10-year WNBA pro, unrestricted free agent, to make the Valley home
With four new high-profile acquisitions already this offseason, the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today rounded out an overhauled roster and bolstered the team’s frontcourt with the signing of unrestricted free agent center Kia Vaughn. Phoenix welcomes the 10-year center to the Valley after she last played 29 games with the New York Liberty during the 2018 WNBA season.
“Kia Vaughn is a high-caliber veteran who brings size, toughness and playoff experience to an already improved roster. The addition of Kia continues an offseason of adding proven talent, both veteran and youth, adding toughness and athleticism, shooting and rebounding. Just like our other additions, Kia will be a great fit in Phoenix”
– GM Jim Pitman
A 6-4 low post presence, Vaughn has averaged 6.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 307 games over her career. Expected to provide Phoenix with quality depth off the bench, Vaughn has started 154 games in her career, including 49 over her last two seasons. In her most recent WNBA campaign in 2018, Vaughn averaged 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 53.3 percent from the field, the second highest mark in her career (53.6 percent in 2017).
Originally the eighth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Liberty, Vaughn spent her first four years in the Big Apple, posting her best overall season in 2011. During that season, she averaged career highs in points (10.1) and rebounds (6.7), and started all 34 games for a Liberty team that reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Vaughn was traded to the Washington Mystics prior to the start of the 2013 season where she spent her next four years before being traded back to New York in 2017.
Vaughn is no stranger to the postseason, having appeared in the playoffs in seven of her 10 WNBA seasons and averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in postseason play. In her second WNBA season, she was a member of New York’s 22-12 team that went on to reach the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Atlanta Dream.
Despite not playing during the 2019 season, Vaughn has pieced together a strong overseas campaign in Turkey this WNBA offseason. Playing for Elazig, she’s currently averaging 20.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in 14 games, while shooting a team-best 56.1 percent (115-of-205) from the field.
A native of New York, Vaughn was a standout at Rutgers under legendary head coach Vivian Stringer. She graduated as the program’s all-time leader in games played (135), second all-time in blocked shots (279) and rebounds (1,079). She was one of only four players in RU history at the time to record more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career and became the second Scarlet Knight to lead the team in rebounding in all four years on campus.
Professional basketball returns to The Madhouse May 2020 as the Phoenix Mercury bring their quest for a record-tying fourth WNBA Championship to Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the original home of the Phoenix Suns. Join superstars Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith and the X-Factor at one of basketball’s loudest venues.
Tickets for Fry’s Food Stores Opening Night on Sunday, May 17, can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting Ticketmaster.