Pondexter a Perfect Fit for Mercury

By Andrew Nicholson, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: April 5, 2006

With the second pick in the 2006 WNBA draft the Phoenix Mercury selected Cappie Pondexter, from Rutgers. As a 5-9 fifth-year senior, Pondexter lead her Scarlett Knights to a dominating 17-0 record in the Big East, which included the Women’s NCAA powerhouses University of Connecticut and Notre Dame.

New Mercury Head Coach Paul Westhead is very happy with the Mercury’s selection and has nothing but good things to say about Cappie.

“We are extremely excited because she was one of the finest players in college basketball,” he said. “She is a complete guard. Every time I saw her play I liked her more. She is a terrific basketball player.”

Westhead is also quick to say that she will fit in well with his coaching style because she “has very good speed and a good defender.”

Phoenix went into the draft needing a point guard and that is exactly what they got in Pondexter. Named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award as the nation’s top collegiate point guard, Pondexter finished her final season at Rutgers averaging nearly 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Most notably she almost averaged 50 percent from three-point land.

According to the Mercury General Manager Seth Sulka, the Mercury got exactly who they wanted with their first overall pick.

“Cappie is who we wanted,” said Sulka. “She’s a player who loves to compete and loves the game of basketball.”

Pondexter was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up and played high school basketball in Chicago. Since her junior year at John Marshall High School, she has known the WNBA was her dream and her goal. When she turned 18 she got a tattoo on her right shoulder that says, “The Future” and below the print is the WNBA symbol.

Growing up in Chicago and playing in the Big East, Pondexter is used to playing hard-nosed basketball, and should not have trouble adjusting to the physical game of the WNBA.

After being selected, Pondexter was ecstatic and showed off a huge smile.

“It’s something I’ve worked hard for a long time,” she said.

According to Westhead, Pondexter has a “don’t mess with me attitude on the court.” On the court this season her work ethic and “focused” attitude are exactly what the Mercury will want leading their fast paced style.