Rachel Banham is coming back home to Minnesota as the Lynx made a deal with the Connecticut Sun to bring the former Gopher star home. The deal, which was made official Tuesday night, is a sign-and-trade that will send a second-round pick to Connecticut.
The trade is a homecoming for Banham, who is from Lakeville and starred for the Gophers from 2012-2016. By the time of her departure, Banham was the leading scorer both in Minnesota and Big Ten history while also becoming the sixth-leading scorer in NCAA history with 3,093 points.
Banham also holds several more records in Gophers history including three-pointers (354), free-throw percentage (.857) and owns the NCAA single-game scoring record with 60 points in a double-overtime win over Northwestern on Feb. 8, 2016.
With the momentum of being named Big Ten Player of the Year in her final season, the Connecticut Sun selected her fourth overall in the 2016 WNBA Draft.
Things haven't materialized in Banham's first four seasons, however, as the 5'9" guard averaged just 11.4 minutes per game and 3.6 points per game in her four seasons with the Sun.
Banham will have a chance at a new start with the hometown Lynx on a roster that seems to be in transition after the departure of Seimone Augustus, the retirement of Rebekkah Brunson and the announcement that Maya Moore will sit out a second straight season.
In the initial aftermath of the trade, both Banham and head coach Cheryl Reeve expressed excitement.
“We are excited to welcome Rachel home to Minnesota," Reeve said. "Her ability to shoot the ball is something we valued during this process and we look forward to having her in a Lynx uniform this season and beyond.”
“I couldn’t be happier to be coming home and be a member of this historic franchise. ... I can’t wait to see everyone at Target Center this summer," said Banham.