Former Iowa State star Bridget Carleton earns roster spot on WNBA's Connecticut Sun

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Bridget Carleton talks about her excitement about being picked by the WNBA Connecticut Sun
Randy Peterson, rpeterson@dmreg.com

AMES, Ia. — Former Iowa State star Bridget Carleton always knew she was going to have to prove herself to the WNBA in order to land a roster spot.

With a limited number of spots open, Carleton knew she’d have to fight for a roster spot even after the Connecticut Sun drafted her in the second round of the WNBA Draft and even after the team’s head coach raved about her potential.

Carleton has successfully made her case.

The ex-Cyclones star survived the final round of cuts and made the opening night roster for the Sun on Thursday.

Carleton edged out another second-round pick — Natisha Hiedeman, who was selected 18th overall in this year’s draft was waived by the team Thursday. Carleton, the 21st overall pick, grabbed the final spot.

It’s a huge accomplishment for the Chatham, Ontario, Canada star. There are just 12 roster spots for each of the 12 teams in the league. Even though Carleton was a star at Iowa State and a second-round pick, she still had to battle for one of the few remaining spots during the preseason.

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She scored 16 total points in 32 minutes over three WNBA preseason games for the Sun. It was enough to see them on her versatility, helping Carleton become the first Iowa State player to land an opening night roster spot since Alison Lacey in 2010.

Carleton had already started making a compelling case before she was drafted, putting together one of the best careers in Iowa State history.

Carleton, who ended her career just eight points shy of becoming Iowa State’s all-time scoring leader, ranks in the top-five in the school record book in career field goals (third, 713), steals (third, 211), blocked shots (third, 124) and 3-pointers (fifth, 255). Carleton was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year during her senior season.

Former University of Iowa star Megan Gustafson was released by the Dallas Wings on Wednesday. She was a second-round pick this year, the 17th player chosen overall. Dallas also cut second-round pick Kennedy Burke.

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“Extremely difficult. I’ve been doing this a long time and probably two of the harder decisions to make at this stage of training camp,” Dallas president and general manager Greg Bibb told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. “I have no doubt both will play in the WNBA at some point. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

Source: Des Moines Register