EUGENE — Maite Cazorla’s professional basketball career will begin in Atlanta.
The former Oregon Ducks point guard was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the 11th pick in the second round, No. 23 overall, of Wednesday’s WNBA draft.
Cazorla averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 assists and shot a career-high 49.6% from the field, including 41.2% from 3-point range, this season.
Dream coach Nicki Collen said Cazorla’s experience in Oregon’s pick-and-roll offense and prowess as a defender make her a perfect fit.
“Analytically, she’s as good as anybody in the draft,” Collen said. “I know that there’s the eye test too, which we really like, but statistically the way she shoots the 3, her points per shot, her assist-to-turnover ratio, her field-goal percentage from 3, she’s pro-ready.
“She’s a point guard that can really play off the high ball screen or any ball screen. … She’s obviously someone that understands the reads; the two-man read, the three-man read, and is good as anybody in those situations. On the other side, the kid can really defend. Last year we were first in the league defensively and we want to add players that are going to add offensively to what we do and increase in that area but we want to stay with our base of being really solid defensively. She really meets both needs for us.”
An All-Pac-12 selection as a junior and senior, Cazorla averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds while starting 146 games in her career, most in program history. She is second in career assists (691) and fourth in career steals (201) and career 3-pointers (211).
— The Oregonian