Team Adds Lia Galdeira and Danaejah Grant in Second and Third Rounds
Washington, D.C. - The Washington Mystics selected Kahleah Copper from Rutgers University in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2016 WNBA draft.
"Kahleah is one of the most improved and under-appreciated players in the country," said Mystics general manager and head coach Mike Thibault. "She has improved each year at Rutgers. Her length and quickness have helped her become a very good defender. She has always been good in transition and has been a very good rebounder. This past season, she added the three point shot to her game and shot a very good overall percentage from both inside and outside the three point line."
A 6-1 forward, Copper scored in double figures in 30 of her last 34 games and recorded 11 double doubles. She led her team this past year in both points per game (17.7) and rebounds per game (8.0) as she was named to her second appearance on the All-Big Ten Second Team. This is the third consecutive year that she led her team in scoring. She finished her career third on Rutgers’ all-time scoring leaders list with 1,872 career points.
During the 2014-15 season, Copper led Rutgers to the WNIT title game where she recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds and was named the tournament’s MVP. That season, she also received First Team All-American honors. Copper received numerous honors during her collegiate career, including Big-East All-Freshman Team while averaging 14.1 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Washington selected Lia Galdeira in the second round (19th overall).
A 5-11 guard from Washington State University, Galdeira was a three-time All-Pac 12 player before joining the professional team Haskovo 2012 of the Bulgarian league. After three years at WSU, she ranked second in career scoring (1,710 points), three-point field goals made (160), field goals made (621) and steals (271), first in three-point field goal attempts (576) and total field goals attempts (1,645).
This past year, she averaged 23.9 points per game and 9.5 rebounds with her professional team while leading them to postseason play.
"If Lia reaches her potential, she can be one of the exciting finds of this draft. She can score in a large variety of ways," stated Thibault. "She has great court vision which makes her an excellent passer. She is a great athlete, which allows her to also be a good rebounder and she led the Bulgarian League in steals. Her biggest adjustment will be at the defensive end of the court, where she will have to get used to playing against great scorers every night."
In the third round (31st overall), Washington added guard Danaejah Grant from St. John’s University.
The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2016 season at home against conference rival New York Liberty on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. Including opening night, the team will have a three-game home stand to start the season with games against the league's newest team, the Dallas Wings, on May 18 and the Los Angeles Sparks on May 20. Season tickets for the 2016 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com
The WNBA's Washington Mystics are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company also owns and operates the NHL's Washington Capitals, the NBA's Washington Wizards and Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex- the training facility for the Washington Capitals and EagleBank arena at George Mason