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Syracuse in the WNBA: Tiana Mangakahia waived by Phoenix Mercury

Mangakahia went undrafted this spring, but signed a training camp contract with the Mercury shortly after the draft

2021 Phoenix Mercury Media Day Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Syracuse Orange women’s basketball player Tiana Mangakahia was cut from the Phoenix Mercury training camp roster on Wednesday, according to reports.

Mangakahia went undrafted this spring, but signed a training camp contract with fellow Australian Sandy Brondello and the Phoenix Mercury shortly after the draft. The WNBA has just 144 total available roster spots, with each team having at most 12 players. Every player in training camp has to compete for a spot on the team and unfortunately Mangakahia did not make the cut this year.

Mangakahia appeared in both of the Mercury’s preseason games, tallying seven points and a rebound in one game and four points and an assist in the second one. She totaled seven turnovers between the two scrimmages.

Prior to training camp, Mangakahia stated that if she did not make the team she would head home to Australia and play professionally there, so we will keep an eye out for any developments there.

In three seasons with Syracuse, Mangakahia averaged 15.3 points, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds per contest in 85 games. She led the nation in assists and assists per game in two of the three seasons she played and set multiple program and conference records in those categories.

Mangakahia missed the 2019-20 season to battle Stage 2 breast cancer and returned to the court last season to lead the Orange to a 15-9 overall record. She left Syracuse as the all-time leader in career assists (736), the first player to surpass 600 and 700 assists in program history, and the fastest ‘Cuse WBB player to score 1,000 career points.

Five-year WNBA veteran Brittney Sykes (‘17) will be the lone Orange representative in the league this summer. Sykes is entering her second year with the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks officially open the 2021 season at home versus the Dallas Wings on Friday, May 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET live on Facebook.