Sports

Gonzaga’s Haiden Palmer drafted by Fever

Gonzaga University women’s basketball senior Haiden Palmer was selected in the third round (29th overall) in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever on Monday, becoming the fifth player in Zag women’s basketball history to be drafted by the WNBA.

“I am so blessed and thankful for this opportunity,” said Palmer after hearing the news. “It is an honor to play for the Indiana Fever and I am excited to make an impact. This is something that I have wanted my whole life to be drafted into the WNBA; it’s a dream come true.”

Palmer joins former Zags Courtney Vandersloot, Vivian Frieson, Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon as players who have been drafted into the WNBA.

Vandersloot, in her fourth year in the league, was the third overall draft pick by the Chicago Sky in 2011. Frieson was Gonzaga’s inaugural player drafted, going 31st to the Tulsa Shock in the 2010 draft. Standish and Redmon were both drafted in the 2012, with Standish picked 19th by the Minnesota Lynx and Redmon picked 36th by the New York Liberty.

“I could not be happier Haiden was drafted 29th in this year’s WNBA Draft,” explained new Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier. “She is a tireless worker and a gym rat, who has put in the time on the court and in film sessions to improve her game. She can create her own shot against the best of defenders, and brings a defensive intensity that truly makes her a special player. She has been a pleasure to coach at Gonzaga and we wish her all the best with the Fever.”

Palmer, a guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., led the team in points (15.1), rebounds (5.5) and steals per game (3.0), while also dishing out 2.6 assists per game.

Palmer, named All-WCC this season for the third-consecutive year, scored in double-figure points in 27 of 34 contests, including six games with 20 or more points. She registered three double-figure rebounding games and had two double-doubles.

She was named Associated Press All-American honorable mention, becoming the fourth Zag in school history to earn the accolade.

The Indiana Fever finished 16-18 a season ago, placed fourth in the East Conference standings and fell to the Atlanta Dream in the Conference Finals. They open the regular-season against Vandersloot and the Chicago Sky Friday, May, 16.



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