NEW YORK – University of Dayton women’s basketball player Saicha Grant-Allen was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in the third round of the 2017 WNBA Draft Thursday night with the 35th overall pick.
“I am very thankful for this opportunity that is nothing short of a blessing from God,” said Grant-Allen. “When first picking up the sport, playing in the league was always an unsaid aspiration that I left in God’s hands. This opportunity just serves as an example that through God, all things are possible. “
Grant-Allen, a 6-5 center, was a four-year standout for the Flyers and capped off her senior season with Atlantic 10 Second Team All-Conference honors and All-Defensive Team accolades, in addition to leading Dayton to A-10 regular season and tournament titles. She was a member of four Flyer teams that made postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournaments and an Elite Eight run in 2015. The Hamilton, Ontario native finished her career at UD with the school record for offensive rebounds, grabbing 290 in 123 games.
“I am so incredibly happy and proud of Saicha,” said Dayton head coach Shauna Green. “She is an example of what happens when someone just continues to work hard every single day and never takes days off. She got better throughout her career at UD and now she has achieved her dream.”
In her last two seasons with the Flyers, Grant-Allen averaged nearly a double-double with 10.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. She added A-10 All-Championship team, A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and two more All-Tournament Team honors at the Florida Sunshine Classic and Cavalier Classic as a senior.
The Los Angeles Sparks have previously drafted a Flyer, taking Andrea Hoover in the 2015 draft with the 31st pick, also going in the third round. She joined fellow Dayton player Ally Malott, who went eighth overall to the Washington Mystics the same season.
The reigning WNBA Champion Sparks won their third title after finishing second in the Western Conference during the regular season with a 26-8 record. L.A. defeated the Minnesota Lynx in a five-game series.