Queen Victoria chosen in 1st round of WNBA draft

By HAILSTATE.COM,

STARKVILLE – After re-writing the Mississippi State record books, Victoria Vivians is taking her talents to the WNBA.

Vivians was taken eighth overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2018 WNBA Draft Thursday night in New York City.

The Scott Central graduate becomes the sixth Bulldog taken in the WNBA Draft and the first since 2010. She is State’s highest selection since Tan White was picked second overall by the Fever in 2005.

“This has been such an amazing night, and I am excited to be going to Indiana,” Vivians said. “The Fever are a great organization, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to learn under some great players and an outstanding coach in Coach Chatman. My coaches and teammates at Mississippi State have prepared me for this next journey, and I can’t wait to get back on the court.”

Vivians wrapped one of the best seasons in MSU history, averaging a career-best 19.8 points per game behind a 773-point tally that rates second in MSU history.

She also posted career-best shooting numbers, knocking down 48.5 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from 3-point range and 80.9 percent from the free-throw line.

Vivians hauled in a career-best 6.1 rebounds per contest.

“We are so happy for Victoria and her family,” Naismith Coach of the Year Vic Schaefer said. “To be a Top 8 pick in the WNBA Draft is so special. So much hard work and commitment goes into a day like today, from the early days of playing with her brothers and cousins on the dirt outside, to playing for Chad Harrison at Scott Central, to her choosing to stay at home and play for her state school Mississippi State. We all can share in our pride that we have for Victoria. The great State of Mississippi can be proud of Victoria. She is going to a great team that is so excited to get her. She will be a tremendous fit for them.”

She earned First Team All-SEC laurels from the league coaches and Associated Press after guiding Mississippi State to the first undefeated season by an SEC team since 1998 and the program’s first conference championship.

Vivians, who scored double figures 38 times and 20-plus points in 20 games, became the first Bulldog since Thomas in 2003 to be named Associated Press First Team All-American. She was also tabbed a WBCA All-American as well as a second-team honoree by the USBWA and a third-team selection by ESPNW.

Vivians was also named to the inaugural Naismith Starting 5, receiving the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for the country’s top shooting guard.

She earned Kansas City Co-Most Outstanding Player and NCAA All-Final Four Team accolades after helping the Bulldogs return to the national championship game for the second-straight year.

Vivians wrapped her MSU career with 2,527 points, second-most in Bulldog annals and ninth in the SEC record books. Her 923 made field goals and 281 3-pointers both landed second all-time at MSU.

Part of the winningest class in Mississippi State history, Vivians was instrumental in taking the Bulldogs to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and setting the school record for wins each of her seasons, including a nation’s-best 37-2 record in 2017-18.