Washington State coach Kamie Ethridge scouted Finland’s top professional league to find the “final piece” to her 2022-23 Cougars women’s basketball roster.
Ethridge on Wednesday announced the addition of Cia Eklöf, a 5-foot-10 combo guard from capital city Helsinki.
“Adding another dynamic and versatile combo guard that has the ability to shoot the 3 and attack the rim was a priority for us this spring,” Ethridge said, quoted in a news release. “We believe Cia’s experience playing in the top professional league in Finland has prepared her to step in and play early in her career.”
Eklöf, who joins WSU with four years of eligibility, suited up last season for Torpan Pojat, a Helsinki-based pro club that competes in the Korisliiga. Eklöf was one of the league’s youngest active players last year.
She played a reserve role for Torpan Pojat, averaging 4.8 points and 12.4 minutes per game in 17 appearances. Eklöf has also been a member of her home country’s U-20 and U-16 national teams.
“Cia has played point guard most of her career and has a great mind for the game,” Ethridge said. “She will bring an exciting brand of basketball to the court and a commitment to excellence off the court. Her work ethic, leadership skills and ambition to compete at the highest level makes Cia a perfect fit for our Coug team.”
The Pac-12 Conference isn’t new to Eklöf, whose mother, Mia, played for Cal from 1985-89.
Eklöf is the Cougars’ fourth signee of the 2022 class, which includes in-state recruits Lauren Glazier (North Bend) and Kyra Gardner (Raymond), and Kosovo native guard Astera Tuhina – one of 10 international products on WSU’s 2022-23 roster.
WSU set an NCAA-era program record with 19 wins last season and qualified for its second consecutive – and third ever – NCAA Tournament berth. Three players from that team have graduated, with the most significant departure being point guard Krystal Leger-Walker. Eklöf may be in the mix to replace Leger-Walker.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.