Earlier this year, when the Indiana Fever traded their First Round draft pick as part of a three-team deal that brought back the Phoenix Mercury’s Candice Dupree and the 17th overall pick (fifth pick in the Second Round) many wondered what the team’s 2017 draft would be like.
As most WNBA Drafts go, the First Round is where teams get impact players, but the team is convinced they found a gem in Stanford University’s Erica McCall, their selection at No. 17.
“We’re ecstatic,” Fever head coach Pokey Chatman said while sporting a huge smile. “When we saw McCall was available at 17, it was a no-brainer.”
The 6’3″ forward was a force for the Cardinal averaging 14.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game as a senior. She was a two-time All-Pac-12 selection and appeared in the Final Four twice, first as a freshman and most recently this past March as a senior.
The Fever draft room let out a celebratory yell when they realized they were going to be able to select McCall. The team’s brass thought for sure she was going to be taken before the 17th pick.
“We thought she would be top 10,” Chatman said. “She sat there at the draft for a long time and it’s not a reflection on her skill set, it’s just what people need. She just brings so many things to the table that you can’t pass up. We’re excited we were able to draft her.”
“She’s a tremendous athlete,” Fever President Kelly Krauskopf added. “She’s a high-energy player. She defends. She rebounds. She can shoot the three. She’s long. For her to get to 17 was a surprise and certainly something we’re really excited about.”
McCall, who was in New York City attending the draft, was just as elated as her new team was when she heard she was going to Indiana.
“I was super excited,” she said of hearing her named called. “I was getting a little anxious, but when I heard Indiana, I was really excited. I’m just really blessed to have the opportunity.”
McCall will come into Fever training camp fresh off an NCAA Tournament where she performed like the player the Fever hope she can be. During Stanford’s run to the Final Four, she averaged a double-double, scoring 13.0 points and grabbing 11.0 rebounds a game.
“I knew that since I performed well that coaches saw great things coming from me,” McCall said. “I’m glad that Indiana saw what I could bring to the game.”
“She’s got so much upside and so much potential ahead of her,” Krauskopf said.
McCall is more than ready to get to Indianapolis and begin her tenure with the Fever.
“I’m looking to have a good role out there, of course learning from the best and learning from Candice Dupree and being able to fit in the system with my 15-foot shot, my rebounding, being able to stretch the floor and knock down that three.”
“I love the city. I think it should be a lot of fun.”
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