MINNEAPOLIS - University of Miami senior Shawnice “Pepper” Wilson has signed a rookie free agent contract with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, as announced Thursday by the club.
“We are all so proud for Pepper,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “She has been on such an amazing journey and is a wonderful example of perseverance and hard work.
“She has such a tough mentality and is willing to work her way through any challenges and create huge opportunities for herself.”
After transferring from Pittsburgh following the 2009-10 season, Wilson had to sit out the next season as required by the NCAA’s transfer policies. In her two seasons as a Cane, Miami defeated two Top 5 programs, including No. 4 Duke on senior night in March.
She was part of a team that went to three consecutive NCAA tournaments for the first time in school history and she closed out her senior season by recording a double-double in five of her final seven games. In the Canes’ final two games, Wilson pulled down a career-best 18 rebounds in each, while scoring 18 and 15 points against Florida State and Iowa, respectively.
“I am very excited for the opportunity I have to play in the WNBA and it feels amazing knowing my hard work has paid off,” Wilson said. “Now, I know I have to work harder than ever before and I’m ready for whatever challenges I may face.”
The Lynx will open training camp May 5 and will compete in their first preseason game May 18 against the Washington Mystics in Bismarck, N.D. After a home preseason game May 21, Minnesota with host its season opener June 1 against the Connecticut Sun at the Target Center.If Wilson were to make the opening day roster, she would join former teammates Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson in accomplishing the feat. Current Miami assistant coach Octavia Blue was the first Hurricane to play in the WNBA after she was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 1998 WNBA Draft. Miami’s all-time leading scorer, Tamara James was a first round draft pick in the 2006 draft when she was selected eighth overall by the Mystics.