Former Juneau-Douglas and Sitka high school basketball player Andrea Lloyd Curie was released by the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, but her basketball career may not be over.
Lloyd Curie, a 6-foot-2 forward-center who won a gold medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, had been slow to heal after tearing her left anterior cruciate during a June 30 game last season. Lloyd Curie hoped to make a comeback at age 35, but her knee wasn't strong enough to let her play during any of the Lynx's preseason games this spring.
Lloyd Curie was released when teams had to cut their rosters to 12 players on Sunday, but she may be back. Lloyd Curie still has to clear waivers, but because of her age and work in the front office for the Lynx the team was able to use an injured reserve spot for another player since it's unlikely Lloyd Curie would play for another team.
"I'm not saying that I haven't prepared for the future, but my mind is here," Lloyd Curie said in a St. Paul Pioneer Press article that ran the day before her release. "My mind-set is about what I need to do to get back on this court."
Her knee had to be drained of fluid two weeks ago after she played too much during a team scrimmage, and Lloyd Curie participated in few contact drills after the knee was drained. Lynx head coach/general manager Brian Agler met with Lloyd Curie on Tuesday about her future, although the results of that meeting were not available. Before the cut, Agler sounded like he expected Lloyd Curie to continue her comeback attempt.
Roadblock: Minnesota Lynx forward Andrea Lloyd Curie, left, blocks the path of Sacramento Monarchs' Yolanda Griffith in WNBA action last year.
BOB GALBRAITH / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
"We're taking the situation with Andrea pretty slow," Agler told the Pioneer Press. "It's not helping our team if we force her onto the court. No matter what happens now, I don't think she's going to retire. Andrea Lloyd will end things on her own terms."
Lloyd Curie worked for the Lynx's front office during the last couple of off-seasons, coordinating the team's community relations and community basketball programs. Lynx PR manager Mike Cristaldi said Lloyd Curie is a candidate to become a color analyst for the team's television and radio broadcasts.
Lloyd Curie, who left Alaska to graduate from high school in Idaho, helped the University of Texas win the 1987 NCAA Championship. She played professional basketball in Italy for nine years, then helped the Columbus (Ohio) Quest win the 1997 and 1998 championships of the now-defunct American Basketball League. Agler, who was Lloyd Curie's coach with the Quest, persuaded her to join the Lynx for their first WNBA season in 1999.
In her first season, Lloyd Curie averaged 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds a game for the Lynx. Last year, in a season limited to 14 games because of the injury, Lloyd Curie averaged 5.4 points and 3.1 rebounds a game. Lloyd Curie's 2.8 assists a game in 1999 ranked 16th overall among WNBA players and tops among centers (she switched to forward last year). Lloyd Curie also recorded the first double-double in Lynx history with 11 points and 11 assists during a July 21, 1999, game against Charlotte.
"Andrea's really put her heart and soul into this franchise," Agler said. "She cares about maintaining a relationship in the community."
Despite her travels, Lloyd Curie still considers Alaska one of her homes. She brought a couple of her teammates to Sitka last summer for a clinic, staying at her sister's house during the clinic. During an interview with the Empire in August, Lloyd Curie talked of one day opening an Italian restaurant, but she also talked about coaching. At that time Agler said he'd like to see Lloyd Curie eventually move into a player development position with the Lynx's front office.