WNBA player Katie Lou Samuelson has been hired as Vanderbilt's director of player development for women's basketball.

Samuelson, who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks, will assist with recruiting and strategy for Vanderbilt during her offseason, the school announced Sunday.

“She is one of the hardest-working, most competitive players I have ever coached,” Vanderbilt coach Shea Ralph said. "She has excelled at every level in our sport, starting with championships in college and now making a name for herself in the WNBA and overseas as a standout professional.

“She has true life experience in ‘maximizing your potential,’ which is the goal and mission for every person associated with this program.”

Samuelson helped UConn win the 2016 NCAA title, when Ralph was an assistant coach for the Huskies. She earned the American Athletic Conference player of the year award in 2017 and 2018. The forward was the 10th player in Connecticut’s history to record 2,000 points in a career, and finished fourth on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list.

The No. 4 pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, Samuelson also played for Dallas and Seattle. She led Perfumerías Avenida to the 2021 Euroleague Final and a Spanish league championship during her overseas professional career.

Vanderbilt was 9-11 overall and 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference entering Sunday's game against Florida.


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