MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Lynx have re-signed 41-year-old center Taj McWilliams-Franklin.

The Lynx announced the deal on Monday, ensuring that their emotional leader will return to help them defend the WNBA championship.

McWilliams-Franklin averaged 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds last year. Her scoring increased to 10.6 points in the playoffs as she helped the franchise to its first title.

The younger Lynx players affectionately called her “Mama Taj” as a tribute to her caretaker role on the team.

Some figured that McWilliams-Franklin would retire after winning the title. But she says she feels good and had a wonderful experience in her first season in Minnesota, so she wants to come back and “do it all over again.”

McWilliams-Franklin has averaged 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 407 games over 13 seasons with Orlando, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Washington, Detroit, New York and the Lynx.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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