February 20, 2023
Rachel Banham re-signs with Minnesota
Banham returns to the Lynx after one of the most productive seasons of her WNBA career
The Minnesota Lynx roster continues to take shape for the 2023 WNBA season. The franchise announced on Saturday that the team has re-signed guard Rachel Banham.
A product of Lakeville, Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer, Banham returns to the Lynx after one of the most productive seasons of her WNBA career. A season in which she averaged career highs in points per game (7.9), minutes per game (17.5), 3-point makes per game (1.6), and she was one of three members of the Lynx to appear in all 36 regular season games (along with Bridget Carleton and Jessica Shepard). Her 57 makes from three were also a team-high.
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Banham’s highest scoring output of the 2022 season came on July 12 when she poured in 25 points and shot 6-of-9 from three against Phoenix. She also dished out seven assists in the 118-107, thrilling 2OT victory over the Mercury. That performance came in the middle of a particularly hot mid-summer stretch where Banham averaged 18.8 points per game and shot 19-of-32 from beyond the arc through the first five games in July.
The news brings some needed steadiness to the Lynx backcourt situation. In addition to missing out on the Courtney Vandersloot sweepstakes, Minnesota also lost Moriah Jefferson, who signed with the Mercury last week. Jefferson had one of the most productive seasons of her career in 2022 and made 30 starts at the point guard position for the Lynx, leading the team in assists (147) and 3-point percentage (47.4%).
Banham has spent the offseason working on the coaching staff of Lynx all-time great and Minnesota basketball royalty Lindsay Whalen at the University of Minnesota as the Director of Quality Control. The Gophers have more work to do this year with two regular season games left. They play at Michigan State on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and will wrap up their home slate against Purdue at Williams Arena on Sunday, Feb. 26.
The Big Ten Conference Tournament will be held at Target Center in Minneapolis from March 1-5.
Written by Terry Horstman
Terry Horstman is a Minneapolis-based writer and covers the Minnesota Lynx beat for The Next. He previously wrote about the Minnesota Timberwolves for A Wolf Among Wolves, and his other basketball writing has been published by Flagrant Magazine, HeadFake Hoops, Taco Bell Quarterly, and others. He's the creative nonfiction editor for the sports-themed literary magazine, the Under Review.