|Guard / Forward|
April 14, 1986 |
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||143 lb (65 kg)|
|Draft||24th overall, 2008
|San Antonio Silver Stars (2008)|
Morenike Olayinka Atunrase is an American basketball player who played for the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars during the 2008 season. She was drafted in 2008 out of Texas A&M, where she played from 2004–08.
Atunrase attended Southwood High School in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, where she played basketball all four years. As a freshman and sophomore, she was named to the all-state second team. As a junior and senior, she garnered Louisiana's Most Valuable Player honor. She helped her team win the state championship both her sophomore and junior years. As a senior, she was also named Player of the Year by the Shreveport Times. She also picked up honorable mention All-America honors by Street & Smith's. Over her high school career, Atunrase averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
In her junior year, she was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team, and became a preseason Naismith Trophy candidate. She also guided the team to their first-ever regular season conference championship.
Atunrase had to get surgery in October 2007 to correct a non-healing stress fracture in her tibia, causing her to miss the first nine games. She received the Big 12 Sixth Man Award her senior season. In the 2008 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, she guided the team to their first Elite Eight appearance in program history.
She became the Aggies' all-time leading shot blocker with her 175 blocks.
In the 2008 WNBA Draft, Atunrase was picked by the Atlanta Dream at No. 24. Immediately following the draft, she was traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Stars also acquired Ann Wauters and a 2009 second round draft pick as part of the trade.
Atunrase became the only rookie or free agent to become a part of the Star's team roster. In her rookie season, she participated in 33 games, averaging 10.5 minutes per game. She scored a season-high of nine points against the Houston Comets on June 24, 2008. In the 2008 WNBA Playoffs, she averaged 1.3 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.1 steals, and 0.1 blocks. Her team ended up losing to the Detroit Shock in the Finals.
The Stars waived Atunrase on May 25, 2009.
- She is now a math teacher at Timberview Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas. Atunrase headed to San Antonio | ShreveportTimes | The Times
- "Morenike Atunrase". Texas A&M Athletics. Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
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- "WNBA: Silver Stars again make splash with draft-day trade".
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