Atunrase And Franklin Make Their Pro Debuts Saturday

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COLLEGE STATION -- Former Texas A&M women’s basketball standouts Morenike Atunrase and A’Quonesia Franklin will make their professional debuts this weekend as the 2008 WNBA season gets underway on Saturday, May 17.

Atunrase, who was picked 24th overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft, made the 11-player opening day roster for the San Antonio Silver Stars that includes former All-Americans Sophia Young, Ruth Riley and four-time WNBA all-star Becky Hammon. Atunrase was originally drafted by the WNBA expansion Atlanta Dream franchise prior to being traded to San Antonio. She recently recorded nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks in a 74-64 preseason exhibition victory over the Detroit Shock on May 12 in Lubbock, Texas.

Franklin, who was drafted 38th overall by the Sacramento Monarchs, is one of four rookies on a veteran opening day roster that includes WNBA all-stars Kara Lawson, Ticha Penicheiro, Rebekkah Brunson and former All-American Nicole Powell. The 5-foot-3 guard contributed seven points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes of action in a 90-82 exhibition overtime loss to the Washington Mystics on May 5 in Tampa, Fla.

Both Aggies will play against each other for the first time of their basketball careers as San Antonio opens up the season on the road at Sacramento with opening tip scheduled for Saturday at 9 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on NBA TV which is available to paid cable and satellite subscribers on DIRECTV (Channel 601) and DISH Network (Channel 402). Check your local listings. A live webcast of the game will also be available on

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