Aces Add Depth to Championship Aspirations with Selections of Rupert, Slocum and Jeter in 2021 WNBA Draft
LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Aces added three more pieces to their potential championship puzzle Thursday evening, as they selected 19-year-old forward Iliana Rupert from France (No. 12 overall), guard Destiny Slocum from Arkansas (No. 14), and guard Kionna Jeter from Towson (No. 36).
The 19-year-old Rupert just finished her third professional season playing in her native France where she has suited up for Bourges in the LFB and the Euroleague. A year ago, she was named the Euroleague Young Player of the Year after averaging 6.4 points and 4.6 rebounds while making 50.0 percent of her shots in 15 games. The EuroLeague is the highest professional basketball league in Europe.
This season, she averaged a career-high 10.2 points in the French League, while connecting on a career-high 63.0-percent of her shots from the field. She likewise set career highs with 9.3 points and 66.7 percent shooting in Euroleague play.
Bourges is currently in first place in the LFB with a record of 21-2.
"It was clear we couldn't pass up a talent like Iliana," said Aces Head Coach Bill Laimbeer. "She's already a quality player, and at only 19 years of age, she is only going to get better. We need young talent to continue moving this franchise forward, and she fits the bill perfectly."
A prolific shooter since she first suited up as a collegian, Slocum nailed 37.5 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc, never shooting below 36.8 percent in her four years.
She is equally as efficient as a passer, leading her team in assists every year of her career, and posting better than a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio over her last two seasons.
Her 106 assists as a senior were the 15th highest single season total in Arkansas history, and the 2017 National Freshman of the Year was named an All-Conference performer in the SEC, Pac 12 and Big Ten during her career.
"Destiny is a great facilitator, has a quality outside shot, and is an outstanding passer," said Laimbeer. "She is also a quality teammate, who will fit well within the chemistry of our ballclub."
Jeter finished in the top ten in the nation in scoring this season pouring in 23.0 points per game en route to her third straight All-CAA First Team selection. The first player ever selected from Towson in the WNBA Draft, the 5-8 Spartanburg, SC native finished her career ranked third in school history in scoring (1,582), third in three-pointers (186), and fourth in steals (237).
Jeter is also a two-time All-Defensive selection, who became first CAA player to score 30 or more points in three consecutive contests since two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne did it in the 2012-13 season at Delaware.
"Kionna finished in the top ten in the nation in scoring this year at Towson, and we're excited to see what she can do against WNBA competition come training camp," said Laimbeer.
Las Vegas Aces
This season, the Aces return league M'VP A'ja Wilson, five-time All-Star Angel McCoughtry, three-time All-Star Liz Cambage, two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby along with former No. 1 overall picks Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, and 22-year-old center JiSu Park. During the offseason, they added Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams via free agency, and 2020 late-season addition Emma Cannon signed a training camp contract with the team.
The Aces tip off the 2021 WNBA Season with a pair of 2020 Finals rematches at Seattle on Saturday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 18. Tip times are slated for 12 pm and 8 pm PT respectively.
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