Franchise Selects 6-6 Georgia Center from Jackson, MI with Seventh Overall Pick; Adds Depth to Backcourt with Oklahoma Guard Dionnah Jackson at 13th Overall
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.
- April 16, 2005 - Detroit Shock Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel Bill Laimbeer announced today that the franchise added Kara Braxton
, 6-6 center from the University of Georgia, with the seventh overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft. The Shock selected Oklahoma guard Dionnah Jackson
with the 13th overall pick (first round) while also adding UNC guard/forward Nikita Bell
in the second round (20th overall) and Southwest Missouri State guard Jenni Lingor
in the third round (33rd overall).
“We picked up two very quality players in the first round that we did not expect to get. I didn’t think we’d be able to get Braxton at number seven overall - I tried to move up to get her. She’s very excited to come play for Detroit,” said Laimbeer, 2003 WNBA Coach of the Year. “(Braxton’s) a very, very talented player and if she would have played her last year in college, she would have been the number one pick in this draft. We can never have too many post players and we added another one to our ball club. Jackson’s defensive skills are outstanding - she has great speed, rebounds tremendously and penetrates very well. She’s worked on her outside shot to improve and is a fun basketball player.”
Braxton, a 6-6 center from Georgia, averaged 13.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.25 blocks, 1.35 steals and 24.4 minutes while shooting 47.8% (108-226 FG) in 20 games in 2003-04, her junior season. She did not play during her senior season at Georgia due to pregnancy. Braxton gave birth to her son Aelani in January 2005. She finished her three-year collegiate career with averages of 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.93 blocks, 1.53 steals and 24.3 minutes while shooting 52.6% (440-836 FG) in 71 games. As a freshman in 2002, Braxton was named All-SEC First Team and SEC Freshman of the Year with averages of 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 24.5 minutes while shooting 54.0% (198-367 FG) from the field in 30 games. Braxton, though born in Tallahassee, FL, spent 12 years as a resident of Jackson, MI.
“I’m so excited to come home. My home is Jackson, MI, right around the corner,” said Braxton. “I’ll have my family around me and that will be exciting. I hope I fit in well, I know Detroit has a great starting line-up and a deep bench. My agility and ability will help me do what they need me to do. I’m excited to play for Bill Laimbeer, being that we’re both post players, I will learn a lot from him.
Jackson, a 5-9 guard from Oklahoma, averaged 14.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.17 steals and 32.8 minutes while shooting 45.3% (158-349 FG) in 30 games during 2004-05, her senior season. She was named All-Big 12 Second Team in 2005, 2004 and 2003 and Big 12 Tournament MVP in 2004.
Bell, a 6-0 forward from North Carolina, averaged 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 3.10 steals and 22.5 minutes while shooting 45.7% (150-328 FG) in 34 games in 2004-05, her senior season. She was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and to the ACC All-Tournament Team in 2005. Bell also was named to the All-ACC Second Team and ACC All-Defensive Team in 2003.
Lingor, a 5-10 guard from Southwest Missouri State, averaged 19.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.54 steals and 34.4 minutes while shooting 48.4% (183-378 FG) in 2004-05, her senior season. She was named 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Player and the Year and All-MVC First Team in three out of four seasons (2005, 2004, 2002). Lingor also captured MVC Freshman of the Year honors in 2002.