April 18, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - Capping a memorable season that included helping the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team capture the Atlantic 10 championship and a NCAA Tournament bid, redshirt senior Chatilla van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Dr. Knippenberg) signed a contract with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun on Thursday. 

Named the 2012-13 Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year earlier this week, van Grinsven will compete for a spot on the Sun's roster at training camp beginning on May 5.

"It's a tremendous honor for Chatilla to be invited to the Connecticut Sun's training camp," said Saint Joseph's head coach Cindy Griffin. "Chatilla is one of the best players I have ever coached and has a strong future playing professionally. I am very excited she has the opportunity to showcase her talents and abilities at the highest level."

In her lone season at SJU, van Grinsven led the team in scoring and rebounding, van Grinsven en route to being named an All-Big 5 First Team standout. An A-10 All-Conference First Team selection, the starting forward posted 16 double-doubles this season, and averaged 14.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, becoming just the fifth player in team history to average a double-double for the season. The 10th Hawk to be named to Big 5 Player of the Year, and first since Susan Moran in 2001-02, van Grinsven etched her name in the SJU record books in several categories as her 333 rebounds were third most in a single season, while her 47 blocked shots tied for fourth.

A six-time Big 5 Player of the Week, van Grinsven ended the season leading the Hawks in scoring 19 times and rebounding 26 times. Scoring over 1,000 career points combined at Colorado State and SJU, she was also named to the A-10 Championship All-Tournament Team, Hawk Classic All-Tournament Team and Gator Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.

van Grinsven, who transferred to SJU from Colorado State, is the third Hawk to sign a free agent contract with a WNBA team. Megan Compain '97 signed with the Utah Starzz in 1997 and Moran '02 signed with the New York Liberty in 2002. Former Hawk standout Debbie Black '88 was drafted by the Starzz in the second round (15th overall) of the 1999 WNBA Draft and played in the league through the 2005 season. Additionally, Jana Lichnerova '00 was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the fourth round (54th overall) 2000 WNBA Draft.