Grantís Long Wait Ends Well

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Kevin Pelton, | April 5, 2006
As the WNBA Draft moved along Wednesday morning at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the tables facing the stage where 22 of the top prospects sat with their families and college coaches cleared out. By the start of the third round, just three players remained awaiting their selection. When the Detroit Shock took Western Illinois center Zane Teilane with the 37th pick, only Texas Tech point guard Erin Grant was left before the Seattle Storm took her with the 39th pick.

"It was real tough sitting there and waiting for your name to get called, especially when you get to the third round and it's almost over," said Grant afterwards. "I was just real anxious to hear my name get called out. I think it worked out for the best."

"I think I landed in a great spot and have a great opportunity to play backup point guard behind Sue Bird and learn from her."
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty
When training camp opens later this month, Grant will no longer be a third-round pick. Instead, she'll just be another player fighting to make a roster. That's why it may have been more important to go to a team that needed a point guard than to be drafted earlier. The Storm is such a team, looking for a backup to starting point guard Sue Bird. Seattle has invited free agents Leah Metcalf and Toccara Williams to camp, and Grant will battle them for the right to back up Bird.

"I think I landed in a great spot and have a great opportunity to play backup point guard behind Sue Bird and learn from her," said Grant.

Most mock drafts, including this site's, had Grant going in the first round, as high as seventh to Minnesota. She went into the Draft expecting to be a late first or early second-round pick. For the Storm to get Grant with the 39th pick, then, was great value. NBA TV analyst Nancy Lieberman quickly tabbed the pick the steal of the Draft.

"I could not argue with that," said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. "We are thrilled that we are able to add her, especially with our need for a backup point guard.

"I was very surprised she was there late in the third round. That was something I did not expect. With every name that came off the board, I kept saying, 'There's no way she'll still be there.'"

Grant also agreed with Lieberman's assessment.

"I think so," she said when asked if she felt she was the steal of the Draft. "I'm pretty confident in my game and I feel like I was a steal."

Why Grant slipped so far remains something of a mystery. Donovan did not expect Grant to go to the first round, but did not expect her to last until the late third round either.

"Texas Tech had, overall, a disappointing season," posited Donovan. "Erin didn't have a lot of people around her this year. So I think people looked at that team as underachieving and labeled Erin the same way. But she had a tremendous Pre-Draft Camp and was able to really show her skills. When you put her with better players, she's able to rise to better competition. I expect that she's really going to compete for that backup spot on our roster."

Ultimately, Grant's long Draft day can serve as a motivating factor for her as she attempts to make the Storm's roster and make an impact in the WNBA.

"Everybody says I'm a smaller point guard or smaller person to play in the WNBA," she said, "so I think I'm going to take it to motivation and try to build on that as I go to training camp and try to make the team."