See more of the story

CHICAGO — Stella Johnson, a rookie guard from Rider who led the nation in scoring last season, has signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Sky, the WNBA team announced Monday.

Johnson, who averaged 24.8 points as a senior in 2019-20, was a third-round draft pick (No. 29 overall) by the Phoenix Mercury in April. But according to Arizona's Cronkite News, the Mercury released Johnson and three other players in late May — without being able to evaluate them in a training camp — when WNBA teams had to trim rosters to 12 so that players could begin receiving paychecks.

The 5-foot-10 Johnson was a two-time player of the year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Rider's first All-American in women's basketball.

"We are happy to announce we have signed Stella," Sky general manager and coach James Wade said. "She is someone who we've followed closely. We feel that she is a young player with a lot of potential. We really liked that she is a physical guard who can give us some guard depth at the point guard and off-guard positions."

Johnson's signing brings the Sky roster to 12 players, including All-Star guards Diamond DeShields, Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley.

The WNBA plans to play a 22-game season plus playoffs in Bradenton, Fla., though dates have not been announced.


©2020 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.