After spending a decade overseas and never playing a game in the WNBA, Yvonne Anderson now has taken the next step in her basketball journey with the Connecticut Sun.
Anderson, 32, is an American-born player who secured dual citizenship with Serbia and went on to win the gold medal at the EuroBasket 2021 Championship with the Serbian national team. The combo guard, a product of the University of Texas (2008-12), played the last three seasons in Turkey while capturing the attention of Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller.
“We’ve watched her progression overseas for years, a player we’ve been interested in years, but always difficult because her success overseas hasn’t always allowed her to make it to training camp, or to make it to training camp on time,” Miller said of Anderson on Wednesday during team’s virtual media day. “We finally rolled the dice this year and signed her knowing that she could possibly be late. She was late, but we caught a break and Yvonne Anderson got eliminated maybe earlier than expected in her international league.”
Anderson reported to training camp April 28 and made the roster less than a week later.
“It’s not easy for a player to come into training camp late, and then be asked to play the point guard position and lead the team from that position and earn an opening day roster,” Miller said. “So huge credit to Yvonne Anderson.”
Anderson, the daughter of St. John’s University men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson, explained how she believes her game has continued to adapt during her professional tenure. One key reason it’s been able to do so, according to Miller, is her composure on the floor.
“It was absolutely one word: it was her composure,” Miller responded when asked what stood out about Anderson. “She plays with a pace and a composure that you can tell she’s a longtime pro. She didn’t get sped up a lot and that’s saying something when you don’t really have total grasp of the system yet — that she could keep her composure and play with pace that can be successful. And I think it really made an impression on our other veterans that are here in camp.”
Anderson certainly has impressed Connecticut’s veteran group. Reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, point guard Jasmine Thomas and a number of other players discussed how happy they were for Anderson for finally getting her opportunity to play in the league.
“I mean, it’s amazing. It’s a story of perseverance and consistency. So, I’m really excited for her,” Jones said during her media availability. “I was excited to see her come into the camp and I’m excited for what she could be on our team. So I’m happy to see her make the roster and I definitely want to see her thrive in her role not just for her but for us to be successful as a team.”
Like Jones, Thomas also had the chance to play against Anderson during international competition. Jones noted how Anderson put on a show during their head-to-head matchup and Thomas was left impressed by her new teammate, too.
“Yvonne is an experienced, talented combo guard,” Thomas said. “I got a chance to play against her overseas this year and she played extremely well. Yeah, she’s just good. She has that experience. She’s able to score it, able to pass and facilitate. She’s a strong guard.”
Anderson and the Sun kick off their season Saturday against the New York Liberty. Connecticut then returns to action May 14 against the Los Angeles Sparks, a game you can watch on NESN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.