April 21, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – After dominating opponents on the hardwood for four years as a Rice Owl, senior forward Jessica Kuster will now take her talents to the WNBA after signing an undrafted free agent contract with the San Antonio Silver Stars on Monday.
Kuster, a native of San Antonio, Texas (Reagan High School), will join the Stars 2014 training camp roster and becomes the fourth Owl to play in the WNBA, along with Valeriya Berezhynska (2008, Detroit Shock), Marla Brumfield (2000, Minnesota Lynx) and Kirra Jordan (2000, Seattle Storm).
“I feel so blessed to have gotten this opportunity,” Kuster said. “There are so many people that will never get the chance to play basketball professionally, so I am tremendously grateful that I've been given this opportunity. I'm looking forward to learning & working as hard as I can during my time with the Stars.”
Kuster had one of the best seasons in Rice history in 2013-14, breaking both the Owls’ single-season points (628) and rebounds (400) records. She averaged a career-best 20.9 points and 13.3 rebounds while also playing a career-high 1,133 minutes (37.8 mpg). Kuster also shot a career-high 81 percent from the free throw line.
An Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention this past season, Kuster will leave Rice as the all-time leading scorer (2,081 points) in either women’s or men’s basketball, as well as the C-USA women’s all-time leading rebounder (1,376). Kuster also holds the C-USA all-time mark in career double-doubles (67) and is the only player in league history to be named to both the C-USA First-Team and All-Defensive Team in each of her four seasons.
“I am very happy for Jessica to fulfill a dream and sign a WNBA contract,” Rice head women’s basketball coach Greg Williams said. “All she wanted was an opportunity to compete at the highest level and now she has achieved that goal. It is a wonderful story of "hometown girl returns home" as ironically her opportunity was provided her by her hometown San Antonio Stars. Dan Hughes is an outstanding coach and I know Jessica will work hard and make the Stars camp better and very competitive because that is who she is. We are extremely proud of Jessica as she takes this next step in her professional career.
At season’s end Kuster was one of just 145 players in NCAA Division I history to record over 2,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds and joined Middle Tennessee’s Ebony Rowe as the only two players in NCAA Division I to average a double-double in each of the last four years.
The San Antonio Stars training camp begins on Sunday, April 27. The team will face the Tulsa Shock twice during the preseason, on May 2 in Tulsa and on May 6 in San Antonio at the AT&T Center.