Brianna Kiesel signs multi-year contract with WNBA’s Atlanta Dream


Former Pitt point guard Brianna Kiesel signed a multi-year contract Thursday with the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. Theo Schwarz | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

Former Panthers point guard Brianna Kiesel, one of the most decorated players in Pitt women’s basketball history, is back in the WNBA.

Kiesel signed a multi-year contract Thursday with the Atlanta Dream, but the team did not disclose the terms of the agreement. Keisel, who graduated from Pitt in 2015, had been out of the WNBA since getting waived by the Dallas Wings in July 2016.

“I’m so happy for Bri,” Pitt head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said in a press release. “Her hard work and perseverance to continue her basketball career has paid off, and I’m looking forward to watching her in Atlanta.”

Kiesel played in 34 games as a rookie in 2015 with the Wings — formerly known as the Tulsa Shock — who selected her with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft. She made 15 starts while averaging 5.1 points per game, including a career-high 28 points in the team’s 2015 regular season finale.

Her new coach with the Dream, Michael Cooper, said Kiesel will be an integral piece of the team in 2017.

“Signing Brianna was very important for stabilizing our backcourt for the upcoming season,” Cooper said in a press release. “She knows what it takes to play in this league and will be a great addition to our team.”

During her four-year stint with the Panthers, Kiesel was a three-time team captain who rose to No. 5 all-time on Pitt’s career scoring list with 1,938 points. She also ranks fifth in school history with 433 career assists, eighth with 198 career steals and third with a .795 career free throw percentage.

Kiesel raised her scoring average in each successive season with the Panthers, averaging 13.6 points per game in her first year, 14.9 as a sophomore, 16.4 as a junior and 18.4 as a senior. She earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior and became the only player in program history to lead the team in points and assists four years in a row.

She hasn’t achieved the same success at the WNBA level, but the Dream have granted her another chance to carve out a professional career.

The Dream will begin the 2017 season Saturday, May 13, against the Connecticut Sun at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

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