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By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Candice Wiggins, four-time collegiate women's basketball All-American at Stanford and WNBA champion, has joined the Occidental College as an assistant women's basketball coach, bringing elite playing experience to a staff already boasting a professional coaching background.

Fresh off of her 2011 WNBA championship with the Minnesota Lynx, Wiggins joins Tigers head coach Heidi VanDerveer, who spent 15 years in the pros as a coach and scout, and her team of coaches that will try to lead Oxy to its fourth consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

Wiggins is one of several pro players that seek out VanDerveer's tutelage in the offseason and this year she'll be returning the favor.

"We're very excited to have Candice join our team. She has played at the highest level and has a tremendous understanding of the game," VanDerveer said. "She brings poise and presence, and gives tremendous energy to our squad."

After graduating from Stanford with a communications degree in 2008, Wiggins was chosen third overall by the Lynx in the WNBA draft.

Wiggins, who's third on the all-time Stanford women's basketball scoring list, will focus on developing the Tigers guards, a specialty she should excel in after several years of playing point guard at the highest level.

The Tigers return three starters from the 2010-11 team that went 19-9 overall, 12-2 in SCIAC play and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III postseason tournament.

The Tigers open the season against Trinity (Tex.) on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in Rush Gymnasium.