Basketball Wiki
Kayte Christensen
Kayte Christensen.jpg
Christensen playing for the Mercury.
Power Forward
Personal information
Born                           November 16, 1980 (1980-11-16) (age 40)
                                    Lakeview, Oregon
Nationality                 American
Listed height            6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight           170 lbs (77 kg)
Career information
High school            Modoc High School
                                  (Alturas, California)
College                     UC Santa Barbara
NBA Draft                 2002 / Round: 3 / Pick: 40th
Selected by the Phoenix Mercury
Pro career               2002-2008 (6 years)
Career history
2002-2004                Phoenix Mercury
2006                           Houston Comets
2006                           Phoenix Mercury
2007                             Chicago Sky
Career highlights and awards
  • awards profile [1]

Kayte Lauren Christensen is a retired American women's professional basketball player and current commentator for ABC and ESPN during Women's College basketball. Christensen competed internationally and for the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky in the WNBA.

Her bio on the Mercury website describes Christensen as aggressive and describes typical play for her as "diving for loose balls and generally sacrificing her body for the good of the team." [1]

Christensen has also served as a color analyst for ESPNU and was alongside play-by-play announcer Doug Sherman on the call of the 2011 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Championship game.


Kayte Lauren Christensen was born in Lakeview, Oregon to Randy and Cathy Christensen. She grew up on her family's ranch in the Modoc County sawmill town of Likely, California, with two sisters and a younger brother.

High school and college

Christensen attended South Fork Elementary School, then Modoc High School in Alturas, California and graduated in 1998. She started playing basketball in sixth grade and it wasn’t until her junior season in high school that she realized she had potential to have basketball pay for her college education. Christensen averaged 17.4 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game as a senior. She was named the California Division V Player of the Year in 1998 as well as the Shasta Cascade League MVP in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

As a junior, Christensen scored 17.4 points per game and grabbed 11.1 rebounds per game. Her 470 points scored as a junior and 1,557 points in her career are both Modoc High School records. She blocked 80 shots as a junior and 59 as a senior. During her junior year, Christensen and her Modoc teammates were the Division V state runners-up. The next year, they won the California Interscholastic Federation state Division V championship.

In her spare time, Christensen tutored younger girls at basketball. She also competed in Volleyball and Track.[2]

Christensen later attended college at UC Santa Barbara as a classmate of fellow WNBA player Lindsay Taylor. She is Santa Barbara's all-time career field goal percentage leader. She also ranks among the top ten in rebounds and blocked shots.

Christensen's first season playing at UCSB was (1998–1999). She scored in double figures nine times during her first season, including twice scoring a career-high 18 points. She finished her first season averaging 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds a game in 16.9 minutes of play. Christensen was named to the Big West's All-Freshman team and finished 12th (out of 15)in the Big West with 0.6 blocks per game. She capped her final season as the Big West Player of the Year.

Her second season was from (1999–2000). Christensen played in 18 games before breaking her wrist on January 25, 2000 forcing her to miss the remainder of the season.

Her final season was (2001–2002) and is considered her finest season as a Gaucho, earning All-Big West First Team honors. In league games, Christensen improved dramatically and averaged 15.6 points per game and also topped the team in rebounds at 7.6 per game. She was twice named the conference Player of the Week, on February 5, 2002 and March 5, 2002.


Christensen was selected by Phoenix Mercury in the third round (40th overall) of the 2002 WNBA Draft. In her first four seasons in the WNBA, Christensen averaged 3.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.75 steals per game. During her rookie year in Phoenix, she shot .505 from the field, second among all WNBA rookies. Her 2.7 rebounding average was sixth among rookies. She averaged 4.0 points and 0.8 assists in 30 games. [2] [3]

She signed with the Houston Comets for her third WNBA season on March 24, 2006, but was waived on May 19, 2006 when she failed to make the regular-season roster. She rejoined the Mercury later one month later on June 15. She played in six games, averaging 3.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game.[3]

After the 2006 season ended, Christensen became a free agent until March 2007, when she signed a contract with the Chicago Sky. She played in 23 games and scored 48 points for the Sky during the 2007 season. She was released from the Chicago Sky after missing the 2008 season opener due to a recurring back injury.

Christensen has twice been the recipient of the WNBA Offseason Community Assist Award, first in 2003 and second in 2004.

Courtside Reporter

Kayte served as a courtside reporter for the NBA's Sacramento Kings during Comcast SportsNet broadcasts at ARCO Arena. In May 2010, she was replaced by Jim Gray.

Career highlights

  • Big West Conference Player of the Year (2002)
  • All-Big West First Team (2001–2002)
  • Big West All-Freshman Team (1999)
  • Holds school record in career field-goal percentage
  • Twice named the college conference Player of the Week


Template:Cquote Christensen on WNBA fans. [4]


See also

  • Photo Gallery - Photos featuring Kayte Christensen