Drafted fifth and sixth overall respectively in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Jantel Lavender and Danielle Robinson had never played on the same team, until now.
Last week, both players signed multi-year contracts with the Indiana Fever, making them official teammates for the first time in their careers. According to Robinson, it was her talks with Lavender that helped her make her decision to sign with Indiana.
“Once the Fever reached out, I immediately texted Jantel, and was like ‘talk to me’ and she was just so excited,” Robinson shared in her Thursday media presser. “[Jantel] raved about the communication that she has had from top to bottom and she was like, ‘it feels like home, and I would love to team up because we could really do something special.’”
Since entering the league, both women have earned plenty of accolades and hardware.
Robinson made the All-Rookie Team in 2011, the All-WNBA team in 2014 and three All-Defensive teams (2012-14). She also earned three straight All-Star selections (2013-15).
Lavender, who also earned an All-Star selection in 2015, won a WNBA Championship, as well as the Sixth Woman of the Year award with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016.
Fever head coach Marianne Stanley couldn’t say enough great things about the two and the leadership they will bring to the team.
“I think [Danielle’s] desire, as well as Jantel’s, is to be on a team where they can contribute to the leadership piece and contribute to the overall success in the ways that they just naturally bring to the floor,” Coach Stanley stated. “We have a really good core group and now we add Jantel Lavender and Danielle Robinson.”
“So, we’ve got a good group and the additions I think speak to our desire to continue on that path of leadership and championship-caliber players who are really hungry to compete for a championship, and to do whatever they can to ensure that it happens while playing within the team concept.
As for Robinson, one of the words she used to describe her and Lavender’s roles on the team was ‘backbone.’
‘We’re definitely excited,” Robinson said with a wide smile. “We’re ready to lead and I think we’re going to be the backbone. We’re looking forward to embracing these roles, but excited about what we can do as well. “