Stephanie Mavunga’s long, winding basketball journey took its latest turn Thursday. And this latest twist took the Brownsburg, Indiana, native home.
The Indiana Fever selected the former Ohio State forward with the fourteenth pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Mavunga became the second former Buckeye selected in the draft after the Fever took guard Kelsey Mitchell second overall.
A North Carolina transfer, Mavunga earned first-team Big Ten honors in her redshirt senior season and was a second-team Big Ten player as a redshirt junior. The second-round pick averaged a double-double in both seasons as a Buckeye and dropped 16.6 points and 11 rebounds per game as a senior.
Mavunga will provide the Fever with a steady post presence. She dominated the low post with the ball in her hands and was a force as an offensive rebounder, leading the Big Ten with 4.7 offensive boards per game last season.
A force against teams without anyone to match her 6-foot-3 stature, Mavunga grabbed 15-plus rebounds in seven games as a redshirt senior. She opened the season with a 21-point, 26-rebound performance in the season’s first game against Stanford, then pulled down a Big Ten tournament-record 21 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ semifinal matchup against Minnesota.
In her two seasons at North Carolina and two at Ohio State, Mavunga averaged a combined 13.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. She also shot 64.5 percent from the field during her career and averaged 2.4 blocks per game.