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Tuesday, May 5, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Ex-Providence Star Joins Mulitauopele As Newest Reign

Special To The Seattle Times

Naomi Mulitaoaupele knew going into today's ABL draft that she would move from Stanford University to the Seattle Reign.

Her hometown team had exercised its regional option last Thursday to take the 6-foot-4 post player who starred in high school for Chief Sealth.

It wasn't until midway through the draft today, though, that Mulitaoaupele and the rest of the Reign learned the name of another player who will be joining them for next season. That's when Nadine Malcolm, a 6-1 forward from Providence who played in Portugal last season and averaged 30.2 points, 15 rebounds and five assists per game, was selected. Malcom also played six games last season for the now-defunct Atlanta Glory of the ABL.

Malcolm was the 23rd overall pick, third of the third round.

"I can't express how excited I am," Mulitaoaupele said. "I'm already looking for rain - and Reign - gear. I'm glad I solidified my place in Seattle."

She confessed she is "not too familiar with the team." But she will be reunited with former Cardinal standouts Val Whiting, Kate Paye and Kate Starbird. "I also played against Shalonda Enis two times in my college career."

Mulitaoaupele dismissed Seattle's 15-29 record last season.

"Records don't mean that much to me right now. I'm curious to see the coaching dynamics and meet with Tammy and Nancy," she said, referring to head coach Tammy Holder and assistant Nancy Wilson.

The Reign didn't have a first- or second-round selection. It traded its first-round pick, the third overall, to Long Beach for guard Niesa Johnson during the April 16 expansion draft It gave up its second-round pick in acquiring Mulitaoaupele.

Seattle also had the 29th, 40th, 42nd and 43rd picks.

The Portland Power had three picks in the first round, including the No. 1 overall selection, Danielle McCulley of Western Kentucky.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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