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Stephanie Mavunga becomes first Zimbabwean to be drafted to the WNBA

Stephanie Mavunga became the first Zimbabwean in history when she was picked as the second Ohio State women’s basketball player taken in the 2018 WNBA Draft on Thursday night and will be joining her former Buckeyes teammate.

After the Indiana Fever took Kelsey Mitchell with the No. 2 pick, Mavunga was selected No. 14 overall by the Fever as well.

A 2013 McDonald’s All-American, Mavunga played her first two college seasons at North Carolina and picked up first-team All-ACC honours as a sophomore after averaging nearly a double-double (14.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game).

But in the summer of 2015, the proven all-conference forward announced her intentions to transfer.

That August, she chose Ohio State, and she joined the Buckeyes shortly after helping Team USA earn the silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, where she played with three Buckeyes players.

STEPHANIE MAVUNGA Picture/Twitter@Smavunga_23

Mavunga sat out the 2015-16 season because of NCAA transfer rules, and two separate injuries forced her to miss 13 games her redshirt junior campaign.

She was productive when healthy, however, averaging 11.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and still earning second-team All-Big Ten honours.

That success, albeit over two-thirds of the season, carried over to her final collegiate season this year.

She increased her scoring and rebounding numbers to 16.6 and 11.0 per game, respectively, and turned in 19 double-doubles while starting all 35 games.

She paired with Kelsey Mitchell to form a first-team all-league duo that powered Ohio State to a 27-7 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now, both players are off to the WNBA ranks.

And by the end of the three-round draft, one of their former teammates may be joining them. ESPN’s latest mock has the Minnesota Lynx drafting Buckeyes guard Linnae Harper with the final pick in the second round (No. 24 overall).

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