OUCH! Lia Galdeira to leave WSU, turn pro

WASHINGTON STATE women's basketball has taken a big hit as star guard Lia Galdeira announced she will forego her senior season at WSU to play professionally in Europe.

“I have made the decision to pursue my lifelong dream and play professionally, this year in Europe and then in the WNBA,” Lia Galdeira said in a release from WSU SID. “To all the Cougar fans, your support has been very much appreciated by me and my teammates. Please continue to support them, as I will. Go Cougs!”

Galdeira has signed with an agent (Elmira Draskicevic), WSU said.

Galdeira averaged 20.0 ppg this past season, second in the Pac-12 Conference and 25th nationally. She led the Pac-12 and tied for fifth in the country with 105 steals, second-most in WSU single-season history, while also recording 6.1 rpg and a team-best 83 assists en route to her second-straight All-Pac-12 First Team selection.

The loss of Galdeira on top of backcourt mate Tia Presley, a senior this past season, will produce a significant backcourt challenge for June Daugherty this coming season. Senior Dawnyelle Awa and sophomore Caila Hailey will be among those trying to replace the collective 36.7 ppg provided by Galdeira and Presley this past season.

"Lia has made the decision after much contemplation to pursue her professional basketball career overseas,” said Daugherty in the release. “She has had a record-setting and great career as a member of the Cougar women's basketball family and now feels it is time to take her talents to the next level. It has been a pleasure to coach her. We thank her and wish her much success and happiness as a professional player."

In her three seasons in a Cougar uniform, Galdeira helped lead the Cougs twice to the postseason with WNIT bids. She ranks second in career scoring (1,710 points), three-point field goals made (160), field goals made (621) and steals (271), first in three-point field goal attempts (576) and total field goals attempts (1,645), fourth in free throws made (308) and fifth in free throws attempted (432). All three seasons she was named All-Pac-12 and to the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team.

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