Leilani Mitchell

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Leilani Mitchell
Leilani Mitchell.jpg
No. 5 – Phoenix Mercury
Position Point guard
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1985-06-15) June 15, 1985 (age 33)
Richland, Washington
Nationality American / Australian
Listed height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Listed weight 138 lb (63 kg)
Career information
High school Kennewick (Kennewick, Washington)
College
WNBA draft 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 25th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Mercury
Playing 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 Phoenix Mercury
2015–2016 Adelaide Lightning
2016 Washington Mystics
2016–2017 Sydney Uni Flames
2017–present Phoenix Mercury
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] She also played for multiple basketball teams outside of the United States. Mitchell, was born and grew up in the United States to an Australian mother and American father and has dual citizenship. In December 2013, Mitchell pledged her allegiances to, and represents Australia internationally. [2][3]

Early Life[edit]

Mitchell is the only daughter of Dennis Mitchell and Eleanor Majid. Her father is American and her mother is Australian.[4][5] She has five brothers: Tyler, Troy, Travis, Reggie, and Robbie. Mitchell has dual citizenship in the United States of America and Australia.[6][7] Her mother died from cancer in 2009.

High school career[edit]

Mitchell attended Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Washington.[8] 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]

University of Idaho[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

As a freshman, 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 (November 21), she dished out 16 assists and scored 11 points. Mitchell was named the 2004 Big West Freshman of the Year, and earned a spot on the Big West First Team.

Sophomore Year[edit]

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.[9] She was named one of 11 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top point guard. Mitchell started all 30 games, averaging career-high 17.7 points, 5.9 assists and 3.9 steals per game. She set a school record with 118 steals, while her 178 assists were fourth-most on the Idaho single-season list, and her 168 free throws made ranked third on the school's single-season chart. She led the conference in both assists, and steals, and fourth in scoring.

Junior Year[edit]

Mitchell continued her stellar play her junior year. 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 first in steals (118), 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).

Senior Year[edit]

Mitchell then transferred to the University of Utah.[8] She sat out the 2006–07 season under NCAA rules, and then played the 2007-08 season for Utah.[10] In her lone season at Utah Mitchell averaged 16.8 ppg, 7.5 apg and 4.1 rpg,with seven double-doubles. She won five Mountain West Conference Player of the Week awards, more than any other player in the MWC. She had eight 20-point games this year. That count included 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. She finished her college career 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]

Source[11]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003-04 Idaho 28 438 47.5 40.4 86.1 4.5 6.0 3.2 0.3 15.6
2004-05 Idaho 30 531 47.5 39.0 87.5 4.6 5.9 3.9 0.1 17.7
2005-06 Idaho 29 510 43.9 38.0 78.3 4.9 5.6 4.0 0.2 17.6
2007-08 Utah 32 536 47.2 38.4 80.1 4.1 7.5 2.0 0.1 16.8
Career 119 2015 46.4 38.8 83.3 4.5 6.3 3.2 0.2 16.9

Professional career[edit]

Young woman standing with her hands on hips wearing orange basketball uniform
Mitchell in 2018

Mitchell was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury twenty-fifth overall in the second round of 2008 WNBA Draft.[12] Mitchell was then traded to the New York Liberty during the 2008 pre-season after the Liberty acquired Mitchell in a trade in exchange for a 2009 third round draft pick.[13] 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 against 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 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 against the Tulsa Shock.[14] She won the 2010 WNBA Most Improved Player Award.[15] On September 2, 2011, Mitchell scored a career high 24 points in a win against the Minnesota Lynx.

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.[16] On February 4, 2015, Mitchell signed with the Phoenix Mercury.[17] On June 12, 2015 vs Indiana Fever Mitchell scored a career-high 25 points, going 8-14 from the floor including 7-10 from three point range. On July 5, 2015, Mitchell hit the go ahead three-point shot in overtime with 3.9 seconds, in a 94-91 win over the Los Angeles Sparks. On August 27, 2015, she scored 16 points and made a three-pointer from the top of the key at the horn to give Phoenix a 81–80 win over the Connecticut Sun. In 2016, Mitchell signed with the Washington Mystics in the second half of the season to fill a roster gap at the point guard position.[18] She played 10 games off the bench and averaged 5.9 ppg. In 2017, Mitchell returned to the Phoenix Mercury in free agency.[19]

Overseas career[edit]

Mitchell has played for ASPTT Arras in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB), a French professional league, during the WNBA off-season.[4] For the 2009-10 season, Mitchell won the Import Player of the Year Award and was named to the LFB 1st Team.[20] In 2012-2013, Mitchell played for the ŽKK Novi Zagreb in the Croatian League. Mitchell been playing for the WNBL since 2013, she has played with the Dandenong Rangers, Sydney Uni Flames, and Adelaide Lightning.


Personal life[edit]

Mitchell is currently engaged to WNBL basketball player Mikaela Dombkins. On July 24, 2018, the couple welcomed their first child when Dombkins gave birth to son Kash Maxwell.

WNBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2008 New York 34 5 15.2 .371 .404 .810 1.7 2.9 0.5 0.1 1.1 3.9
2009 New York 34 2 14.3 .300 .269 1.000 1.2 2.2 0.3 0.1 0.7 2.4
2010 New York 34 34 28.8 .441 .486 .814 2.6 3.8 1.6 0.2 1.5 9.3
2011 New York 34 30 25.4 .375 .364 .800 2.1 2.9 1.3 0.1 1.2 5.6
2012 New York 34 25 26.7 .409 .411 .750 2.5 3.0 1.0 0.2 1.5 6.5
2013 New York 34 9 18.6 .406 .376 .857 2.1 1.9 0.8 0.1 1.0 5.0
2015 Phoenix 34 26 23.0 .374 .394 .889 2.1 2.7 1.0 0.1 1.4 6.7
2016 Washington 10 0 16.1 .435 .355 .800 1.7 1.9 0.1 0.0 1.3 5.9
2017 Phoenix 34 7 21.3 .389 .360 .824 2.4 3.6 0.9 0.2 1.5 8.0
Career 8 years, 3 teams 282 138 21.3 .392 .395 .830 2.1 2.8 0.9 0.1 1.3 5.9

Postseason[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2008 New York 6 0 10.3 .429 .500 1.000 0.3 1.3 0.0 0.0 1.0 4.8
2010 New York 5 5 29.0 .227 .250 1.000 3.2 3.6 0.8 0.0 2.0 3.2
2011 New York 3 3 26.0 .353 .357 .000 1.7 1.7 0.3 0.3 1.0 5.7
2012 New York 2 0 15.5 .250 .200 .000 1.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.5 2.5
2015 Phoenix 4 0 14.8 .429 .500 .500 1.8 3.5 1.5 0.2 0.2 4.0
2017 Phoenix 5 5 33.0 .467 .480 .955 2.8 3.8 1.2 0.4 3.2 15.0
Career 6 years, 2 teams 25 13 20.0 .386 .395 .938 1.9 2.6 0.7 0.1 1.4 6.3

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. Player: Leilani Mitchell. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  3. ^ FIBA World Championship for Women. Joyce thrilled to get Mitchell on board. Retrieved 2014-04-18
  4. ^ a b Heyman, Brian (August 21, 2010). "Heart Lighter and Game Honed, Point Guard Leads the Liberty". New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ [Vandal]Profile: Leilani Mitchell Archived 2008-08-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ WNBA Player of the Week Leilani Mitchell puts herself on Brendan Joyce's Opals radar. news.com.au. Retrieved 2014-06-11
  7. ^ Potter, Jarrod (January 20, 2014). The colour of Opal. Star News Group Pty. Retrieved 2014-06-11
  8. ^ a b Columnist, Gordon Monson Tribune. "Monson: Utah's Mitchell has transcended turmoil". Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Leilani Mitchell: AP All-American". Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  10. ^ "Hays: Timing is everything for Mitchell, Utes". ESPN.com. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  11. ^ "NCAA Statistics". web1.ncaa.org. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-11.  Leila Mitchell Bio
  13. ^ http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/ny-splib075718291jun07,0,4672694.story
  14. ^ STL. "WNBA Player Profile: Leilani Mitchell". www.shesaballer.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  15. ^ Cherwoo, Vin A. (August 26, 2010). "Liberty's Leilani Mitchell is WNBA's most improved". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Page not found - New York Liberty". New York Liberty. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  17. ^ Mercury Sign Leilani Mitchell, Jasmine James Archived 2015-02-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Today, Mystics. "Mystics Sign Leilani Mitchell | Mystics Today". Mystics Today. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  19. ^ "Phoenix Mercury Sign Olympian Leilani Mitchell - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA". WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  20. ^ "LFB_2009-2010 Basketball League FRANCE - eurobasket". www.eurobasket.com. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 

External links[edit]