MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced the team has signed forward Jessica Shepard to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Jess has really gained her footing after a strong overseas season and has made major strides towards her player maturity after enduring a few difficult years of battling an injury,” said Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve. “She is a poised competitor who will be an integral part of the Lynx for years to come.”
Shepard, a 6-4 forward, has had arguably her best career start this season with averages of 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in 31.6 minutes per game in the four games she has appeared. She has led Minnesota in assists in three of their past four contests, dishing out a career-high nine on May 10 against Indiana. She paired the nine assists with 10 points and 11 rebounds, one assist shy from her first career triple-double. Shepard has recorded two consecutive double-doubles this season, including a career-best 16 points on May 8 against Washington. She is currently tied for sixth in the league in rebounds and ranks fifth in assists.
“Minnesota has been home for the last four years and I’m thankful to Coach Reeve and the organization for the confidence they have had in me as I continue to grow towards my full potential,” said Shepard. “I am excited to continue as part of the Lynx family and play in front of the best fan base in the league as we pursue competing for championships.”
Shepard spent this winter playing for Italian club Dinamo Sassari where she averaged 29.2 ppg and 17.5 rpg in 25 LBF starts while adding another 27.3 ppg and 13.3 rpg in four EuroCup outings. In 2021, she returned to play after missing nearly two seasons due to an ACL injury in her right knee and saw action in 22 games off the bench where she averaged 2.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 1.7 apg in 10.5 mpg. In her rookie season, she led Minnesota with 13 rebounds and six assists on May 25, 2019 against Chicago, becoming the third player to collect 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists in her WNBA debut (Candance Parker and Damiris Dantas). Selected by Minnesota 16th overall in the 2019 WNBA Draft out of Notre Dame, Shepard has appeared in 32 contests and holds career totals of 114 points, 141 rebounds, 80 assists, 6 steals and 6 blocks.
The Lynx embark on a three-game road trip with the first stop against the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday, May 17. Tip is set for 9:30 p.m. CT and will broadcast on Bally Sports Extra. The Lynx continue on the road with contests against the Las Vegas Aces and Dallas Wings before returning to Target Center on Tuesday, May 24 for a matchup against the New York Liberty at 7:00 p.m. Single game tickets and full-season memberships are available by visiting www.lynxbasketball.com/membership or by calling 612-367-8400.