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Erica
Wheeler

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Erica Wheeler's Bio

About Erica Wheeler

Position: Guard

WNBA Years: 4

Height: 5-7

Weight: 143

Born: May 2, 1991 in Parkland, Fla.

High School: Parkway Academy (Miramar, Fla.)

College: Rutgers ‘13

Drafted: Undrafted

Acquired: Signed as a free agent, 2/8/16

 

  • Undrafted free agent who has completed four WNBA seasons and become a staple in the Fever lineup
  • Tops in Fever history with 3.67 career assists per game; 141 assists in 2018 were two shy of Fever record
  • Second undrafted player to debut in WNBA since 2007 and eclipse 1,000 career points; sixth undrafted free agent in league history to reach 1,000 points and 400 assists
  • Tied Indiana record with 7 3-pointers at New York (Aug. 8, 2017) while scoring career-high 33 points to match second-best total in Fever history
  • All-BIG EAST player at Rutgers who missed much of her senior season due to the passing of her mother, Melissa Cooper.
  • Steered away from drug-infested streets by her mother, pays tribute to her with tattoos on shoulder and leg; and has begun Wheeler Kids Foundation to help kids who are less fortunate

 

Having completed four WNBA seasons, Erica Wheeler established herself as a starter and regular contributor with the Fever…undrafted and a part of two franchises as a free agent rookie in 2015, Wheeler uses speed and quickness to get to the rim…she has started 73 of 102 career games with the Fever.

Wheeler established career highs across the board in 2016, after appearing in 20 games as a rookie; and set new standards in 2017 while making 26 starts and averaging a career-best 11.8 points per game…in 2018 she became the sixth undrafted player in league history to reach career milestones of 1,000 points and 400 assists…in 122 career games overall, Wheeler owns career averages of 8.5 points and 3.3 assists per game.

She is 49 points shy of 1,000 points in a Fever uniform…she is fifth in Indiana history with 374 career assists…her 3.67 career assists per game is currently tops in Fever history.

The Wheeler Kids Foundation assists youth who are less fortunate, encouraging them to strive for success and overcome hardship…Wheeler and the Foundation made scholarship contributions to a pair of Indianapolis youth in 2017…the Foundation hosted its first basketball camp, Oct. 2, 2018, near her hometown in Miami.

 

PRO – WNBA

2018: Appearing in all 34 games, Wheeler started in 22 while averaging 7.8 points per game…her 4.15 assists per game were fourth in club history for a single season, just ahead of her 2017 figure…her 141 assists were two shy of Indiana’s season record of 143 by Tamika Catchings in 2005…her 10 assists at Atlanta, 6/14, represented the first double-digit assist game by a Fever player since Briann January in 2011, and the eighth in team history…she scored a season-high 15 points at Atlanta, 7/13…she had a near triple-double vs. Las Vegas, 6/12, finishing with 12 points, a career-high seven rebounds and eight assists.

2017: Wheeler was second on the team in scoring and tops in assists while averaging 11.8 points and 4.1 assists per game…she was one of four players to appear in every Fever game, and second on the team with 26 starts…it was just the fourth time a Fever player averaged more than four assists per game in a season…Wheeler eclipsed 20 points five times and reached double-figure scoring on 18 occasions…her career scoring high of 33 points came at Madison Square Garden against New York, 8/8, while shooting 12-of-18 overall and 7-of-11 from 3-point range…she tied the franchise mark for 3FGs in a game and matched the second-highest scoring night in club history…she had 27 points through three quarters and hit a pair of deep 3-pointers in the final moments to keep Indiana within reach in a 5-point loss…she generated a season-high nine assists at Dallas, 7/25, and had six or more assists 11 times…she led the Fever in scoring nine times, and was tops in assists in 15 games…she finished 2017 with season-bests in 3-point percentage (.331), 3FGs (50), rebounds (75), assists (138), steals (47) and points (400).

2016: A training camp free agent to begin the season, Wheeler wound up starting 25 games overall, and 18 of Indiana’s last 20 games…an undrafted rookie free agent just one year earlier, she scored in double figures 12 times…in 34 games, she averaged 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, contributing a season-high 20 points at LA, 9/4…she had 10 points and a season-high nine assists in a near double-double at Chicago, 6/29…she had 18 points and seven assists at Atlanta, 5/29…she earned her first career start during her Fever debut against Dallas, 5/14, and matched her previous scoring high with 13 points, including 6-of-8 free throw attempts…she posted a season-high six rebounds at Washington, 6/22.

2015: Wheeler’s rookie season in the WNBA included 17 regular season games with Atlanta and three with New York…waived by the Dream following a three-team trade including Chicago & Minnesota, she was signed one month later by the Liberty…she averaged 4.5 points and 1.5 assists with the Dream, and 4.7 points and 0.3 assists in three regular season games with New York…she posted a season-high 13 points against Indiana, 6/16.

 

PLAYOFFS

2016: Wheeler made her first playoff start and scored 10 points in a first-round loss to Phoenix, 9/21.

2015: She appeared in three playoff games for the Liberty, including Games 1 and 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Indiana…her lone basket in the playoffs came against Indiana, 9/23 in Game 1 of the East Finals.

 

PRO – OVERSEAS

2018-19: Wheeler starred with Nadezhda Orenburg in the Russian League where she averaged 10.7 points and 4.5 assists per game…she was a second team all-league pick by EuroBasket.com while leading Nadezhda to the Russian League semifinals…in EuroCup action, she averaged 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists while carrying her club to the EuroCup championship…Wheeler fueled the title run with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the championship game and was selected the EuroCup Finals MVP by EuroBasketball.com.

2017-18: In 24 Turkish League games with Besiktas, Wheeler averaged 16.6 points, 5.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds…Besiktas finished sixth in the Turkish League with a 13-11 record…she tallied 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in EuroCup action.

2016-17: Wheeler began the season with Avenida in Spain, before transferring to Maccabi Ashdod in Israel…she averaged 10.4 points through 10 games in Spain…with Maccabi Ashdod, she averaged 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in Israel.

2015-16: She played 26 games with Sampaio Basquete in Brazil, averaging 11.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and finishing second in the league with 4.3 assists per game.

2014-15: Wheeler played for Recife in Brazil, averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

2013-14: Wheeler began her pro career with Leonas de Ponce (Puerto Rico) where she averaged 14.1 points and was second in the league with 5.7 assists, in 26 games…she later signed and played with Mersin, in Turkey.

 

COLLEGE

Wheeler finished her Rutgers career with 1,027 career points, and ranked fifth all-time at RU in 3-point field goals made (157), third in 3-point field goals attempted (500) and 10th on the Scarlet Knight all-time 3-point field goal percentage list (.314)…as a senior, she was an honorable mention All-Big East selection as she led the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game…she led the Scarlet Knights in 3-point shooting at a .354 clip and finished the season attempting 178 shots from downtown to tie for second on the RU single season list for 3-pointers attempted.

 

PERSONAL

The daughter of Eric Wheeler and Melissa Cooper, Wheeler grew up in her grandmother’s five-bedroom house with a dozen other siblings and relatives until she was 11 in a rough-and-tumble section of Miami…her mother helped steer her from playing pick-up ball in local parks, toward organized school and basketball at Monsignor Pace, and eventually Parkway Academy (late in freshman year)…Wheeler helped Parkway to a pair of state championships as a junior and senior in 2008 and 2009…considering South Carolina, LSU and Florida among college choices besides Rutgers, Wheeler was rated the No. 5 point guard in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100…she was a labor studies major at Rutgers…her mother passed away during her senior year of college and Wheeler credits RU coach C. Vivian Stringer for helping her become “a young woman that will be ready for life.” … Wheeler pays tribute to her mother with tattoos on her right shoulder blade and right leg.

 

CAREER TRANSACTIONS

(1) Signed by Atlanta to a training camp contract, 5/25/15. (2) Waived by Atlanta, 7/27/15. (3) Signed to a remainder-of-season contract by New York, 9/8/15. (4) Signed a free agent contract with Indiana, 2/18/16. (4) Signed a free agent contract with Indiana, 2/1/17. (5) Re-signed with Indiana, 2/5/18. (6) Re-signed with Indiana, 2/1/19.

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