2012 WNBA Draft Player Quotes

Question: What does it mean to be picked first in the draft?
Ogwumike: It means a lot. Itís one of the highest accolades that Iíve received. Iím so happy that Iím here, and Iím very grateful for my university, my coaches, my teammates Ė everybody who supported me. And Iím especially grateful for the L.A. Sparks for picking me, and I look forward to going, going, back, back to Cali, Cali.

Q: Did you expect to go number one?
Ogwumike: Looking back, a lot of players could have gone number one. Iím really proud to be a part of the draft. Thatís all I really have to say about being picked where I was.

Q: Youíre joining a strong frontcourt with Candace Parker. What do you think youíll bring to their team?
Ogwumike: Whatever they need. At the same time, Iím ready to add me. I go out there and I love to win, I love to compete, and I love making people better. Iím really happy that theyíre welcoming me into their program, but, most importantly, Iím excited to learn from all of those players. They obviously did so well at their programs, and obviously did so well in the league, and Iím ready to be a part of the reason why the program was turned around.

Question: How surprised were you to be taken with the second pick?
Stricklen:A little surprised. I think it helped when I worked out with Coach a little bit, but I wasnít sure.

Q: How did the workout go?
Stricklen: I think it was a good workout. I think it was more to see, can I push through? Can I work hard? A lot of people have been talking about me last season, how I would show up for some games and how I wouldnít for others, so I wanted to show I could be more consistent.

Q: How much are you looking forward to playing with the talent in the WNBA?
Stricklen: Iím really looking forward to it. Thereís a lot of veterans Ė Sue Bird, Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson Ė who can really help me get better in my game. I still need a lot of improvement. With my personality, that Iím willing to learn, to listen real well and pay attention, Iím really looking forward to that and Iím really looking forward to playing with them.

Question: After all the injuries youíve had in your career, how does it feel to go so high in the draft?
Peters: Itís amazing. I just never thought Iíd be at that point. A lot of times when they interviewed me before this, everyone wanted to talk about my knees and how they affected me, but just to come this far and have two and a half years where I get to play and be on the team and be free from injury Ė itís great to finally see all your dreams come to fruition.

Q: How's it feel to be picked by Minnesota, which is so loaded and had such a great year?
Peters: Itís a little intimidating. Iím not going to lie. But hopefully I can make the team and contribute, whether that be on the court, or simply making everybody ready in practice.

Question: Talk a little bit about what it means to you to be leaving the amateur ranks and become a professional athlete?
Johnson: I know thereís going to be a huge difference between college and the WNBA. I think my coaches at the University of Tennessee prepared me for it. I had great coaches. Playing on the team with a bunch of All-Americans also prepared me. Iím completely excited for a change of worlds almost. Iím excited about the competition and canít wait to get out there.

Question: Talk about what it will be like to play with Becky Hammon?
Johnson:Who doesnít know who Becky Hammon is? Whether you watch football, or whether you watch baseball or soccer, everyone knows who Becky Hammon is. So Iím looking forward to watching her and seeing what I can bring.

Q: Talk about what itís like to have the draft done and be able to begin with your playing career
Johnson: Iím excited about where Iím going, but at the same time, Iím still in college right now. I still have finals, so Iím still holding my breath. But what Iím feeling right now is really unexplainable.

Question: How are you feeling right now?
Prahalis: Iím so relieved and excited. Itís crazy when I think about that Iím going to go and play with Diana Taurasi and Ė that whole team, thereís so many good players, itís crazy. And Iím going to be living in Phoenix. Wow.

Q: If Diana were here right now, what would you say to her?
Prahalis: I would just say that I hope I can come out and contribute and help. Iíd say, ďLetís go.Ē

Q: Youíre leaving Ohio State and youíre becoming a professional athlete. Can you talk about what that means to you? Are you ready to make that transition?
Prahalis: I think I am. Now, itís more like a business. Youíre dealing with women, some who have kids, some who are younger, so itís a whole different thing. But I think Iím ready. Coach has gotten me to the point that Iím mature enough to handle different situations, so I think Iíll be ready.

Question: How do you feel right now?
Novosel: I am very relieved, but my heart is still racing, to be honest. Iím just very excited and very blessed.

Q: How do you feel about being invited to the draft?
Novosel: I feel fortunate. Thereís 15 of us that get to be here. Itís just an amazing experience. I feel very blessed.

Q: Of the 15, one of them is your teammate Devereaux Peters. Can you talk about how great it was for the two of you to be able to share this experience?
Novosel: It wouldnít have been the same if it wasnít for her. Weíve been through everything together, and Iím just so happy that we have this opportunity to go to the next level.

Question: What was it like after waiting to finally hear your name called?
Barrett: At first it was a lot of nerves but a lot of excitement to hear the other names being called. Most important I was just waiting for my name and it was just a feeling of butterflies and my heart drop when Laurel Richie called my name. After that it was excitement and my mother had tears in her eyes and it was just a happy moment.

Q: What is it like transitioning from college to the pros?
Barrett: I think it is great but it is bitter-sweet because I am going to miss college, the camaraderieís, the teammates and how close we are but I am willing to step into a new chapter. I think this weekend just showed us a lot of how we should be as business women and what we need to do and I am looking forward to it.

Question: What are your thoughts on being drafted?
Goodlett: I am just really excited. I am really looking forward to going in there and learning from these veteran players like Tamika Catchings and actually coming into the system and learning and being part of the culture.

Q: What can you bring most to Indiana?
Goodlett: One thing I bring is strength I am a strong back-to-the-basket, lowpost player. I am a center, not too much moving around. I do have (good) jump shot range and I can hit the 15-footer but I am a true low post center.

Question: What are your thoughts on being drafted?
Hayes: Being drafted period means a lot. This team has a great player in Angel and I am hoping to come in and be a good complimentary playerÖI was used to being the role player at Connecticut (UCONN) when I came my freshman year and they had a bunch of stars in place. This is almost like coming home for me.

Q: Talk about the challenges that you will face now that you are a professional athlete
Hayes: Being a professional woman is different and going from the college to the pros there is a lot of stuff going on that doesnít involve basketball like media and trying to get your name out there. That is definitely going to be a big difference for me.

Question: Thoughts on impact in Tulsa.
Williams:I think I can make a great impact. That should not be too hard because I work really hard every practice even if it is in the weight room. I want to go in with the mindset of being open to learn things and coming out of my shy shell because I have always been shy and at this level it is professional and it is a business.

Q: What does getting drafted today mean to you?
Williams: This is something we all dreamed of and especially for me coming from a small town this is a great honor to come up here (To ESPN for the WNBA Draft) and represent my hometown and the University of Miami.

Question: What was it like to be in that room and hear your name called?
Wojta:It is a pretty crazy feeling to be in that room and be around the women you are surrounded by. These are some of the best women in the nation and the class of 2012 so this is a pretty neat feeling.

You are joining a team with a lot of great players and there could be a lot of competition. What are your thoughts on competing to help make the team better?
Wojta: It is going to be great to see how you match up with athletes and basketball players who are that good even if we donít make the team it is still great to get to that level and compete against come of the best players in the world.

Question: What was it like to be in that room and hear your name called?
Standish:This is just an honor. It felt good to finally stand up (be selected). It is such an honor and I am very happy to be here.

You are joining a team with a lot of great players and there could be a lot of competition. What are your thoughts on competing to help make the team better?
Standish: I feel like my first two years at Gonzaga I had to earn my spot. I was not given one coming in but I was able to work my way up to earn a spot. I am going to work hard in camp and see what happens.

Question: How do you feel?
Baugh: This is a great accomplishment. There was once upon a time when I didnít know if I was even going to be able to continue playing basketball anymore, so just being here and having this opportunity is truly a blessing. Iím just Ė Iím very happy.

Q: What was it like when they called your name?
Baugh: It was like a dream come true. Itís something Iíve been looking forward to ever since I was a child, so having it really happen was just unreal. Itís just a blessing and Iím very happy to be here, and just looking forward to contributing to Tulsa.

Question: How do you feel?
Kizer: Iím excited to have the opportunity to go to Tulsa, and to help a program that needs some help to turn around.

Q: How do you see yourself fitting in to Tulsa?
Kizer:Just another body down low who can bang, who can step out if you need me, who can provide that spark. Anything that my coach needs me to do, Iím going to do it. Thatís my ability. The players that heís drafted, theyíre phenomenal for that program to have a kick-start. Iím excited to have my name called with those players.