April 18, 2014
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SEATTLE – Senior Valencia McFarland will continue her dreams of playing professional basketball with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm as the Edwards, Miss., native signed a training-day contract with the two-time WNBA Champions on Friday (April 18).
McFarland becomes the first Rebel to be in a WNBA training camp since Bianca Thomas (Los Angeles Sparks) and Shawn Goff (Atlanta Dream) in 2010.
“This is a dream come true,” said McFarland. “I’ve been dreaming of playing at the next level since I was a young basketball player and to have the opportunity to go and compete with some of the best players in the world is a great opportunity. I’m thankful to all of my family, friend, coaches and teammates who have prepared me for this journey. I look forward to competing for a roster spot and sharing the journey with all of Rebel Nation.”
McFarland will go down as one of the greats to ever wear an Ole Miss jersey. The 5-4 point guard closed her career as the No. 6 scorer with 1,655 career points, surpassing the 1,000-point mark as a junior. In her senior campaign she tallied 201 assists, which ranks third on Ole Miss’ single-season list. In 2013-14, McFarland scored 20 or more points on 15 occasions this season and closed the season with double figures in each of Ole Miss’ last nine games.
McFarland, an All-SEC second-team selection and an honorable mention AP All-American, joined former Ole Miss great Armintie Price as the only Rebels to lead their team in steals in four consecutive years and is one of five players with 1,000 points and 400 assists. McFarland is also a two-time finalist for the C Spire/Gillom Trophy, awarded to the top women’s basketball player in Mississippi.
Seattle added two players in the WNBA Draft on Monday (April 13) welcoming Utah’s Michelle Plouffe and Stanford’s Mikaela Ruef. Additionally, the Storm acquired Crystal Langhorne from the Washington Mystics.
The Storm will open training camp on April 27 at Seattle Pacific University before hosting the Los Angeles Sparks in a preseason contest on May 11 at 1 p.m. Seattle will play their first game on Friday May 16 vs. the Los Angeles Sparks. Should McFarland make the roster she will become the sixth Ole Miss player to play in the WNBA, joining the likes of Jennifer Gillom, Armintie Price-Herrington, Bianca Thomas, Yolanda Moore and Saundra Jackson.
Click HERE for the Seattle Storm press release.
For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.