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    CT Sun
    Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    Mompremier happy to land with Sun

    In this March 22, 2019, file photo, Miami forward Beatrice Mompremier (32) shoots as Florida Gulf Coast forward Tytionia Adderly (42) defends during an NCAA tournament game in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez, File)

    Beatrice Mompremier gave herself about a week of disappointment before getting back to the basketball grind.

    Mompremier was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Sparks on April 17 and was cut a little over a month later (May 26) before WNBA teams even had training camps.

    "It was a downer for me not to get an opportunity to actually try out," Mompremier said. "My high school coach that I was working out with (Sam Baumgarten from Miami High in Florida) was like, 'your time will come. Just continue working.'"

    Mompremier's time came a little over a month later. The Connecticut Sun needed to add post depth when All-Star Jonquel Jones announced on June 22 that she was opting out of this season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Sun signed Mompremier the next day.

    "I had an overseas contract that I had recently signed (with CMB Cargo UNI Gyor in Gyor, Hungary)," Mompremier said. "Then a couple of days later, I got the call from (Sun head coach and general manager) Curt Miller. He said I had an opportunity to come in if I'm interested in playing this summer, and I was, and now I'm here and excited about that."

    Mompremier, a 6-foot-4 post, averaged 16.82 points and 9.82 rebounds in 17 games during her redshirt senior year at Miami (she missed 13 games due to an acute foot injury). She was the 2019-20 ACC Preseason Player of the year after ranking ninth in Division I in rebounding (12.2 rpg) and fifth in double-doubles (25) during her junior year. She was also a finalist during her final two seasons for the Lisa Leslie Award, awarded to the best center in women's basketball.

    She transferred to Miami after playing for Baylor as a freshman and sophomore.

    "I feel like I can bring defense, rebounding and blocking shots," Mompremier said. "I think I'm capable of doing whatever the team needs me to do in order for us to win."

    Mompremier was one of many players who never got a chance to compete for roster spots at training camps. Teams had to cut their rosters down to a maximum of 12 players on May 26 so that the league could start paying players on June 1.

    “She’s an underrated offensive player,” Miller said. “She can really drive it from the elbows. She can be creative from the short corners as a five (center).

    “She’s typically going up against either Alyssa (Thomas) or Bri (Brionna Jones at practices), and that’s not easy for a seasoned pro. She’s just got to make the quick adjustment to the physicality that this level has.”

    New players such as Mompremier have little time to adjust because of the WNBA's compacted season, which will be held on the campus of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Every team except the Indiana Fever arrived last Monday and went into quarantine. Those teams started training camp last Friday.

    The regular season starts July 25. The Sun play their first game the next day against the Minnesota Lynx at noon.

    Mompremier will be busy off-the-court, too, as she's taking online courses to earn a masters degree in liberal arts from Miami. She graduated in December with a degree in economics, and while she's not certain what she'd like to do after basketball, she thinks it might be social work.

    "I could take year off and come back and do it," Mompremier said about getting her masters. "I honestly know myself and if don't get it done now, I would probably never come back and finish it off. And I only have one more semester. It's one more semester. ... Why not get my masters done?

    "Helping kids. ... being in that system where I go into people's homes and just make sure everything is okay, stuff like that, that's what interests me more than anything else."

    n.griffen@theday.com

    In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, UConn's Natalie Butler (51) beats Baylor's Beatrice Mompremier to a rebound. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    In this Oct. 3, 2019, file photo, Miami forward Beatrice Mompremier answers a question during the Atlantic Coast Conference women's media day in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)
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