The Dallas Wings announced the re-signing of Moriah Jefferson and Megan Gustafson today. Jefferson and Gustafson each signed multi-year deals while Imani McGee-Stafford, Karlie Samuelson and Morgan Bertsch also signed with the club. Per club policy, terms of the agreements have not been disclosed.
Jefferson, who was acquired at the beginning of last season from the Las Vegas Aces and sat out 2019 due to injury, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft. During her career, she’s appeared in 71 games, starting 43 of them, and averaged 10.5 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the floor. The Texas native was second in Rookie of the Year voting and is the seventh player on Dallas’ roster to be named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team. The former UConn Huskie marked a career-high 31 points at Indiana on July 1, 2016 and has eclipsed double-digit scoring figures on 35 occasions during her three years in the W.
“Moriah is one of the top young point guards in the League when healthy,” Dallas Wings President & CEO Greg Bibb stated. “After staying home this winter and working on rehabbing and strengthening here knee, I believe she will return to her pre-injury level of play. I think Moriah can be a leader for our organization for a long time to come and I’m excited to have her wear a Wings jersey in front of her hometown fans.”
“We are very excited to get Moriah signed and looking forward to her play,” said head coach Brian Agler. “I believe that Moriah as the ability and has shown that she can be an elite point guard in the WNBA. She makes us better.”
“I am super excited to get back on the court,” Jefferson said. “I never thought I would get the chance to be back home in Dallas, getting to play with a great organization and in front of a great city with amazing fans. I can’t wait to get started and see what the year has in store for us.”
Gustafson spent a majority of the 2019 season with the Wings after being selected No. 17 overall. She averaged 2.9 points per game and 2.5 rebounds in 9.5 minutes a game. The Wisconsin native tallied 11 points and eight rebounds in back-to-back games (7/30 at Las Vegas and 8/1 vs. New York) during her rookie campaign. The University of Iowa product is currently averaging 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for NKE- Csata in Hungry.
“Megan is a tireless worker who is constantly putting in the time to improve her game, “Bibb stated. “I look forward to her return from a very strong overseas season and to see how she has enhanced her game ahead of the upcoming summer.”
“I am very excited to come back to Dallas,” Gustafson said. “I developed and learned so much last season. Currently I am working hard to implement everything, and I have gained confidence during my time overseas. I am comfortable with the team and coaches, and I feel an extra motivation this upcoming year to prove myself. I believe that I’m meant to be with this program and I’m looking forward to this summer. See you soon Wings Nation.”
“It’s exciting to know that Megan will be returning to the Wings,” Agler said. “I know she will give a great effort to earn a spot. She’s turning into a true professional as we are monitoring her play in Hungry.”
McGee-Stafford averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in her first season with Dallas. The Texas Longhorn saw action in 29 games, getting six starting nods during 2019. She dished out a career-high five assists against the Aces (8/3) and pulled down a season high 11 boards against Phoenix (7/17). McGee-Stafford played for the Perth Lynx for nine games this offseason, averaging 10.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game clip.
“Imani brings size and experience to our post position,” Bibb stated. “She will join a young and talented group that should lead to a very competitive training camp.”
“We are happy that we have resigned Imani,” Agler said. “She gives us legitimate size and length at the rim. We are hopeful she keeps working to be ready for camp.”
Samuelson appeared in four games for the Wings last season, averaging 12 minutes a game. The six-foot-tall California native is currently playing for first place Perfumerías Avenida of the Spanish Liga Femenina de Baloncesto. The Stanford grad is averaging 7.2 ppg while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor, 40 percent from beyond the three-point line and 90.5 percent from the charity stripe. Earlier this season she exploded for 33 points as she went eight-of-ten from deep.
“Karlie joined us very late in the season last year and I’m interested to see how she fares with the benefit of a training camp,” Bibb stated “Karlie is a talented guard who has the ability to be a consistent three-point shooter. Her skill set matches nicely with one of our greatest needs.”
“Karlie is developing into a true pro,” said head coach Brian Agler. “She has experience with us and in the WNBA. She’s playing great for her high-powered team in Spain and the British National Team. We are delighted she’s back with us.”
Bertsch, a third-round pick by Dallas in last year’s draft, has been playing for Spartak Vidnoe in the Russia PBL, averaging 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. The UC Davis product has logged seventeen double-digit scoring games and three double-doubles in her debut overseas season.
“Morgan had a very good training camp last year,” Bibb stated. “I think a season of professional basketball in Russia, where she has played very well, will prove to be a big help for as she returns for her second WNBA camp. I expect a very strong showing from her and I’m eager to see how her game has developed since last year.”
“We are excited about having Morgan back in camp,” Agler said. “She was impressive last year and has been very productive this season playing professionally in Russia.”