Release from the Atlanta Dream:
The Atlanta Dream selected West Virginia guard Bria Holmes with the No. 11 overall selection of the 2016 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Dream entered the draft with three of the top 16 overall selections, as well as the No. 28 choice in the third round. Atlanta drafted Rutgers’ center Rachel Hollivay with the No. 13 overall pick (second round), Texas A&M guard Courtney Walker with the No 16 overall pick (second round) and Baylor guard Niya Johnson at No. 28 overall (third round).
“I think that this is an exceptional draft class for us,” Atlanta head coach Michael Cooper said. “It is a class that really solves all of our needs. We needed a backup wing, a backup center and we needed some scoring off the bench. I think that with these players here, along with a good point guard in Niya Johnson, we solved a lot of our problems.”
Holmes selection marked the highest a West Virginia player has ever been chosen in the WNBA Draft.
The 6-foot-1 guard finished her illustrious career at WVU with 2,001 points – the third most in program history. She became the first player at West Virginia to score 500 or more points in three consecutive seasons and ranks in WVU’s top-10 in 14 different statistical categories. She earned Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-American honors, while picking up All-America Honorable Mention by the Associated Press and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Holmes was a three-time unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection.
Hollivay, who wrapped up her collegiate career as Rutgers’ all-time leader in blocked shots, averaged 7.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game in her senior campaign. An Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honoree and member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team, the 6-4 Hollivay became the only Scarlet Knight in program history with over 300 career blocks. During the 2015-16 campaign she swatted away 112 shots, which ranked fifth nationally and second among Rutgers’ single-season blocks leaders.
Walker, a three-time All-America selection, led the SEC in scoring with 18.4 points per game in 2015-16. She finished as the Aggies all-time leader in points (1,989), made field goals (792), free throw percentage (.844) and starts (136).
Johnson has led the nation in assists in 2016 with an average of 8.9 per contest and also paced the Big XII in that category in each of the last two seasons. She capped her career as the all-time leader in assists in both Baylor and Big XII annals. Johnson earned first team All-Big XII recognition in each of the past two campaigns and was an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection.
The Dream open training camp on Saturday, April 23 before tipping off the preseason with a pair of games at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., vs. San Antonio (May 4) and Chicago (May 5).
Atlanta opens the 2016 regular season on the road on Saturday, May 14 at San Antonio