Lynx guard Candice Wiggins has joined the women's basketball coaching staff of Division III Occidental College in Los Angeles as an assistant. She will primarily work with the team's guards.

Occidental's head coach is Heidi VanDerveer, whose sister Tara coached Wiggins at Stanford. 

The Oxy Tigers have won three consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

Wiggins is one of several pro players that have sought Heidi VanDerveer's tutelage in the offseason.

She played in Spain and Greece after her first two seasons as a pro, but did not play overseas last season. Her career has been plagued by knee injuries and a torn Achilles' tendon.

Last season Wiggins was the first guard off the bench for the Lynx and provided a lot of energy. She was one of the team's best three-point shooters, but sometimes streaky. She averaged only 17 minutes per game and 5.9 points and 1.5 assists, all career lows.

She is one of the most popular Lynx players and seemingly always available to the media and for public appearances and charity work.

Maybe Wiggins, who grew up in San Diego, is already planning for a future beyond the WNBA?

She is not signed for next season, but is a restricted free agent. That means if another team offers her a contract, the Lynx could match it. But the Lynx will have a lot of options. They have the No. 3 and 12 picks in the first round of the 2012 WNBA draft and three second-round picks.

The Lynx could also make a trade involving Wiggins if they do sign her. Not that she has indicated at any time that she is unhappy in Minnesota. Quite the opposite. She is probably the most consistent upbeat player the Lynx have.


"We're very excited to have Candice join our team," VanDerveer said according to a Occidental news release. "She has played at the highest level and has a tremendous understanding of the game. 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 and was the league's sixth player of the year as a rookie.

Wiggins was a four-time all-america player at Stanford and is third on the school's all-time women's basketball scoring list.

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.

Oxy open the season against Trinity (Tex.) on Nov. 21  in Rush Gymnasium.