Mercer standout senior Kahlia Lawrence was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round with the 24th overall pick of the 2018 WNBA Draft on Thursday night. Lawrence was later traded to the Las Vegas Aces in the third round, along with Ji-Su Park.
Lawrence’s selection marks the second time in school history and first since Andrea Congreaves in 1997 (Charlotte Sting) that a Mercer player has been taken in the WNBA draft. Lawrence is the second student-athlete drafted from the Southern Conference, joining Alex Anderson who was drafted in 2008 by the San Antonio Stars. Lawrence is now the highest drafted player from the SoCon.
“I am so proud of Kahlia,” stated Mercer Women’s Basketball Head Coach Susie Gardner. “It has been her dream to play professional basketball after college and to be playing for the Las Vegas Aces is a credit to the career that she had at Mercer. I know Kahlia will do what she has always done and prepare for camp and be ready to contribute to the team. I’m not going to lie, I am one proud coach right now. So happy for Kahlia and her family.”
The Columbus, Ga., native led Mercer to its first SoCon Tournament title and NCAA Division I Tournament berth in 2018 while earning SoCon Player of the Year for a record-breaking third straight season. The senior guard finished her career with 2,275 points, ranking third in Mercer and SoCon history, after averaging 17.2 points per game over four seasons. Lawrence also snuck into the top-10 in career rebounds at Mercer with 696 total boards. The 2018 SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player averaged 25.0 points per game during the Bears’ tournament run this season.
Lawrence led Mercer to three straight SoCon regular season titles dating back to the 2015-16 season. She is the two-time defending Georgia Women’s College Player of the Year and earned All-SoCon First Team honors three times in her career as well.
The Las Vegas Aces, formerly known as the San Antonio Stars, finished the 2017 WNBA season with an 8-26 overall record, falling short of the playoffs. The Aces look to rebuild this season after acquiring five players in the draft, including Lawrence and 2018 Citizen Naismith Player of the Year in A’ja Wilson.
COURTESY MERCER ATHLETICS