Wendy Palmer, an 11-year WNBA veteran enters her second season at Kentucky after serving two years as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth.
She is responsible for coaching the post players at Kentucky.
"Wendy brings a passion for the game that is infectious," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "She brings a very unique perspective that I think really rounds out our staff. She brings that perspective of a player who has played at an elite level in college and professionally. A lot of our players want to be on that level as well. The wisdom that she brings pertaining to those issues is going to be something we haven't had in this program before. The thing I like about her more than anything is that she has the desire to be a well-rounded coach and she has a tremendous work-ethic. I know that she is going to impact our program in a tremendously positive way."
Palmer, one of just six players to have participated in all 11WNBA seasons to date, was selected by the Utah Starzz in the second round of the 1997 Elite Draft. Since then Palmer also has played for the Detroit Shock, Orlando Miracle, Connecticut Sun, San Antonio Silver Stars and the Seattle Storm.
"I am excited about the opportunity to work with UK's talented coaching staff and to work in the Southeastern Conference at such a great school like Kentucky," Palmer said.
Palmer averaged 15.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Starzz in 1997 and was named to the All-WNBA Second Team. After a 1999 trade to Detroit, Palmer made the 2000WNBA All- Star team, averaging 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Shock. Traded to Orlando in 2002, Palmer had a slow season after moving with the team in Connecticut in 2003, but bounced back to share Most Improved Player honors the following season, helping lead the Sun to theWNBA Finals. After signing with San Antonio in 2005, Palmer averaged 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds on career-best 51.3 percent shooting from the field.
In February 2006, she signed with Seattle and in her two seasons with the Storm averaged 5.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg, playing in 39 games with five starts. She helped lead Seattle to the first round of theWNBA playoffs in 2007 vs. Phoenix and in two games she averaged an impressive 8.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 13.5 minutes per game.
In 11 seasons she has played in 311 career games with 215 starts and averaged 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, including 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in five playoff games.
Palmer's stellar collegiate career began at Virginia under legendary coach Debbie Ryan. She quickly found success on the hardwood as she became the first UVA woman and only the second UVA player to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds (Ralph Sampson was the other). She was twice named a Kodak All-American (1995, 1996) and ended her career at Virginia ranked among the program's all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including first in career rebounds (1,221), second in career field-goals made (780) and third in career scoring (1,918). In 1998 she became just the fourth Cavalier in the program's history to have her jersey retired.
Palmer was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection, and she became only the third player in league history to receive two straight ACC Player of the Year nods. The 6-2 forward led the ACC in rebounding during her sophomore and senior seasons, ending her career ranked eighth all-time among the league's top rebounders. To date, Palmer remains atop UVA's career rebounds list and still owns the single-season rebounding record (358). She also set a Cavalier single-game scoring record when she registered 39 points in just 26 minutes of play at Maryland during the 1994-95 campaign.
She also is known as an outstanding philanthropist as she has been nationally recognized for her involvement in community service. Palmer was the recipient of the Black Legends of Professional Basketball John Issacs Service Award and garnered nomination for USA WEEKEND magazine's Most Caring Athlete Award for her extensive community efforts.
The 32-year-old is a native of Roxboro, N.C., and is a 1996 graduate of Virginia. She received a bachelor's degree in history and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. In her spare time, Palmer likes horseback riding and is a classic car enthusiast.
Playing Career at Virginia
Playing Career in WNBA
Getting to Know Coach Palmer