Heading into Thursday’s WNBA Draft, Lexi Eaton Rydalch had no idea when her named would be called. All signs pointed to the Brigham Young University guard being drafted, but that was about the extent of the information she had received.
“I had been talking to my agent, and she gave me bits and pieces of info. But I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect,” Eaton Rydalch said. “I was definitely on the edge of my seat.”
The moment of truth for Eaton Rydalch came early in the third round, when the Seattle Storm drafted her with the 26th overall pick. A 5-10 guard from Mapleton, Utah, Eaton Rydalch became just the fourth BYU product to be selected in the WNBA Draft. She led the Cougars in scoring all four years of her career, including a remarkable average of 24.2 points per game this past season.
Eaton Rydalch said she was thrilled just to be drafted and live out something that’s been a dream of hers since high school. But after learning that the Pacific Northwest would be her destination, the excitement only escalated.
“I absolutely love Seattle,” she said. “I love the scenery and the overall feel of the city. In fact, I’ve always said that I would love to live in Seattle at some point. I’ve just kind of fallen in love with the city and the scenery up there, so I’m super excited.”
Eaton Rydalch played several games in Washington during her illustrious career, one that is certainly among the greatest in BYU history.
Named the 2015-16 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Eaton Rydalch guided the Cougars to their first conference regular-season title this past season. She overcame a major setback early in her career, suffering a torn ACL as a sophomore that led to a medical redshirt season. Three years later, she’s the WCC’s all-time leading scorer and BYU has been in the NCAA Tournament every season since the injury.
Eaton Rydalch scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games as a senior. She was fifth in the nation with 24.2 points per game, earning her an AP All-America honorable mention.
“I’ve had to learn to score in all types of ways: from the three-point line, mid-range and getting to the basket,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to bringing my skills to the team and hopefully helping the team in any way that I can.”
Storm training camp begins April 24, and Eaton Rydalch knows exactly what’s at stake. Seattle’s roster, currently at 19, will be cut down to 12 by the start of the season. At the guard position, the Storm features nine-time All-Star Sue Bird and reigning Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd.
“I have a goal to prove myself, and I think that starts at training camp,” Eaton Rydalch said. “I just need to come in and work hard, just give all that I have. Hopefully I can add something to the team, and then I want to play overseas as well. So I’m just hoping to take advantage of every opportunity I get and try to make the most of it.”