PALM HARBOR, Fla. (April 9, 2008) Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Candice Wiggins were selected today as the top three overall picks in the 2008 WNBA Draft presented by adidas, held today at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.
The Los Angeles Sparks picked Parker with the top overall selection while the Chicago Sky chose Fowles with the second pick and the Minnesota Lynx took Candice Wiggins with the third pick. Alexis Hornbuckle, also from Tennessee, and Matee Ajavon of Rutgers were selected by the Detroit Shock and Houston Comets, respectively, to round out the top five picks.
Parker joins the WNBA fresh after winning back-to-back NCAA Championships and the 2008 Naismith Trophy. After renouncing her fifth year of intercollegiate eligibility and declaring for the WNBA Draft, Parker became the second Lady Vol to be selected as the top pick, joining Chamique Holdsclaw who was selected by the Washington Mystics in 1999.
Lisa Leslie has been one of my idols ever since I was younger obviously, watching the USA teams growing up and watching her win championships with Los Angeles, said Parker. Ive never had the opportunity to play alongside her yet, but, Im really looking forward to it. Obviously, shes a great role model and Im just looking to take in whatever she tells me.
I think this class is incredible. I grew up playing with them, with Candace, Sylvia and Alexis and everybody. I think its going to be fun, said Wiggins. Its just so crazy for all of us because we are so happy to start this.
The Atlanta Dream - the WNBAs newest team - selected Tamera Young of James Madison with their first round pick. The Dream finished their first-ever draft by selecting Morenike Atrunase of Texas A&M in the second round (24th overall) and Danielle Hood of Hartford in the third round (32nd overall).
The starting five players from the Lady Vols championship team capped their week in Tampa by being selected in todays draft. Parker and Hornbuckle were joined by teammates Shannon Bobbitt (Los Angeles Sparks -15th overall, Nicky Anosike (Minnesota Lynx - 16th overall) and Alberta Auguste (New York Liberty - 35th overall). The five players composed Tennessees starting five from last nights NCAA Championship game.
Other collegiate teammates selected in the first round were Ajavon and Essence Carson from Rutgers, Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper from Maryland, and Erlana Larkins and LaToya Pringle from North Carolina.