Leilani Mitchell

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Leilani Mitchell
No. 5 – Phoenix Mercury
Position Guard
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1985-06-15) June 15, 1985 (age 30)
Richland, Washington
Nationality American / Australian
Listed height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Listed weight 128 lb (58 kg)
Career information
High school Kennewick (Kennewick, Washington)
College Idaho (2003–2006)
Utah (2007–2008)
WNBA draft 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 25th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Mercury
Pro career 2008–present
Career history
2008–2013 New York Liberty
2008–2012 ASPTT Arras
2012–2013 ŽKK Novi Zagreb
2013–2014 Dandenong Rangers
2014–2015 Sydney Uni Flames
2015–present Phoenix Mercury
2015–present Adelaide Lightning
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Leilani Seamah Mitchell (born June 15, 1985) is an American-Australian professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 25th overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2008 WNBA Draft.[1] Having dual Australian and US citizenship, Mitchell pledged her allegiances to Australia before the 2014 World Championships in Turkey.[2][3]

High school career[edit]

Mitchell attended Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Washington. Mitchell was a four-year starter at Kennewick High School. Mitchell was named first-team all-state and all-conference as a junior and senior at Kennewick High School and earned Big Nine Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior. In four consecutive years, Mitchell led Kennewick High School to state championship games, including Kennewick's title-winning season of 2000.

College career[edit]

Mitchell played her first three years of college basketball at the University of Idaho. As a freshmen, Mitchell finished fifth in the league in scoring (15.7 ppg), first in steals (3.08 spg) and assists (6.0 apg). She ranked seventh in the Big West in field goal percentage (47.8) and third in three-point shooting percentage (40.2). Mitchell is just one of two Big West players to record a double-double with points and assists this season. Against Portland State (Nov. 21), she dished out 16 assists and scored 11 points. Mitchell was named the 2004 Big West Freshman of the Year. Mitchell rose to national prominence in her sophomore year, and was named honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press and the WBCA in 2005-06 She was named one of 11 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top point guard

She led the WAC and ranked second in the nation in steals in 2005-06, averaging 4.0 per game. She ranked first in the WAC and 18th nationally in assists, averaging 5.6 per contest, and scored 17.6 points per game. As a junior for Idaho, ranking second in the WAC and 50th in the nation. Mitchell left Idaho with the school's career record for steals (323) and 3-point field goals made in a single game (7 vs. Utah Valley State). On the single-season leader boards she now ranks second in 3-point field goals made in a season (69) and steals (115); seventh in assists (162); and eighth for free throws made (123). Career-wise she is second in assists (504); third in free throws made (433) and 3-point field goals made (164); fifth in points (1,471) and ninth in field goals made (441).

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.[4] At Utah Mitchell averaged 16.8 ppg, 7.5 apg and 4.1 rpg, and won five Mountain West Conference Player of the Week awards, more than any other player in the MWC. She has eight 20-point games this year. That count includes five 24-point outings and two season-high-tying 26-point games (at BYU and UNLV). Mitchell was named the Mountain West Conference (MWC) Player of the Year.

One of only six NCAA Division I players since 1999-2000 to compile 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists/300 steals in her career others were Alana Beard (Duke), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), Maya Moore (Connecticut), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga) and Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame).

College statistics[edit]

  Leilani Mitchell College Statistics at Idaho/Utah
2003–04 28 125 263 0.475 46 114 0.404 142 165 0.861 127 4.5 167 68 7 90 1043 438 15.6
2004-05 30 154 324 0.475 55 141 0.390 168 192 0.875 138 4.6 178 75 3 118 1122 531 17.7
2005-06 29 162 369 0.439 63 166 0.380 123 157 0.783 143 4.9 162 103 7 115 1124 510 17.6
2006–07 0 Did not play – transfer
2007-2008 32 182 386 0.472 43 112 0.384 129 161 0.801 131 4.1 240 108 3 65 1167 536 16.8
Totals 119 623 1342 0.464 207 533 0.388 562 675 0.833 539 4.5 744 354 20 382 4456 2015 16.9

Professional career[edit]

New York Liberty (2008–2013)[edit]

Mitchell was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury twenty-fifth overall in the second round of 2008 WNBA Draft.[5] 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.[6] Initially a bench player, Mitchell made her first professional start on June 6, 2008 in place of the injured Loree Moore. In her first career start aganist the Houston Comets she had team-high 18 points going perfect 6-6 from the floor including 3-3 from three point range. 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 struggled in 2009 due to the death of mother during the season, she averaged 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, but led the team in assists twice and finished her sophomore campaign, leading the WNBA in assists per turnover ratio (2.92).

Mitchell had a breakout year in the 2010 WNBA season. She became the regular starting point guard in the 2010 season, after the Liberty released Moore in the offseason. Mitchell averaged career-high 9.3 points and 3.8 assists per game. She scored 10-plus points 14 times, and lead the league in three-point field-goal percentage (48.6). Mitchell scored her first 20-point game aganist the Tulsa Shock. She won the 2010 WNBA Most Improved Player Award.[7]

On September 2, 2011, Mitchell scored a career high 24 points in a win against the Minnesota Lynx.

Phoenix Mercury (2014–present)[edit]

Mitchell voluntarily decided to skip the 2014 WNBA season to spend time with her family in Australia. On April 21, 2014, Mitchell announced that she was taking the 2014 WNBA season off to spend the summer in Australia. As a result, on August 7, 2014, the Liberty waived Mitchell.[8] On February 4, 2015, Mitchell signed with the Phoenix Mercury.[9] On July 12, 2015 vs Indiana Fever Mitchell scored career high 25 points going 8-14 from the floor including 7-10 from three point range.

European career[edit]

Mitchell has played for ASPTT Arras in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB), a French professional league, during the WNBA off-season.[10] For the 2009-10 season, Mitchell won the Import Player of the Year Award and was named to the LFB 1st Team.[11]

WNBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game
 PPG  Points per game  TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage  Bold  Career high League leader

Regular season[edit]



Mitchell is the only daughter of Dennis Mitchell and Eleanor Majid. She has five brothers: Tyler, Troy, Travis, Reggie, and Robbie. Mitchell is multiracial. Her father is American and her mother is Australian of Asian descent (specifically Filipino, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indian, and others).[10][12] Mitchell has dual citizenship in the United States of America and Australia.[13][14]

See also[edit]

Reference list[edit]

  1. ^ Booth, Doug (December 26, 2013). Star Ranger laps up Territory Christmas. NT News (page 49). Retrieved 2014-06-11
  2. ^ Basketball Australia (December 17, 2013). WNBL stars named for January Opals camp. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  3. ^ FIBA World Championship for Women. Joyce thrilled to get Mitchell on board. Retrieved 2014-04-18
  4. ^ ESPN - Timing is everything for Mitchell, Utes - Women's College Basketball
  5. ^ http://www.wnba.com/playerfile/leilani_mitchell/bio.html Leila Mitchell Bio
  6. ^ http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/ny-splib075718291jun07,0,4672694.story
  7. ^ Cherwoo, Vin A. (August 26, 2010). "Liberty's Leilani Mitchell is WNBA's most improved". USA Today (Associated Press). Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ Leilani Mitchell to Sit Out 2014 WNBA Season
  9. ^ Mercury Sign Leilani Mitchell, Jasmine James
  10. ^ a b Heyman, Brian (August 21, 2010). "Heart Lighter and Game Honed, Point Guard Leads the Liberty". New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ LFB: Season 2009-2010
  12. ^ [Vandal]Profile: Leilani Mitchell
  13. ^ WNBA Player of the Week Leilani Mitchell puts herself on Brendan Joyce's Opals radar. news.com.au. Retrieved 2014-06-11
  14. ^ Potter, Jarrod (January 20, 2014). The colour of Opal. Star News Group Pty. Retrieved 2014-06-11

External links[edit]