Top Prospects Invited to Attend WNBA Draft
|Maya Moore, Ta'Shia Phillips and Courtney Vandersloot are just three of the players in attendance|
NEW YORK, April 6, 2011 – Fifteen of the world’s top female basketball prospects have been invited to the 2011 WNBA Draft Presented by adidas, which will be held on Monday, April 11 at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. This marks the first time that a professional sports league will conduct its draft at ESPN headquarters. 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 telecast the second and third rounds.
Among the top prospects invited to this year’s WNBA Draft are University of Connecticut forward Maya Moore, Australia National Team member and Bulleen Boomers (Australia’s WNBL) center Elizabeth Cambage, Ohio State center Jantel Lavender, Gonzaga guard Courtney Vandersloot and Texas A&M forward/center Danielle Adams and guard Sydney Colson. Ten of the fifteen players invited earned All-America honors from either the Associated Press or the State Farm Coaches' poll this season.
Moore, who helped the Huskies amass a 150-4 record during her collegiate career and an NCAA record 90 consecutive wins, is a three-time winner of the Wade Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's basketball. A four-time Associated Press All-American, she is also the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Big East Conference, and the only women's basketball player in Division I history to reach 2,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists, 250 steals and 150 blocked shots.
Cambage, 19 years old and at 6-8 the tallest prospect in the WNBA Draft, was named the WNBL’s MVP this season after leading the league in scoring (22.3 ppg), blocked shots (2.8 bpg) and field goal percentage (59.6), in addition to guiding her team to its first ever WNBL championship.
Lavender, a four-time Big Ten Player of the Year, is Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer and Big Ten’s all-time leader in rebounds. Named to the 2011 Associated Press All-America First Team, Lavender also holds the women’s NCAA record for most double-digit scoring performances in history (136).
Gonzaga’s Vandersloot, the 2011 Nancy Lieberman Award winner as the top point guard in Division I, led the nation in assists per game (10.2) for the second year in a row and broke the NCAA single-season assist record with 367. She is also the first NCAA Division I player, male or female, to amass career totals of 2,000 points and 1,000 assists.
Adams, a member of the 2011 Associated Press All-America First Team, also became the only former junior college player, other than WNBA Legend Sheryl Swoopes, to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Women's Final Four after compiling a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds in the Championship Game win over Notre Dame. Colson, who led the Big 12 in assists (6.4), also played a key role in leading the Aggies to their first 30-win season and first national championship in school history.
After winning the 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 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 WNBA 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).
WNBA.com, in addition to providing comprehensive draft-day coverage, will serve as the web destination for fans who want to track top prospects throughout the Draft.
The players invited to attend the 2011 WNBA Draft at ESPN include:
|2011 PLAYERS IN ATTENDANCE|
|Danielle Adams||Texas A&M||Forward/Center||6’1”|
|Jessica Breland||North Carolina||Forward||6’3”|
|Sydney Colson||Texas A&M||Guard||5’8”|
|Jantel Lavender||Ohio State||Center||6’4”|
|Carolyn Swords||Boston College||Center||6’6”|