2008 WNBA DRAFT PRESENTED BY adidas TO CAP WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL IN FLORIDA
-- ESPN2 to Televise WNBA Draft Live at 1 p.m. on April 9 --
-- Pre-Draft Camp to be Held at the University of Tampa --
February 25, 2008
NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2008 – The 2008 WNBA Draft presented by adidas will be held in Florida on Wednesday, April 9, as a conclusion to the week-long celebration of events surrounding women’s basketball, the WNBA announced today. The draft will begin at 1 p.m. ET and be televised live on ESPN2. The Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, owned by Washington Mystics President and Managing Partner Sheila Johnson and located in Palm Harbor, Fla., will host the draft.
“The WNBA is proud to continue the tradition of hosting the pre-draft camp and the draft alongside the events of the NCAA Women’s Final Four,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “The WNBA looks forward to celebrating the inspiring accomplishments, growth and popularity of women’s basketball in the Greater Tampa - St. Petersburg area.”
Tampa will host the NCAA Women’s Final Four on April 6 and 8 at St. Pete Times Forum as well as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Convention. In addition to the draft, the WNBA will conduct the pre-draft camp and participate in various events throughout the week.
“We could not be more excited that the WNBA Draft and pre-draft camp are coming to our community,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “Hosting the 2008 Women’s Final Four, the event’s first trip to the great State of Florida, has always been about growing the game of women’s basketball. The announcement of the WNBA events coming to our area further heightens all of the excitement surrounding the growth and celebration of women’s basketball in the Sunshine State.”
“Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater is proud to be the host destination of the 2008 WNBA Draft at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club,” added Kevin Smith, Director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Sports Commission. “We are excited to showcase our area not only for the award-winning beaches, but also as a premier sports destination. We look forward to a continued partnership with the WNBA and Innisbrook in hosting future events.”
On April 4 & 5, the league’s annual pre-draft camp will be held at the University of Tampa, where WNBA coaches and general managers will have the opportunity to evaluate the skills of approximately 40 top global prospects. Players will participate in on-court sessions and compete against one another in hopes of improving their draft status. All sessions will be closed to the public, but open to the media for the final 30 minutes. Players and team representatives will be available for interviews following each session. Any media wishing to attend should call (212) 407-8022 or email Karen Kase at email@example.com.
This year’s draft will mark the third time that the WNBA has held its annual event in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four. The WNBA Draft was held in Cleveland last year, while in 2006 it took place in Boston. In previous years, the event was held at NBA TV studios in New Jersey, while prior pre-draft camps were conducted in the either metropolitan New York or Chicago.
In addition to ESPN HD’s coverage of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, ESPN2 will provide exclusive first round coverage of the 2008 WNBA Draft presented by adidas with continued coverage of the second and third rounds on both ESPNU and NBA TV. WNBA.com will serve as the premier destination for complete analysis and comprehensive coverage throughout all three rounds.
"The WNBA Draft serves as the bridge from ESPN's NCAA coverage to our WNBA coverage so fans can follow the careers of the top players," said Carol Stiff, senior director, programming and acquisitions. "The draft is a great extension of our NCAA Championship coverage and commitment to women's basketball."
The Los Angeles Sparks hold the first selection of the draft after winning the seventh annual WNBA Draft Lottery on Oct. 23, 2007. The Sparks finished 10-24 last season, tied with the Minnesota Lynx for the fewest wins in the league. The Chicago Sky hold the second overall selection while Minnesota will pick third. The Detroit Shock recently acquired the fourth overall selection, and the Houston Comets will select fifth.
This year’s draft class is headed by Louisiana State center Sylvia Fowles, Stanford guard Candice Wiggins and Maryland forward Crystal Langhorne. Other top collegiate players expected to be selected include Rutgers guards Matee Ajavon and Essence Carson, Tennessee center Nicky Anosike, Connecticut guard Charde Houston, North Carolina forward Erlana Larkins and Georgia forward Tasha Humphrey. Tennessee forward Candace Parker, who still has one year of college athletic eligibility remaining, is eligible for entry into the 2008 WNBA Draft because she is academically a senior.
About the WNBA
Now entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in America. The WNBA features 14 teams with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. In 2008, the expansion Atlanta Dream will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm comprise the Western Conference.
The 2008 season will tip off on May 17 and, for the third straight year, ESPN2 will feature “WNBA Tuesdays” as the appointment viewing destination for WNBA fans. ESPN2 will televise “WNBA Tuesdays” for nine weeks during the regular season, beginning with a May 20th telecast featuring a Western Conference match up between the Sacramento Monarchs and Seattle Storm. Combined WNBA coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts in 2008, while NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular season contests.
Renowned off the court for its dedication to the community, the WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log onto www.wnba.com.
The current 2008 WNBA Draft order follows:
2008 WNBA DRAFT LIST ROUND-BY-ROUND
1 Los Angeles
4 Detroit from Atlanta via Seattle (Castro Marques/Hodges, 2/5/08) (Cash, 2/19/08)
7 New York
8 Atlanta from Seattle (Castro Marques/Hodges, 2/5/08)
11 Detroit from San Antonio (Riley/Feenstra, 2/22/07)
12 Connecticut from Indiana (Douglas/Whitmore, Foley 2/19/08)
14 New York from Detroit via San Antonio (Hammon/Davenport, 4/4/07)
15 Los Angeles
18 Detroit from Atlanta (Latta/Thomas, 2/5/08)
21 San Antonio from New York (Hammon/Davenport, 4/4/07)
24 Atlanta from Sacramento via Indiana (Atkinson, 3/22/07) (Expansion, 2/5/08)
25 Phoenix from San Antonio (Irvin, 2/20/07)
27 New York from Phoenix (Schumacher, 3/31/07)
29 Los Angeles
35 New York
39 San Antonio
40 Sacramento from Indiana (Dickson, 4/13/07)
43 Sacramento (Voiding of 2007 third round selection, 4/5/07)