2009 Draft Live Blog
2:30pm Hi Mystics fans! My name is Jonathan Akman and I'll be taking you inside the war room this afternoon. The draft gets started at 3pm and I'll be providing regular updates throughout the entire process. Today is a big day for the franchise so stayed tuned to washingtonmystics.com.
2:45pm I'll begin the blog by painting a picture of what's going on in the war room. In the far end of the room is a big white dry erase board with the draft order written in black ink. All the Mystics coaches and front office staff are seated around a large conference table. Angela Taylor is at the head and Coach Plank is seated to her right. Each staff member has a large binder. In the center of the table is a phone with a league moderator on speaker to help guide the draft proceedings. There are TVs everywhere, all tuned to ESPN 2. GM Angela Taylor is walking around high-fiving all the coaches and Mystics staff. Everyone is excited.
2:47pm A camera crew just arrived from Comcast SportsNet. There are a couple other reporters in the room. The staff is now quiet and all appear confident.
3:00 The ESPN broadcast just started and the room is dead quiet.
3:06 Atlanta is officially on the clock. They have three minutes. The Mystics staff is eagerly watching.
3:09 The Atlanta Dream just selected Angel McCoughtry from Louisville. The Mystics did not seem too surprised. The staff appears to have the pick ready.
3:14 Angela Taylor just got off the phone and let out a sigh. The staff is now huddled in the hall way cheering. The pick is in. Marissa Coleman is the newest Washington Mystic.
3:15 More cheering erupts as the pick is officially announced on ESPN 2. Coleman, who is in New Jersey at the draft, has a huge smile on her face. The staff is oowing and ahhing as Coleman's highlight reel rolls. Coleman is reunited with her college teammate Crystal Langhorne
3:33 Sorry for the absence. The official Marissa Coleman press release is now on our website. Taylor is on the phone right now. Could a trade be in the works? The coaches are exchanging looks and eyeing the draft board.
3:40 On a side note, the draft room here at the Verizon Center is sweltering. The boardroom table is loaded with cups of ice, Diet Cokes, and iced tea. Spring has clearly arrived.
3:47 Angela Taylor just got off the phone with Marissa Coleman. Taylor told Marissa that assistant coach Vicki Bullet wore a University of Maryland undershirt today. Coleman told the staff that she already heard from new teammate and former Duke guard Lindsay Harding. Despite being rivals with Harding in college, Plank joked that they are on the same team now.
4:03 With a break between rounds one and two, Taylor took some time to address the media in attendance. Taylor said that they got exactly who they wanted. After bringing in a point guard in Harding and a center in Melvin this off-season, Taylor wanted to find a player to solidify the middle of the lineup. As Taylor conducts an interview with Comcast SportsNet, Coach Plank is leading the rest of the staff in a review of the draft board.
4:06 The phones continue to ring here in the war room. The Mystics hold the 10th and 11th picks in the second round so they will be on the clock shortly. Stay tuned.
4:17 While we have a second, I figured I'd let you in on the lovely dining options here in the war room. In the center of the table is a bowl of M&M's in an basketball shaped bowl. Along the walls are a variety of wraps, cookies, fruits, and salads. The highlight of the spread is clearly the customized Mystics cookies. This group is clearly well fed. The Mystics are now two picks away.
4:40 Sorry folks. The technical difficulties are now resolved. With the 10th pick in the second round, the Mystics selected 5'6" Southern Cal guard Camille LeNoir. LeNoir was third team Pac 10 in 2008 and averaged 13.2 points per game this year. USC has a tradition of producing top-notch WNBA talent and LeNoir will be looked upon to provide backcourt depth. With the 11th pick in the second round, the Mystics grabbed 6'4" Jelena Milovanovic from Serbia. Milovanovic was the MVP of the U18 European Championship in 2007. In addition to her great size, she has shown the ability to step outside the paint and hit threes.
4:47 With their final pick, the second pick in the third round, the Mystics selected 6'3" Josephine Owino of Union University. The native of Kenya is a two-time NAIA player of the year. This pick really lets you know how deep in the college ranks the Mystics have scouted.
4:53 Though the Mystics are finished picking. The staff is not resting. They are still comparing notes, checking their phones, and watching ESPN. I can tell you right now that the Coleman pick was a slam dunk for this organization. Local media outlets are already trying to line up interviews and it's rare to get a home grown superstar.
5:00 After an exhausting two hours, the draft is officially over. Angela Taylor said today's draft gave her chills. Overall, the Mystics couldn't be happier. Just to recap, the Mystics selected Coleman in the first round, Camille LeNoir and Jelena Milovanovic in the second round, and Josephine Owino in the third round. I want to thank the Mystics' coaches and management for giving me this great access and the fans for tuning in to the blog. A special thanks to Mystics PR boss Ketsia Colimon and New Media Manager Crystal Hudson for getting this blog off the ground. Have a great night!