PHOENIX MERCURY

Mercury take Dodson, Williams in WNBA Draft; league rallies behind Griner

Apr 11, 2022, 7:01 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks before the WNBA basketball draft, Monday, April 11, 2022, ...
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks before the WNBA basketball draft, Monday, April 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Phoenix Mercury made two selections in the third round of the 2022 WNBA Draft on Monday night in New York.

With the second pick of the third round (No. 26 overall), the Mercury took forward Maya Dodson out of Notre Dame. After winning the national championship with Stanford in last year, Dodson finished this season on both the 2022 Second Team All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive Team.

Six picks later, Phoenix selected forward Macee Williams out of IUPUI at No. 32 overall. She finished her college career as her team’s all-time leading scorer en route to three consecutive Horizon League Player of the Year awards.

Moments before Rhyne Howard went to the Atlanta Dream No. 1 overall, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league is working very hard to help bring Mercury center Brittney Griner back to the United States.

Griner has been detained in Russia since arriving at a Moscow airport in mid-February. Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

“I want to take a moment to reiterate the WNBA’s support for Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner,” Engelbert said before the draft started. “Please know that getting her home safely continues to be our top priority and while we are facing an extraordinarily complex challenge, there is strength in community, especially the WNBA.”

Engelbert said there will be a league-wide charity initiative spearheaded by the Mercury to support Griner’s philanthropic project, called BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive. The drive has gathered new or gently used shoes for homeless people in the Phoenix area.

“This is an unimaginable situation for BG to be in,” Engelbert said. “She continues to have our full support. Certainly, we’re trying everything we can, every angle, working with her legal representation, her agent, elected leaders, the administration. Just everybody in our ecosystem to try and find ways to get her home safely and as quickly as we can.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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