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ASU hires current WNBA guard and Sun Devil product Briann January as assistant

The Sun Devils aren’t going conventional with their latest assistant coaching hire for the women’s basketball team.

Head coach Charli Turner Thorne announced Wednesday that ASU had hired former Sun Devil guard Briann January to fill a spot on the bench, and she’ll do so while continuing to play for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.

She is entering her ninth season as a professional.

“Charli and I have been in communication about my transition into coaching for a few years now and so this opportunity came at the perfect time,” January said in a press release. “I can’t say enough about the current team. I watched them all season and they have so much potential and talent. I can’t wait to get on the court and start working with them after the WNBA season concludes. Being able to go back to my alma mater and give back is a dream-come-true opportunity for me.”

January holds the ASU record by leading her college team to 104 victories over her four-year career.

An All-American in 2009, she is first in Sun Devil women’s basketball history in total assists and free throw percentage. She was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft.

January averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 assist per game last season.

“We fully support Bri continuing with her WNBA career for as long as she desires – I would not have it any other way,” Turner Thorne said in a statement. “Anytime I’m out recruiting I use Bri as an example of what we look for in a Sun Devil. She is someone who truly loves the game of basketball, loves to compete and will do anything and everything she can to help her team win.”

Still in Indiana preparing for the WNBA season, the new Sun Devil assistant coach posted a video message to the ASU faithful on Facebook.

“I’m so excited to get back to where it all started for me and to be on the sideline with Charli who in my opinion is one of the best coaches in college basketball,” she said.

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