It's that time of year again as the WNBA Draft 2005 is upon us. So for those of you who have been hibernating all winter, here are ten cool things you might not have known about this year's event, the prospects and some of the other cast of characters that are involved.

All In The Family
The last name Irvin resonates with fans all over Texas. Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin won three Super Bowls in the 1990's and has gone on to work for ESPN. But a new Irvin, Sandora Irvin, has turned heads in Texas. A senior at TCU, Michael's niece set an NCAA record with 16 blocks in a game. She is a projected top five pick in Saturday's draft.

Speaking of Family...
Former Georgia center Kara Braxton has not played competitive basketball in more than a year and a half. Why? Because she gave birth about three months ago. But that has not kept Braxton out of the gym. She has worked her way back into shape and has made a mother of an impression lately - Braxton was one of the most impressive players at the WNBA pre-Draft camp this past weekend. Many coaches and scouts think Braxton may have played her way into the Top Ten.

The Start of Something Good
When Lindsay Whalen and Nicole Ohlde were selected fourth and sixth overall in last year's Draft out of Minnesota and Kansas State respectively, they were not exactly nabbed from traditional women's basketball powerhouses. Yet, just a year later, their former teammates could be Top Five picks... Minnesota's Janel McCarville and Kansas State's Kendra Wecker were both Kodak All-America selections in 2005.

Call it a Comeback
Last spring, the V Foundation for Cancer Research named Texas guard Jamie Carey recipient of the 2004 V Foundation Comeback Award named for the late Jim Valvano. She missed two seasons following post-concussive symptoms which forced her to leave competitive play at Stanford and retire with a NCAA medical hardship in November of her sophomore year. She came back to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2004 and 2005.

Lyttle Goes a Long Way
Just four years ago, Sancho Lyttle had never played a game of organized basketball. Growing up in St. Vincent, British West Indies, she just was not into the game. "One of my coaches at home tried to open a women's tournament. He had a friend up here and needed some tall players, so I came. I had no skills then," she said. Four years later, she led the country in rebounding (12.1 rpg).

The Global Language of Hoops
A popular sleeper in the this year's draft is George Washington forward Anna Montanana. Called "deceptive" by more than several of her fellow prospects, Montanana grew up in Spain and came to the U.S. to play basketball in college unable to speak English. In addition to mastering the language, she has become fluent in her sport as well and was an All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection in 2004 and 2005.

Sister, Sister
Think Florida State senior Roneeka Hodges looks familiar? Maybe that is because you have seen her identical twin sister, Doneeka Hodges, who was a 5-9 rookie with the Sparks last season. Both played together at L.S.U., but Roneeka opted transfer and forger her own identity. Roneeka ended up at F.S.U. and more than doubled her scoring productivity (19.2 ppg) in her final year in college.

Katie Knows Caity
Lynx guard Katie Smith, who will be co-hosting the live draft chat on Saturday, knows many of these prospects quite well. As an assistant coach at Ohio State the past two seasons, Smith got a unique look at many of the prospects, including on of the nation's top 3-point shooters, Caity Matter, a senior guard at Ohio State. "I've grown up watching Katie Smith play, both then and now," Matter, a Columbus native, said.

Quite the Successful Pair
Louisiana Tech guard Erica Taylor is not the only athlete in her (growing). Not only is she married to middleweigh boxing contender Jermaine Taylor, but the pair just had a child three months ago. She was back playing five weeks later. She was actually two months pregnant during 2004 NCAA Tournament.
"Jermaine and I have challenging careers," she said. "He's also away a lot as well, so he is used to being an athlete and knows what it takes. We don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, but we're young and we have out whole lives."

Breaking in Another Rookie
The 39 players selected on Saturday will not be the only rookies on the scene. WNBA President Donna Orender will be master of ceremonies at her first official WNBA event. It will be the first Draft in nine years where Val Ackerman is not announcing the names. Draft coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. ET on and at noon on ESPN2. Pam Ward, Ann Meyers and Rebecca Lobo will be anchoring the television coverage.