Charlene Smith signs with WNBA Houston Comets

HOUSTON - The Houston Comets announced today the signings of guards Anastasia Kostaki and Charlene Smith to free agent contracts. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Kostaki (5-7, Greece) finished her 2005-06 season with Pays D'Aix in the women's FIBA EuroLeague, where she averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals and a league-leading 7.1 assists in 16 games played. In the EuroCup Women's title game, Kostaki accumulated 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a loss to Spartak Moscow, which featured WNBA players Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks) and Ticha Penicheiro (Sacramento Monarchs). Kostaki was originally signed to a free agent contract on March 28 2005, but was waived before she was able to play a game for Houston. During the 2004-05 season, she played for Lavezzini Basket Parma and averaged 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 13 games played. A member of the 2004 Greek National Team, Kostaki participated in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and was also in training camp with the Connecticut Sun in 2004. Kostaki previously played for Copa Alessandria of the Italian Pro League in 2003-04 and was an All-Star playing with Cavigal Nice in the French Pro League in 2002 after attending training camp with the Cleveland Rockers.

Smith (5-8, DePaul '05) finished her collegiate career with averages of 10.9 points, 3.05 rebounds and 2.40 assists at both UW-Milwaukee (26 games) and DePaul (68 games, 41 starts). In the 2004-05 season, she was averaging 11 points, two rebounds and two assists, but had her final campaign shortened due to a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) just six games into the season. Smith was second team All-Conference USA, Kodak/WBCA All-District and ranked among Conference USA leaders in scoring (6th), free throw percentage (10th), assists (11th), steals (11th) and field goal percentage (12th) in the 2003-04 season. She began her collegiate career at UW-Milwaukee in 2000-01 before transferring to DePaul, where she sat out the entire 2001-02 season due to NCAA transfer guidelines.

This season will mark the 10th Anniversary for the Comets and the WNBA, making it the longest-running professional women's league in history. The 2006 season will tip off at Toyota Center on May 21 when the Comets host the San Antonio Silver Stars. To purchase season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (713) 627-WNBA or go online at www.houstoncomets.com.

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