Shavonte Zellous to sign with the Liberty

Zellous has averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game over her seven-year career.

Zellous has averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game over her seven-year career.

Shavonte Zellous will not suit up for the Indiana Fever come May.

After six seasons with the franchise and in a town she calls home, Zellous will continue her career elsewhere, she told VigilantSports.com, and sign with the New York Liberty.

February 1 is the first day WNBA teams can begin signing players.

Zellous, an unrestricted free agent, played for the Fever the past six seasons. The Fever acquired her in 2010 from the Tulsa Shock.

She was part of Indiana’s 2012 WNBA Championship, and was named an All-Star and the league’s Most Improved Player (14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game) the following season.

Zellous, 29, played a career-low 23 games this past season — primarily because of a nagging back injury.

Still, Indy is home to her. She even has a house. She’s been in town throughout much of the offseason and has been courtside for plenty of Pacers games. But it just didn’t work out; that’s the business of professional sports.

The Fever, lost in the 2015 Finals to Minnesota 3-2, have decisions to make on other free agents, including Shenise Johnson, Lynetta Kizer, and Jeannette Pohlen.

The Indiana Fever open the 2016 season on May 14th at home against the Dallas Wings, formerly the Tulsa Shock. Zellous will face her former team four times this upcoming season: June 3 (NY), June 19 (IN), July 21 (NY), and Sept. 1 (IN).

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.:

About an hour after the news circulated, Zellous tweeted out the following:

“Welp since it’s out there now. Thank you @IndianaFever for the great memories we shared. We had our ups an downs. But we always managed To hang in there. I will never forget you. But as we know playing basketball is a business. So again thank you @IndianaFever love you always. Excited to be joining the @nyliberty an playing in the world’s most famous areana. Happiness awaits me. Thank you LORD for this opportunity”

UPDATE: 12:00 p.m.:

The Liberty announced the signing of Zellous.

UPDATE 1:29 p.m.:

Fever President and GM Kelly Krauskopf released the following statement:

“I want to thank Shavonte for six terrific seasons here in Indiana. Going into free agency this year, my first goal and priority was to re-sign our free agents who were part of our team that went all the way to Game 5 of the WNBA Finals. I knew this would be difficult with our salary cap situation going into 2016, as we were already at risk of losing a player due to potentially better offers coming in. Rightly so, Shavonte had lots of offers, including ours, and I know she had to do what was best for her. I am thankful to her for all she did for us both on and off the court. Without a doubt, she was an integral part of all of our team’s success and most notably her part in winning the title in 2012. I wish her the best and thank her for being such a great member of the Indiana Fever franchise.”

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