INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever have announced the re-signing of unrestricted free agent Erlana Larkins, the club’s top rebounder from 2016 and the third-leading rebounder in club history. Also returning from the 2016 roster will be point guard Erica Wheeler. Per team policy, terms of the contracts are not disclosed.
Signed to a multi-year contract, Larkins has been a dominant presence on the boards for Indiana since she arrived with the franchise in 2012. She will begin her eighth WNBA season and her sixth in Indiana. The 6-1 power forward has paced the Fever in rebounds per game in three of the past four seasons, and enters the 2017 campaign ranked behind Tamika Catchings and Ebony Hoffman among Fever all-time leaders. Her 7.4 boards per game in 2016 were eighth in the WNBA. She ranked ninth in the league in 2013 (7.8) and fifth in 2014 (9.2).
Larkins holds the top two single-game rebounding marks in franchise history, and she set a career scoring high last summer in a 19-point game at Dallas. She was second in the WNBA with a career-best 63.9 percent shooting clip in 2016, lifting her career percentage to 55.4 percent – currently fifth in league history.
In five seasons with Indiana, Larkins averages 7.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. In five consecutive playoff trips with the Fever, she averages 8.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 36 games that include two WNBA Finals appearances and a 2012 championship. She ranks seventh among career postseason leaders in rebounding average, and eighth in total rebounds.
“Signing Erlana was a top priority this offseason,” said Fever President and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. “She has provided consistency, toughness and leadership as one of our key veterans. I am very happy to announce her return.”
Wheeler, who signed a reserve contract, is a speedy 5-7 guard who recently completed her first season with Indiana and second in the WNBA. As an undrafted free agent, she split her rookie season in 2015 between Atlanta and New York, but landed a full-time role including 25 starts with the Fever in 2016. Wheeler’s breakout season with Indiana produced averages of 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She paced the Fever in scoring on four occasions. She reached double-figure scoring 12 times, including a career-high 20 points against eventual league champion Los Angeles.
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