Phoenix acquires 6-5 center from New York

Mercury deal for Kelly Schumacher

Posted: April 2, 2007

The Phoenix Mercury did not wait until Wednesday’s WNBA draft to add a projected starter to their frontcourt, acquiring 6-5 center Kelly Schumacher from the New York Liberty in exchange for Phoenix’s 2008 second round pick, the club announced today.

“Kelly Schumacher has the speed and the shooting ability, outside and inside, to make her a threat in our style of play,” said Mercury Head Coach Paul Westhead. “She is very good defensively as a shotblocker and she will be a great rebounder to help us outlet the ball and initiate the break. She will fit very well into our fastbreak system—she will be a terrific player for us.”

The six-year WNBA veteran responded in her first season as a consistent starter in 2006, averaging career-highs of 7.8 points and a team-leading 5.5 rebounds for the Liberty. Schumacher blocked 25 shots in 21 games (all starts) last season, only two fewer than Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, who led Phoenix in 2006 with 27 blocks in 34 games. New York acquired Schumacher before the start of the 2006 season from the Indiana Fever, with whom she played her first five seasons in the league.

The 29-year-old is currently playing for UB Barca in Barcelona, Spain, averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.

Phoenix acquired the UCONN product in exchange for its own second round pick in 2008. The Mercury still have a second round pick, picked up from the San Antonio Silver Stars for Sandora Irvin on Feb. 21.

Winners of a franchise-best seven straight to finish 2006, the Phoenix Mercury look to pick up where they left off led by All-Stars Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter in the record-shattering offense of head coach Paul Westhead. Under the direction of new general manager Ann Meyers Drysdale, the Mercury own the No. 1 overall pick in the April 4 WNBA Draft. Phoenix opens its 11th WNBA season on Saturday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. at US Airways Center against the San Antonio Silver Stars.