Lynx sign 2013 third-round draft pick center Rolle
MINNEAPOLIS — Already an obvious point of emphasis, the Lynx’s offseason personnel goal of shoring up the center position is near fulfillment.
The team announced Monday it has signed 2013 third-round draft pick Waltiea Rolle to an undisclosed contract. The 6-foot-6 North Carolina product becomes the third center to ink a deal with the defending WNBA champs since the season’s end.
Selected 36th overall last summer, Rolle currently plays professionally in Bulgaria. She is the first native of the Bahamas to be drafted by a WNBA team.
"We are excited to welcome Waltiea to the Lynx organization," Lynx executive vice president Roger Griffith said in a release. "Waltiea was one of the top players in the ACC during her career with North Carolina, and her list of collegiate achievements is impressive. She has also proven to be a key asset to her team in Bulgaria this season."
Rolle has played 16 games for Haskovo and leads the Women’s Bulgaria League in scoring with 23.7 points per game. She also averages 13.6 rebounds and two blocks per contest.
On April 2, the Lynx inked a deal with 2012 first-round pick Damiris Dantas, a 6-4 center from Brazil. They also signed incumbent starter and former Minnesota Gopher Janel McCarville to a multiyear extension March 20.
That means Minnesota will enter training camp with at least three centers — four when counting Amber Harris, who’s listed as a power forward but has played the five at times. The WNBA’s new collective bargaining agreement added a 12th roster spot that gives the Lynx a little more flexibility in assessing who will play behind McCarville this season.
Rolle could certainly provide a defensive presence. Her senior year at North Carolina, she averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a contest. She was named to the all-ACC defensive team twice and finished as the No. 8 shot blocker in school history.
The Lynx open the 2014 season Friday, May 16 at Washington.
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