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Mercury draft Ohio State PG Samantha Prahalis
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Mercury draft Ohio State PG Samantha Prahalis

Phoenix Mercury head coach Corey Gaines was hoping
Samantha
Prahalis
would still be available when it came
time for the Mercury to make their selection.

“It’s who we wanted,” said Gaines of Prahalis, a 5-foot-7
point guard out of Ohio State. “We didn’t think she was
going to be there but you see the draft is going a
different way than what people expected it to go.”

The Mercury made Prahalis, the Big Ten all-time assists
leader (901), the sixth overall pick in Monday’s WNBA
Draft.

Prahalis fills a need after the team traded last year’s
starting guard Temeka Johnson to the Tulsa Shock.

“She fits our system,” Gaines continued. “I think the way
we play and our style it really suits her and she suits
us.

“She’s small. They said the same thing about (5-foot-6)
Becky Hammon when she came into the league. I’m not saying
she’s Becky yet, but she definitely has the tools to be
able to become a great player in our league.”

As a senior, Prahalis averaged 19.8 points and 6.3 assists
per game. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Year.