Kelsey Plum, who set the all-time NCAA women’s basketball scoring record during a star-studded stint with the Washington Huskies, will begin her college coaching career at Arkansas this year.
The 26-year-old Plum joins former UW coach Mike Neighbors’ staff as a graduate assistant, the coach announced Tuesday.
“Kelsey will be responsible for preparing our players for their transition from life as Division I athletes to life as professionals, whether that will be in basketball or in another chosen career path,” Neighbors said in a statement released by the school. “Using her own experiences, as well as those she’s witnessed in her career, Kelsey will give our student-athletes a rare look into the behaviors and habits of one of the best players on the planet.”
Plum, the No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick in 2017, has three years remaining on a $423,250 contract with the Las Vegas Aces.
During three years through 2019 with the franchise, which had been the San Antonio Stars before relocating to Las Vegas, Plum averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
The 5-foot-8 point guard had been inconsistent during her WNBA career before a breakout playoff stretch in 2019 when she averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds. She also shot 52.9% on three-pointers and 49.2% from the field.
Earlier this year, Plum tore her left Achilles and underwent surgery June 11, which wiped out the 2020 season.
Despite the loss of Plum, Las Vegas (12-4) has clinched a playoff spot and trails the league-leading Storm (13-3) by one game. The Aces are Los Angeles Sparks are tied for second place.
Plum reunites with Neighbors and former UW Huskies teammate Chantel Osahor, who is an Arkansas assistant.
The trio led Washington to three trips to the NCAA tournament, including the 2016 Final Four and 2017 Sweet Sixteen.
During the 2016-17 season, Plum set the NCAA all-time scoring record (3,527 points), the NCAA season scoring record (1,109) and the NCAA career free-throw record (912) before winning every major player of the year award.