Lynx's Natalie Achonwa announces pregnancy on 30th birthday: 'Best gift yet'

Natalie Achonwa of the Minnesota Lynx turned 30 on Tuesday, and celebrated by making a major announcement: she's pregnant.

Achonwa posted the news on Instagram with a sign that said "Adding New Teammate 2023" and included pictures of her partner, their two dogs, and, of course, the sonogram of Baby Achonwa.

"On behalf of the Lynx players, coaches and staff, I want to share a heartfelt congratulations to Natalie and her family," Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said in a statement released by the team. "Being a parent is an exceptional joy and we wish Natalie a healthy pregnancy."

Achonwa has been in the WNBA since 2014 when she was drafted ninth overall by the Indiana Fever, though she didn't make her debut until 2015 due to a knee injury she sustained while wrapping up her college career at Notre Dame. She signed a three-year deal with the Lynx in 2021 and has spent the first two of those years backing up Sylvia Fowles, who retired following the 2022 season. Achonwa, who is also a three-time Olympian for Team Canada, averaged 5.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.1 minutes per game last season.

Achonwa's announcement comes almost exactly one year after her teammate Napheesa Collier announced that she was pregnant and would miss the start of the 2022 season. Collier gave birth to her daughter in late May and was stunningly able to return less than three months later. We don't know when Baby Achonwa is scheduled to make their appearance, but given the timing, it's likely that Achonwa will miss at least the start of the 2023 season.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Canada's Natalie Achonwa during the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball Semi Final match between Canada and USA at Sydney Superdome, on September 30, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Natalie Achonwa, who plays for the Lynx and Team Canada, announced on Tuesday that she's pregnant. (Photo by Steve Christo - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) (Steve Christo - Corbis via Getty Images)