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UNC Basketball: Tar Heel LaToya Sanders to play for WNBA Championship

Sanders and her Washington Mystics team are looking for their first ever title.

WNBA: Finals-Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA season wraps up tonight with a final and decisive game five in the finals between the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun. One Tar Heel will feature prominently in the game.

LaToya Sanders is in her seventh WNBA season and her fourth with the Mystics. She’s started every game for Washington this season, as they finished with the best record in the league. She was also a regular starter on the 2018 team that lost in the WNBA Finals, and tonight they’ll try and take that final step.

During her time in Chapel Hill, Sanders, then going by her maiden name of Pringle, was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Final Four teams, the latter of which was her breakout season. The next year, she averaged 14.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks on a team that went to the Elite Eight. After that year, she was selected 13th overall in the 2008 draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Sanders has spent time on four different WNBA teams, as well as a professional team in Turkey.

Sanders hasn’t put up the most eye-popping numbers this season, 6.1 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, but her role goes beyond that. She is one of the key cogs in the Mystics’ defense, and is often tasked with going head to head with opponent's best frontcourt player. In the last round, she was tasked with trying to slow down Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage.

In this round, she’s dealt a lot with Connecticut Sun leading scorer Jonquel Jones. In Washington’s two wins in the series, Jones has scored just 21 points combined. However, in Connecticut’s two wins, she’s averaged 25 points and 15.5 rebounds. Sanders might not be called on to score in big moments, but she will likely play a key role in whether or not the Mystics come away with the first ever WNBA championship.

If you want to watch Sanders try to bring home a title, you can watch the game on ESPN2 at 8 PM ET.