Minnesota Lynx Select Connecticut’s Renee Montgomery
The Minnesota Lynx today selected Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery with the fourth overall pick of the 2009 WNBA Draft. Montgomery, a 2009 Wade Trophy finalist, joins the Lynx after leading Connecticut to the 2009 National Championship and a perfect 39-0 record.
Montgomery, a 5-7 point guard, helped guide Connecticut to its sixth National Championship and the fifth perfect season in NCAA history in 2009. During her storied career at Connecticut, Montgomery has been integral in leading the team to a 138-11 record that included two trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four, four NCAA Regionals, four Big East regular season titles and three Big East Tournament crowns. She also registered 147 career starts, 139 of which were consecutive - the most by any player in UConn program history and the most nationally.
Montgomery, a 2009 Associated Press All-American First Team member, leaves Connecticut as one of only three players in Connecticut history to tally 1,500 points and 500 assists in a career, and the only player in program history to rank in the top-10 in points (1,977), assists (626), steals (266) and three-pointers (251). The recipient of the 2009 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award and BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award, Montgomery finished her four-year career at Connecticut third all-time in assists (626), fourth all-time in three-pointers made (251) and sixth on the all-time scoring list (1,977 points).
The Charleston, WV native enjoyed a tremendous senior season at Connecticut, establishing career-highs in scoring (16.5 ppg), assists (5.1 apg), field-goal accuracy (.448 percent) and three-point accuracy (.381 percent). Montgomery's 99 made three-point shots in 2009 rank as the second highest single-season total in Connecticut history. For her efforts, Connecticut inducted Montgomery into its "Huskies of Honor" on Feb. 15, 2009, becoming the first "active" player and the 11th player overall to receive the honor. Montgomery was selected to her third straight All-Big East Team in 2009. Montgomery also took home the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top collegiate point guard.
Montgomery joins former Connecticut teammate and 2008 Lynx draft pick Charde Houston on Minnesota's roster.
Renee Montgomery Draft Day Reaction:
On being drafted two days after winning the NCAA National Championship:
"It's been a roller coaster. We had such great emotions after winning a national championship. I was just relieved that we really did it, but also shocked. Then going from there to now being anxious and nervous about where I'm going to play and who I'm going to be playing with; It was a lot of different emotions all at once."
On draft day expectations:
"I really had no idea where I was going to go. I know our draft had a lot of great players. I knew that any player could be chosen by any team because of the level of talent that was here. That's why I was so anxious - I just wanted to see who was going to select me."
On her feelings when drafted:
"It was a great feeling just to be drafted and to hear your name being called after years and years of hard work. To just hear your name called and know that you're now a professional athlete. It's just a really good feeling."
On what she can bring to the team:
"It's really early. There's one thing I always know I'll always bring is energy and an optimistic attitude. As far as that's concerned I know that I will always bring that."
On the emotions from winning a NCAA championship and then getting drafted:
"It's good emotion. I think everything that has happened to me this past week has all been great things. I think it's only going to get better from here."
On the city of Minneapolis:
"I need to learn. I hope someone gives me a tour when I get there. I've never been there."
On learning from her new teammates:
"I'm excited. Seimone (Augustus) is of course an Olympian so I know I can learn a lot from her. I'm just excited to grow as a player and learn from people who are already in the league."
On her expectations going into the WNBA:
"I'm going into the situation willing and ready to learn anything anyone wants to teach me. I'm just going to take everything as a learning experience."
On what people may not know about her game:
"Things that aren't seen in the stat book: good energy and optimism. I think those are the things that don't show up in the stat sheet that I'll always bring night in and night out no matter how well I'm playing. Just being a team player."
On what she will bring to the team:
"A team mentality and also my thought process; nothing else matters. I put the team first at all times. I think that's something that I know I'll bring because it's a part of me. It's how you should play the game. If you win, then everything is okay."
On UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma's advice to her on Draft day:
"Just enjoy it. This is an exciting time for me and to take it all in and enjoy it."
On playing with Charde Houston again:
"It's great to go to a new city and have someone who is already there who knows the ins and outs."
Head Coach Don Zierden on Renee Montgomery:
On if Montgomery is a franchise-type of point guard:
"If you talk to Geno Auriemma. We feel that way. I didn't see any mock drafts having Renee Montgomery at four. Again, I told you guys this last year. We're happy with our draft, but it's an inexact science. Last year it turned out great, we'll see how this year turns out."