Mitchell playing for the New York Liberty.
|WNBA's New York Liberty – No. 5|
June 15, 1985 |
|Nationality||American / Australian|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Weight||128 lb (58 kg)|
|High school||Kennewick High School|
|Draft||25th overall, 2008
|New York Liberty (2008–present)|
|Awards and honors|
|WNBA Most Improved Player (2010)|
Mitchell was born to an American father, Dennis Mitchell, and an Australian mother of Asian descent (specifically Filipino, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indian, and others), Eleanor Madjic. Mitchell has dual citizenship in the United States of America and Australia. She has 5 brothers Tyler, Troy, Travis, Reggie, and Robbie. Mitchell played high school basketball at Kennewick High School, where the team won a state 4A title.
Mitchell played her first three years of college basketball at the University of Idaho. Mitchell then transferred to the University of Utah. She sat out the 2006-07 season under NCAA rules, and then played the 2007-08 season for Utah.
Mitchell was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury twenty-fifth overall in the second round of 2008 WNBA Draft. Mitchell was then traded to the New York Liberty learned during the 2008 pre-season that the Mercury planned to cut Mitchell, the Liberty acquired Mitchell in a trade in exchange for a 2009 third round draft pick.
Initially a bench player, Mitchell made her first professional start on June 6, 2008 in place of the injured Loree Moore. During the 2008 season she developed a strong fan following and a reputation for fearlessness in grabbing loose balls and occasionally driving to the basket.
Mitchell scored 14 points in the Liberty's narrow loss to the Detroit Shock in Game 3 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.
Mitchell became the regular starting point guard in the 2010 season, after the Liberty released Moore in the offseason. Mitchell led the WNBA in 3-point percentage at 48%, scored 9.3 points per game, and had 3.8 assists per game en route to winning the 2010 WNBA Most Improved Player Award.
On September 2, 2011, Mitchell scored a career high 24 points in a win against the Minnesota Lynx.
Mitchell has played for ASPTT Arras in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB), a French professional league, during the WNBA off-season. For the 2009-10 season, Mitchell won the Import Player of the Year Award and was named to the LFB 1st Team.
- [Vandal]Profile: Leilani Mitchell
- Heyman, Brian (August 21, 2010). "Heart Lighter and Game Honed, Point Guard Leads the Liberty". New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
- ESPN - Timing is everything for Mitchell, Utes - Women's College Basketball
- http://www.wnba.com/playerfile/leilani_mitchell/bio.html Leila Mitchell Bio
- Cherwoo, Vin A. (August 26, 2010). "Liberty's Leilani Mitchell is WNBA's most improved". USA Today (Associated Press). Retrieved September 5, 2010.
- LFB: Season 2009-2010