— Stanford forward Erica McCall Highlights Indiana Fever Draft Haul
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever made three selections midway through the second round of the 2017 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, netting Stanford forward Erica McCall, Temple point guard Feyonda Fitzgerald and Florida wing Ronni Williams with top picks. The Fever completed their draft with Miami guard Adrienne Motley in the third round.
As the first round wound to a close, eyes widened in the Fever draft room when McCall’s name remained on the board.
“When we talked before the draft and Erica McCall’s name came up,” said Fever President and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf, “we saw her as a top 12 or 13 pick. We didn’t think she would fall to us. She’s a great athlete and a high-energy player. She can shoot the 3, she can rebound, she can block shots and affect the game.”
Indiana was without a first-round pick for just the third time in its history, utilizing its first selection as part of a February trade to acquire five-time All-Star Candice Dupree from the Phoenix Mercury.
At the midway point of the second round, Indiana made three out of six selections to grab McCall (No. 17 overall), Fitzgerald (No. 20) and Williams (No. 22). Motley followed 10 picks later in the third round at No. 32, but McCall was clearly the headliner.
An athletic 6-3 forward, McCall helped Stanford to a 32-6 record and a trip to the national semifinals. She was a two-time All-Pac-12 star that averaged 14.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game as a senior, reaching double-digit scoring in 25 consecutive games to begin her senior season. McCall and Stanford made Final Four appearances during her freshman and senior years. She is the younger sister of Phoenix Mercury star DeWanna Bonner.
Krauskopf added, “She’s got so much upside and so much potential ahead of her. In terms of all her skill work, including shooting the 3, her best days are really ahead of her. There were many times in many games this year, when I watched Stanford, that she would hit a key 3-pointer.”
“When we saw McCall available at No. 17, it was a no-brainer,” said first-year Fever coach Pokey Chatman. “We thought she would be a top ten pick. She brings so many things to the table, there was no way we were going to pass her up. Her energy, her motor, and all of the skills she brings. She’s an exciting player.”
When Fitzgerald was available at No. 20, “it was another opportunity to see a good point guard,” said Krauskopf. “You can never have enough of those and we were excited to get her. She’s a scoring point guard, but she averaged 7 assists a game. She creates for herself and she creates for others. There was clearly an admiration for her skillset so far as scoring and handling the ball. She’s got a high IQ and we’re excited about bringing her to camp.”
Fitzgerald, the scoring point guard, finished second (1,824 points) among Temple’s all-time scoring leaders, just ahead of Dupree (1,698), who graduated from Temple 11 years earlier.
At 5-9, Fitzgerald averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 assists while leading the Owls to a 24-8 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. She set career (635) and single-season (232) assist records at Temple this season, and was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year. At one point this season, she contributed four consecutive double-doubles with points and assists, and had six overall.
Williams, a 6-foot wing player, was the first player in Florida history to lead the team in scoring in three consecutive seasons, averaging 19.2 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior. She was a first-team All-SEC selection and the first Gator ever to lead the SEC in scoring. She is an explosive scorer whose career-high 43 points was one of three scoring efforts of more than 30 points last season.
Motley is a 5-9 shooting guard who averaged 13.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists while leading Miami to a 24-9 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Playing and starting in 32 games, Motley was a second-round All-ACC selection and a four-year starter for the Hurricanes, averaging double-figure scoring in each of four seasons.
WNBA training camps begin Sunday, April 23.
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