They attended middle school down the street from each other, led Fenwick to a state championship and enjoyed stellar careers at prestigious college programs.
Now Devereaux Peters and Tricia Liston are together again, this time at the highest level of women’s basketball. The Fenwick grads are currently in their second season as teammates on the Minnesota Lynx, which won the 2013 WNBA championship and currently sit atop the Western Conference standings with a 9-3 record.
While Peters, 25, and Liston, 23, always dreamed of playing professionally, neither envisioned two teammates from the same high school team playing together in the WNBA.
“It’s very rare,” Peters said. “There’s not a lot of people that can say that. A lot of college players, obviously, but from the same high school, it’s very rare so it’s pretty cool.”
Peters and Liston were in town Friday for Minnesota’s game with the Chicago Sky at Allstate Arena.
Liston did not see any action but Peters had four points and six rebounds in 14 minutes during the Lynx’s 90-83 loss to the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
“I had a lot of friends and family here,” Liston said. “I got to go home for a little bit yesterday so it’s always nice to come back here.”
Peters, a 6-2 forward in her fourth season out of Notre Dame, has played in all 11 games and averages 2.5 points in 14.5 minutes. She leads the team with 1.5 blocks per game and her 3.7 rebounding average is fourth.
Liston, a second-year 6-0 wing from Duke, has averaged 2.3 points and 10.6 minutes in nine games. She has shown great promise, hitting five three-pointers and scoring 17 points in an 85-80 win over New York on May 31 and 15 points in a 94-70 victory over Seattle on June 11.
“I use the word relentless (to describe) both of them,” Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “They’re really good at what they do.”
They also make each other better and have reprised the roles they played on Fenwick’s 2007 state championship team. Peters never put up huge numbers but was the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year (an award Liston would win in 2010) because of her unselfish, defensive-oriented play, while Liston was a freshman shooter on a senior-laden squad.
Peters was the third pick in the 2012 WNBA draft. She averaged 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds as a rookie. Peters has endured her share of adversity, including six surgeries on her left knee and a broken wrist. But she finally feels healthy.
“I had surgery in October and I took most of the off-season off,” Peters said. “I only played overseas for a month so I think that really helped me a lot in getting my body right.”
Liston, the 12th pick of the 2014 draft, has eased her transition to the pros by talking with Peters.
“It’s nice to be able to talk to someone who has gone through the same things that I have and who I have a history with,” Liston said. “She’s been around longer than I have so she knows the ins and outs of it.”