Mystics Bolster Roster with Versatile Forward Aaliyah Edwards in WNBA Draft

The Washington Mystics select versatile Canadian forward Aaliyah Edwards 6th overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft, adding depth to their frontcourt as they aim to build a roster capable of competing with the league's best teams.

Nitish Verma
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Mystics Bolster Roster with Versatile Forward Aaliyah Edwards in WNBA Draft

Mystics Bolster Roster with Versatile Forward Aaliyah Edwards in WNBA Draft

The Washington Mystics selected Aaliyah Edwards, a standout forward from the University of Connecticut, with the 6th overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday. Edwards, a 21-year-old from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, brings versatility and a winning pedigree to a Mystics team looking to retool its roster.

In her four-year career at UConn, the 6-foot-3 Edwards was a two-time All-American and helped lead the Huskies to the Final Four in her senior season. She averaged career highs of 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in 2023-24, showcasing her ability to score efficiently around the basket and crash the boards.

Mystics GM Mike Thibault praised Edwards' finishing ability, physical defense, and potential to expand her game to the perimeter. "Aaliyah is a versatile player who can complement our existing frontcourt," Thibault said. "She has a great motor, can defend multiple positions, and we believe she has the tools to become a consistent outside threat in the WNBA."

Edwards will join a Mystics frontcourt that includes rising star Shakira Austin and newly signed veteran Stefanie Dolson. The Mystics are aiming to build a roster that can play various styles and match up with the league's best teams.

The Mystics also added backcourt depth in the draft, selecting Gonzaga point guard Kaylynne Truong in the second round and Belgian forward Nastja Claessens in the third. Truong, the 2023 WCC Player of the Year, is a skilled passer and 3-point shooter who will back up veteran Brittney Sykes.

For Edwards, being drafted 6th overall fulfills a lifelong dream. "I'm just excited to finally be able to live out my dream of playing in the WNBA," Edwards said. "This is what I've been working for my whole life. I'm ready to learn from the great players and coaches in Washington and contribute in any way I can."

Edwards' former high school coach, Karlyn Pixley, expressed joy in seeing her former star pupil reach the WNBA. "Aaliyah has always been a hard-working, confident player who was committed to improving," Pixley said. "She has the poise and maturity to succeed at the next level and be a role model for young players."

The Mystics' selection of Edwards with the 6th pick marks the eighth time a Canadian has been drafted in the first round of the WNBA. It reflects the growing talent pipeline from Canada, which has produced recent WNBA All-Stars like Kia Nurse and Bridget Carleton.

As a senior at UConn, Edwards was named to the 2024 Women's Wooden Award All-American Team and received honorable mention on the AP All-America team. She also earned Most Outstanding Player honors while leading Canada to the inaugural GLOBL JAM championship in 2022.

Edwards and the Mystics' other 2024 draft picks will look to make an immediate impact and help the team bounce back after missing the playoffs in 2023. The Mystics' season tips off on May 19 against the Indiana Fever.

Key Takeaways

  • Mystics draft Aaliyah Edwards, a versatile forward from UConn, 6th overall.
  • Edwards, a 2-time All-American, averaged 17.6 pts, 9.2 rebs in 2023-24 season.
  • Mystics also add Gonzaga's Kaylynne Truong, Belgian forward Nastja Claessens in draft.
  • Edwards' selection marks 8th time a Canadian has been drafted in WNBA 1st round.
  • Mystics aim to build roster that can play various styles, match up with league's best.