2011 WNBA Draft To Be Conducted At ESPN April 11
The worlds’ top female basketball prospects will be selected in the 2011 WNBA Draft presented by adidas, which will be held on Monday, April 11 at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. ESPN will provide coverage and analysis of the first round beginning at 3 p.m. ET, in addition to ESPN3.com offering a simulcast. ESPNU and NBA TV will broadcast the second and third rounds.
This marks the first time that a professional sports league will conduct its draft at ESPN headquarters. Previous WNBA Drafts have been held in various locations including the site of the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four (2006-2008) and, most recently, at NBA Studios in Secaucus, N.J. (2009 and 2010).
After winning the WNBA’s Draft Lottery for the second consecutive year, the Minnesota Lynx holds the top pick in the Draft for the third time in franchise history. In 2006, the Lynx used the first pick to select Seimone Augustus. Last year, Minnesota sent the pick and Renee Montgomery to the Connecticut Sun on Jan. 12 in exchange for Lindsay Whalen and the second overall selection. It marked the first time in league history that a team had swapped the No. 1 pick in advance of the WNBA Draft.
The Lynx also has the fourth pick in the upcoming Draft by virtue of an additional trade with the Sun. That trade, made on the day of the 2010 Draft, saw Minnesota send Kelsey Griffin, the third overall selection, to Connecticut in exchange for the Sun’s first and second round selections in the 2011 Draft.
Rounding out the top five picks are the Tulsa Shock (second), Chicago Sky (third) and the Los Angeles Sparks (fifth).
Among the top prospects eligible for this year’s WNBA Draft are the following players: University of Connecticut forward Maya Moore, Australia National Team member Elizabeth Cambage, Xavier forward Amber Harris, Ohio State center Jantel Lavender and Oklahoma guard Danielle Robinson.
WNBA.com, in addition to providing comprehensive draft-day coverage, will serve as the web destination for fans who want to track top prospects from mid-March through April 11.
The WNBA will tip off its 15th season on Friday, June 3, with the Minnesota Lynx visiting the Los Angeles Sparks, highlighted by the return to action of former MVP Candace Parker. The defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, along with reigning MVP Lauren Jackson and All-Star Sue Bird, begins its title defense when it hosts league scoring champion, Diana Taurasi, and the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, June 4, in a nationally-televised game on ABC.