Mikayla Pivec is going to be a part of building from the ground up.
The Lynnwood High School graduate was selected by the rebuilding Atlanta Dream in the third round of WNBA draft Friday evening.
Pivec, who just completed her collegiate eligibility at Oregon State, was selected with the first pick of the third round (No. 25 overall) by an Atlanta team that finished with the worst record in the WNBA last season. Therefore, Pivec is joining a team that has nowhere to go but up.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity,” Pivec said during the draft broadcast on ESPN. “You grow up watching these amazing players. To hopefully be able to play on that stage will be a huge accomplishment.”
Pivec, a 5-foot-10 guard, was the leader of a nationally-ranked Oregon State team that finished the season 23-9 and was on track for a high seed to the NCAA tournament prior to it being canceled. She averaged 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, being named All-Pac-12 and earning honorable mention All-American honors.
Pivec also has represented the U.S. in international competition, earning a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games held in Peru.
Pivec is a two-time Washington State girls basketball Gatorade Player of the Year, leading Lynnwood to its first ever state championship when the Royals claimed the Class 3A title in 2014. She is the first Snohomish County native to be selected in the WNBA draft since Snohomish High School graduate Milena Flores was taken in the third round of the 2000 draft by the Miami Sol.
Pivec was selected by an Atlanta team that finished 8-26 last season and is attempting to retool following a 15-game dropoff from 2018. Therefore, there should be a chance for Pivec to earn playing time. Two members of last year’s guard rotation, second-leading scorer Brittney Sykes and key reserve Alex Bentley, are gone. The Dream added veteran guard Courtney Williams in a trade with the Connecticut Sun, then drafted guard Chennedy Carter out of Texas Tech with the fourth-overall pick. They’ll be in the mix to partner with holdover leading scorer Tiffany Hayes in the backcourt.
Pivec, who is an elite rebounder for a guard, is heady enough to have played point guard for Oregon State when needed, and who was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team the past season, has a broad base of skills from which to carve out a role with the Dream.
“I’m somebody who’s going to do the little things for the team no matter what it takes,” Pivec said on ESPN. “This summer I was able to play with Team USA in Peru and was able to step up my defensive game, because I knew that was important for our team to be successful.”
The WNBA season was originally scheduled to begin May 15. However, training camps and the start of the season have been postponed as social-distancing measures are enacted to try and slow the spread of coronavirus. Pivec is spending the down time working on a project to deliver healthy meals to health-care workers.