Prahalis headed to Phoenix as No. 6 overall pick
By Ben Axelrod
Less than a month after her storied college career came to an end, former Ohio State point guard Samantha Prahalis officially began her next journey when she was selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the No. 6 overall pick in Tuesday’s 2012 WNBA Draft.
Photo by Jim Davidson
In heading west, the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year will be joining a talented Mercury squad that went 19-15 in 2011 before losing to the eventual league champion Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Finals. Moments after she was selected, Prahalis told ESPN2 that she was excited to be selected by a team that fits so well with her playing style.
“I just think of their uptempo play. They’ve got superstars on their team and I can pass the ball pretty well,” Prahalis said. “I’m just super excited to be a part of Phoenix.”
Having just traded former starting point guard Temeka Johnson, the Mercury are hopeful that Prahalis can fill her spot right away to form one of the league’s more dynamic backcourts alongside 2009 WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi.
“It’s crazy, it really is,” Prahalis said with a big smile when asked about teaming up alongside Taurasi. “I’m just super excited. Any way I can help the team, I’m going to go out, work hard, and try to help.”
The WNBA Rookie Base Salary for players drafted 5 through 8 is 44,020 per season. Players may also earn performance bonuses and additional income via endorsements.
In four seasons as a starter at OSU, Prahalis averaged 15.2 points per game while compiling a Big Ten record 898 assists. During her senior season, the 5-foot-7 Prahalis averaged 20.1 points and 6.3 assists per game in addition to setting a school single game record when she scored 42 points in the Buckeyes’ Feb. 23 win over Minnesota.
The Commack, N.Y. native’s OSU career- which was marked just as much by her style as it was her substance- came to a disappointing end when the Buckeyes suffered a first round NCAA Tournament loss to Florida. The four-time all-Big Ten selection will make her return to the hardwood in the WNBA’s season opener on Sunday, May 20 in a nationally-televised game agains the defending champion Wild.
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