April 17, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Brittany Rayburn has been invited to training camp by the 2011 WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx. A representative of the Lynx organization contacted Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp shortly after the conclusion of the 2012 WNBA Draft when Rayburn was still available.
"Immediately after the draft, the Minnesota Lynx called, recognizing Brittany's talent and offered her an opportunity to go to their training camp," Versyp said. "We talked about Brittany's skill set and her intangibles during the conversation and then I was able to call Brittany right away and gave her the information. I am very excited that she's going to have an opportunity with the WNBA because she's so skilled."
The 6-foot-guard is scheduled this week to sign a rookie contract with the Lynx and then head to Minneapolis for the start of training camp April 29.
"I was excited to get the phone call from Minnesota, coming off a little disappointment about not being drafted but went straight into the free agency," Rayburn said. "My agent did amazing work, getting in touch with their GM and getting ahold of me and we've been talking ever since. It was pretty exciting to hear from coach Versyp and then have an opportunity to talk with representatives of the Lynx organization."
This season, Rayburn was named second team Academic All-American as well as second team All-Big Ten after leading the Boilermakers in scoring for a third straight year with an average of 14.8 points per game. With 201 career three-pointers, she is second all-time at Purdue for made threes and as a senior tied an NCAA record by hitting 12 three-pointers at Minnesota on Jan. 12. The Attica, Ind., native leaves Purdue having amassed 1,795 career points, 427 rebounds, 248 assists and 151 steals.
"Everybody was joking that Minnesota might have reached out because she did hit 12 threes up there," Versyp said. "That certainly didn't hurt."
"I'm really excited for Brittany," senior center Chelsea Jones said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, but whether she makes the team or not, I'm still going to be happy for her and proud to call her my friend and my teammate."
The Lynx had six draft picks in this year's draft and took center Devereaux Peters from Notre Dame with the No. 3 pick, center Damiris Dantas out of Brazil with the 12th pick, forward Julie Wojta from Wisconsin-Green Bay with the 18th pick, forward Kayla Standish from Gonzaga with the 19th pick, guard Nika Baric from Slovenia with the 20th pick and guard Jacki Gemelos from Southern California with the 31st pick.
The defending WNBA champions return the majority of their title-winning team from 2011 and WNBA rosters will be paired down to 11 players by the start of the season. Rayburn knows she has her work cut out for her.
"I know they are looking for an off-guard that can shoot, someone who can come off the bench and make a contribution that way," Rayburn said. "I think they have three players very similar to me going to training camp so it will be a battle for one position with four people. I think it's a great challenge and something that I'm looking forward to the opportunity to have."