BERKELEY – The California Golden Bear duo of Gennifer Brandon and Layshia Clarendon will both open their WNBA seasons tonight, giving the California women’s basketball program two players on WNBA Opening Night rosters for the second consecutive season.
Brandon (2009-14) and Clarendon (2009-13) will face off on Opening Night when the Indiana Fever play at the Chicago Sky at 5:30 p.m. (PT). Brandon was drafted with the 22nd pick in this year’s draft by the Chicago Sky, the reigning WNBA Eastern Conference champions, while Clarendon enters her second season in the league after being drafted ninth by the Indiana Fever last year.
With two players on Opening Night rosters, California ranks second in the Pac-12 and 17th in the NCAA for professionals in the WNBA. Only Stanford (six) in the Pac-12 has more players on WNBA Opening Night rosters.
In the preseason, Brandon played in all three games for the Sky and averaged 4.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in just nine minutes of action per game. Against the Fever in the first preseason game, Brandon went 3-for-5 from the field for six points. Against Minnesota, she pulled down eight rebounds and scored five points in 11 minutes, and she finished preseason play with a rebound-a-minute performance against Washington with seven boards in seven minutes of action.
Clarendon averaged 8.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in three preseason games this week while shooting .647 from the field. Against Washington, Clarendon scored 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting to go with four rebounds and a game-high five assists. In the second game against Chicago, Clarendon scored eight points with six rebounds, and the guard played 14 minutes in the preseason finale against Phoenix with four points and three assists. She registered one steal in all three games.
Last season, Clarendon and Ashley Walker (2005-09) both represented California on Opening Night. Walker was a member of the Connecticut Sun in 2013.