Connecticut Sun

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Connecticut Sun
Connecticut Sun logo
founding 1999
history Orlando Miracle
1999 - 2002
Connecticut Sun
since 2003
Stadion Mohegan Sun Arena
Location Montville , Connecticut
Club colors navy blue, red, yellow, white
league WNBA
Conference Eastern Conference
Head coach Curt Miller
General manager Chris Sienko
owner Mohegan Sun
Championships no
Conference title 2004 , 2005

The Connecticut Sun are a team from the North American women's basketball professional league WNBA . Its home games wearing the team in the Mohegan Sun Arena in the same casino in the Mohegan - Reserve in Montville , Connecticut from. The Sun were the first WNBA team that is not owned by an NBA team.


Four seasons in Orlando (1999 to 2002)

The Orlando Miracle joined the WNBA in 1999, two years after that league played its first official season. The Miracle played their home games at the TD Waterhouse Center . In the short time in Orlando, the Miracle played four respectable seasons, where they reached the playoffs for the first time in the 2000 season, where they failed in the first round at the Cleveland Rockers just 2-1 in games. In the 2002 season , the Miracles were able to win 16 of 32 games in the regular season as in 2000, but in the end it was enough to qualify for the playoffs.

Relocation from Orlando to Connecticut (2002)

The league and its teams were owned by the NBA, which in 2002 decided to sell all WNBA teams to the NBA teams based in the same city or to third parties. This sale resulted in two teams were relocated to Utah Starzz became the San Antonio Silver Stars and the Orlando Miracle to the Connecticut Sun .

First successes and WNBA finals (2003 to 2006)

On the basis created in Orlando, the new owners in Connecticut continued to work steadily. First, they signed all-star Rebecca Lobo . With Lobo's support, the Sun won 18 of 34 games in the 2003 season . With this result, the Sun qualified for the playoffs, where they clearly won 2-0 against Charlotte Sting in the conference semifinals . The franchise won its first playoff series in its history. However, the Sun clearly failed in the Eastern Conference Finals due to the Detroit Shock .

In the 2004 season , the Sun were strengthened by Lindsay Whalen , who they had selected him WNBA Draft 2004 , but the Sun had to do without Lobo this season, who announced her retirement. As in the previous season, the Sun won 18 of 34 games. Since the Eastern Conference was very even this season, these 18 wins were even enough to end the season as the best team in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs they first beat the Washington Mystics and then the New York Liberty and stood for the first time in their history in the WNBA finals, where the Sun just had to admit defeat to the Seattle Storm .

After this surprisingly good season, the Sun strengthened themselves for the 2005 season with Margo Dydek . The Sun dominated the Eastern Conference that season, winning 26 of 34 regular season games. In the playoffs they beat the Detroit Shock and Indiana Fever 2-0 and were thus for the second time in a row in the WNBA Finals, where they met the Sacramento Monarchs this time . In contrast to the previous season, the Sun had the home advantage on their side. However, the Sun could only win a single game and lost the series 1: 3.

In the 2006 season , the Sun repeated their strong performance in the regular season from the previous year and again won 26 of 34 games. In the playoffs, the Sun were able to defeat the Washington Mystics 2-0 in the Conference Semifinals, but surprisingly they had to admit defeat to the eventual WNBA champions, the Detroit Shock, just 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

End of an Era (2007)

The 2007 season was not as successful as the previous ones. The Sun started the regular season with 10 losses from their first 15 games. However, the Sun surprisingly recovered from this shock and won eleven of the next 13 games, thus qualifying for the playoffs again. In the Conference Semifinals, the Sun met the Indiana Fever . In the regular season, the Sun won all four encounters with the Fever. The first game of this series could not win the Sun, despite a 17 point lead in the third quarter, only in the third extension with 93-88. The Fever had home advantage in the next two games, which they also used. The Sun could not win the third game of this series despite a lead of 22 points. Thus, the Sun was eliminated for the first time since the relocation in the conference semifinals.

New start (2008 to 2012)

During the break of the season, the Sun changed a large part of their team with a few trades. First, Katie Douglas was transferred to the Indiana Fever for Tamika Whitmore . It was then announced that Nykesha Sales would sit out the entire 2008 season due to an injury. Margo Dydek also took a break for a season because of her pregnancy. All three players were regularly in the starting line-up in the previous season, which means that the prognoses for the team were negative in contrast to previous seasons. The Sun belied critics by winning eight of the first nine games. However, the Sun could not quite hold this level in the other games and went into the Olympic break with a record of 16 wins from 26 games. The regular season ended the Sun with 21 wins from 34 games and qualified as the second-best team from the East for the playoffs. In the playoffs they were eliminated in the conference semifinals against the New York Liberty despite their home advantage .

In the following season, 2009 , the Sun earned for the first time after their move a negative balance in the regular season and did not reach the playoffs for the first time. The next season ended without a playoff participation despite a balanced record.

In the 2011 and 2012 seasons , the team reached the playoffs again after an increase in performance, in 2012 even as the best team in the Eastern Conference. In both seasons, however, the Sun failed prematurely on poorly placed teams. Therefore, and because no WNBA title could be won, Mike Thibault's coaching time ends.

New coaches, new luck? (since 2013)

The hoped-for title remained a long way off under the new coach Anne Donovan. In the three seasons, not only were the playoffs missed, the Sun were also always the team in the Eastern Conference with the weakest record and also achieved the worst record in the entire history of the franchise in the 2013 season . After three unsuccessful sporting seasons, Curt Miller became the team's new coach before the 2016 season. Under the new coach Curt Miller , the team lost more games in 2016 than in the previous season, but was at least not last in the Eastern Conference, yet the team missed the playoffs for the fourth time in a row. In the 2017 season, the team was able to improve significantly and reached the playoffs again as the fourth-best team with 21:13 wins. There you fail in the second round against the poorly placed team of Phoenix Mercury . The 2018 season was an exact copy of the previous season. With again 21:13 wins, the Sun were again fourth-best team in the league. In the playoffs, after a bye in the first round, you fail again in the second round against the poorly placed team from Phoenix. In the season 2019 , the Sun played back successfully. The second best team reaches the playoffs. There they failed in the WNBA finals in just under five games against the Washington Mystics team .


View into the Mohegan Sun Arena (2012)
season Audience
audience average
2003 6,025 8,800
2004 6,707 8,613
2005 7.173 8,172
2006 7,417 7,490
2007 7,970 7,750
2008 7,644 7,948
2009 6,794 8,039
2010 7,483 7,834
2011 7,056 7,955
season Audience
audience average
2012 7,266 7,457
2013 6,548 7,531
2014 5,980 7,578
2015 5,557 7,318
2016 5,837 7,655
2017 6,728 7,716
2018 6,569 6,769
2019 6,841 6,535

In Orlando , the franchise wore its home games in the TD Waterhouse Center . After relocating to Connecticut, the club played at the Mohegan Sun Arena , which is part of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Montville . The arena is located in the middle of the shopping mall by Mohegan Sun Casino. Thanks to this favorable location, fans can take advantage of the fact that a large number of restaurants and shops are right next to the stadium before or after a game. That's why it sometimes happens that you meet some players in a restaurant after a game.

Audience numbers

The Mohegan Sun Arena has a capacity of 10,000 seats. Despite the sporting success, the average number of viewers for the Sun was above the WBA average for only one season and continued to decline in the years without participation in the playoffs. The downward trend was ended for the time being in 2016 and a significant increase was recorded in 2017. Due to the sporting increase in the 2019 season, the average attendance could be increased further and the Sun was above the WNBA average for the first time in over ten years.



The Orlando Miracle started in 1999 , like most other WNBA teams, with a logo that looks very similar to that of the NBA team based in the same city. After relocating to Connecticut, where there was no professional sports team until then, the team was given a completely new logo, which has no resemblance to a logo of another sports team. Furthermore, an alternative logo was presented in 2003, although this logo never got beyond a niche existence and has received little attention until now.

Achievements and honors

Sporting successes

The franchise had its first real successes after the relocation from Orlando to Connecticut. In 2004 , 2005 and 2019 , the Sun made it to the WNBA Finals, where they were beaten by the Seattle Storm , Sacramento Monarchs and Washington Mystics .

Since the relocation, the franchise has reached the playoffs eleven times and ended the season as the best team in the entire Eastern Conference four times (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012) . Six of the eleven playoff participation could be achieved directly after the move.

Individual awards

Since the Sun were quite successful as a team after the move, even if they have not yet won the WNBA championship, the many individual awards confirm the good performance of the team.

Most Valuable Player Tina Charles has won the most important award in the league so far once by a player on the team.

Rookie of the Year : The Sun has twice had the number 1 draft picks and in both cases the honor of the best newcomer to the league went to Connecticut.

Coach of the Year Award : The award for the best coach of the regular season has gone to the team three times so far. Mike Thibault received this honor twice.

Most Improved Player Award : The award for the most improved player has now gone to players on the team three times.

Sixth Woman of the Year The award for the best supplementary player has so far gone to two Sun players.

Peak Performers The team has been successful six times in the awards for the best statistical values, five of them in the rebounds. Tina Charles was the best rebounder in the league three times in a row.

Sportsmanship Award The award for the fairest player in the league has so far gone to the Connecticut team twice.

WNBA All-Star Game Nominations

A total of seven players from the club have so far been voted into the All-Star Game by the fans because of their popularity or nominated by the coaches because of their performance. At least two players have participated in every All-Star Game since the franchise was founded.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been nominated six times, more than any other Sun / Miracle player.

In 2006, Katie Douglas , Margo Dydek , Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Nykesha Sales and Lindsay Whalen were all selected from the Sun's starting line-up for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. The Sun are the first and only team in the WNBA that was represented with their entire starting lineup in an All-Star game.

Season overview

Abbreviations: Sp. = Games, S = victories, N = defeats

season Sp. S. N Wins in% space Playoffs
Orlando Miracle
1999 32 15th 17th 46.9 4th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2000 32 16 16 50.0 3rd, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( Cleveland Rockers )
2001 32 13 19th 40.6 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2002 32 16 16 50.0 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
128 60 68 46.9 1 playoff participation in 4 seasons
1 series: 0 wins, 1 loss
3 games: 1 win, 2 losses (33.3%)
Connecticut Sun
2003 34 18th 16 52.9 3rd, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-0 ( Charlotte Sting ),
defeat in the Conference Finals, 0-2 ( Detroit Shock )
2004 34 18th 16 52.9 1st, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-1 ( Washington Mystics )
victory in the Conference Finals, 2-0 ( New York Liberty )
defeat in the WNBA Finals, 1: 2 ( Seattle Storm )
2005 34 26th 8th 76.5 1st, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-0 ( Detroit Shock )
victory in the Conference Finals, 2-0 ( Indiana Fever )
defeat in the WNBA Finals, 1-3 ( Sacramento Monarchs )
2006 34 26th 8th 76.5 1st, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-0 ( Washington Mystics )
Defeat in the Conference Finals, 1: 2 ( Detroit Shock )
2007 34 18th 16 52.9 3rd, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( Indiana Fever )
2008 34 21st 13 61.8 2nd, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( New York Liberty )
2009 34 16 18th 47.1 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2010 34 17th 17th 50.0 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2011 34 21st 13 61.8 2nd, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-0 ( Atlanta Dream )
2012 34 25th 9 73.5 1st, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-0 ( New York Liberty ),
loss in the Conference Finals, 1: 2 ( Indiana Fever )
2013 34 10 24 29.4 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2014 34 13 21st 38.2 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2015 34 15th 19th 44.1 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2016 34 14th 20th 41.2 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2017 34 21st 13 61.8 2nd, Eastern Conference Second round loss, 0-1 ( Phoenix Mercury )
2018 34 21st 13 61.8 3rd, Eastern Conference Second round loss, 0-1 ( Phoenix Mercury )
2019 34 23 11 67.6 2nd, Eastern Conference Victory in the WNBA semifinals, 3-0 ( Los Angeles Sparks )
defeat in the WNBA finals 2-3 ( Washington Mystics )
578 323 255 55.9 11 playoff appearances in 17 seasons
19 series: 8 wins, 11 losses
48 games: 25 wins, 23 losses (52.1%)
total 706 383 323 54.2 12 playoff appearances in 21 seasons
20 series: 8 wins, 12 losses
51 games: 26 wins, 25 losses (51.0%)


Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. GC W. L.
Carolyn Peck 1999 to 2001 96 44 52 3 1 2
Dee Brown 2002 32 16 16 - - -
Mike Thibault 2003 to 2012 306 181 125 33 17th 16
Anne Donovan since 2013 102 38 64 - - -

Carolyn Peck was the first ever trainer in franchise history. During her time in Orlando, she also took on the post of General Manger. In the three seasons she brought well-known players such as Shannon Johnson , Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Nykesha Sales to Orlando. In the 2000 season she reached the playoffs for the first time with the Miracle, but where they failed in the first round at the Cleveland Rockers . After she clearly missed the playoff goal in the 2001 season , she was dismissed. Peck won 44 of 96 games with the Miracle.

After Peck left, Dee Brown was named the new head coach in 2002. However, due to the sale of the franchise at the end of the season, he was released after a year. Brown just missed the playoffs with the Miracle. Indiana Fever had the same record as Miracle at the end of the season. However, Indiana Fever could win two of three direct encounters, so the Fever got the fourth and final playoff place awarded.

After moving to Connecticut, Mike Thibault was named the new head coach. The Sun reached the WNBA finals twice under the leadership of Thibault. However, in the end it was never enough to win the championship. In 2006 and 2008, Thibault was voted Coach of the Year . Thibault's successor was Anne Donovan, who has so far not been able to lead the Sun into the playoffs.


Squad of the 2017 season

As of September 11, 2017

No. country Surname position Date of birth Experience
1 United StatesUnited States Rachel Banham Guard 07/15/1993 1 season University of Minnesota
5 United StatesUnited States Jasmine Thomas Guard 09/30/1989 6 seasons Duke University
7th United StatesUnited States Kayla Pedersen Forward 04/14/1989 5 seasons Stanford University
10 United StatesUnited States Courtney Williams Guard 05/11/1994 1 season University of South Florida
11 United StatesUnited States Danielle Adams Forward / Center 02/19/1989 5 seasons Texas A&M University
12 United StatesUnited States Lynetta Kizer Forward 04/04/1990 1 season University of Maryland
20th United StatesUnited States Alex Bentley Guard October 27, 1990 4 seasons Penn State University
25th United StatesUnited States Alyssa Thomas Forward 04/12/1992 3 seasons University of Maryland
33 United StatesUnited States Morgan Tuck Forward 04/30/1994 1 season University of Connecticut
35 BahamasBahamas Jonquel Jones Forward / Center 01/05/1994 1 season George Washington University
40 United StatesUnited States Shekinna Stricklen Guard / Forward 07/30/1990 5 seasons University of Tennessee
42 United StatesUnited States Brionna Jones Forward 12/18/1995 Rookie University of Maryland

First-round voting rights in the WNBA Draft

In the 15 seasons since moving to Montville prior to the 2003 season , the Sun had 17 draft rights in the first round of the WNBA draft . The franchise only had a draft pick nine times in the first round. Three times the franchise did not have a draft pick in the first round due to trades, and five times even two players could be selected.

The Connecticut team has twice been able to select the first player in the draft. With Tina Charles ( 2010 ) and Chiney Ogwumike ( 2014 ), both top draft picks were able to meet expectations and were voted best newcomer of the year after their first seasons in the WNBA .

With Morgan Tuck , Rachel Banham and Brionna Jones , three players who had been selected by the Sun in the first round of a draft were still in the franchise roster at the end of the 2017 season .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Connecticut Sun Draft History. WNBA, accessed January 5, 2011 .
  2. ^ All-Time WNBA Draft Picks. WNBA, accessed November 30, 2016 .