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LA Sparks Select Maria Vadeeva 11th Overall in 2018 WNBA Draft

April 12, 2018 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Los Angeles Sparks News Release

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Los Angeles Sparks selected center Maria Vadeeva with the 11th pick overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft, announced Executive Vice President and General Manager, Penny Toler.

"Maria is arguably the best young talent in all of Europe," said Penny Toler, LA Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager. "She's a very skilled post player that is very comfortable playing both with her back to the basket or facing up. The sky is the limit for her!"

Making her international debut at the age of just 16, Vadeeva averaged 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1 block per game during the 2017-18 season playing for Dynamo Kurlsk in Russia. The 6-foot-4 center currently ranks fourth in the Premier League in scoring, eighth in rebounding, seventh in blocks and second in FG percentage. She has competed in the FIBA U19 World Cup where her MVP performance led Russia's win over the U.S. in the gold medal game.

"Vadeeva is a strong post player and at 19 years old, she is highly decorated and a top young player in Europe," said LA Sparks Head Coach, Brian Agler. "She currently plays alongside Nneka in Russia and is very strong and versatile with great skills and strength."

A highly decorated player, Vadeeva has been playing professionally for four years in the Russian Women's Basketball Premier League, a top offseason destination for WNBA players, despite being just 19 years old.

The Sparks will tip-off the 2018 season at Staples Center on May 27th vs. Phoenix Mercury and the next home game on June 3rd vs. defending WNBA Champions Minnesota Lynx. Please visit LASPARKS.com or call 1-844-GO-SPARKS to Purchase 2018 Season Tickets Today!

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