Ogwumike, Stricklen, Peters Top Three Picks in 2012 WNBA Draft

BRISTOL, Conn., April 16, 2012 The Los Angeles Sparks made Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford the top overall pick of the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile. Shekinna Stricklen of Tennessee, selected second by the Seattle Storm, and Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame, tapped by the defending champion Minnesota Lynx, rounded out the top three picks. The 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile was conducted at ESPN headquarters.

Ogwumike, a three-time finalist for both the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award as the nations top collegiate player, led Stanford to four consecutive Final Four appearances. A product of Cypress, Texas, Ogwumike earned Pacific-12 Player of the Year honors twice first as a sophomore and again this past season when she led the conference in scoring and defensive rebounds while averaging a double-double.

Its one of the highest accolades that Ive received, said Ogwumike, following her selection. Im so happy that Im here, and Im very grateful for my university, my coaches, my teammates everybody who supported me. And Im especially grateful for the L.A. Sparks for picking me.

The Lynx, which held the third pick by virtue of a trade with the Washington Mystics prior to the 2011 season, entered the day with six selections in the three-round draft, the most of any team. Minnesota, which last year used the No. 1 overall pick to draft Connecticut star Maya Moore and went on to win the first WNBA title in franchise history, closed out the first round by selecting Brazilian Damiris Dantas with the 12th overall pick.

With the fourth and fifth selections in the first round, the Tulsa Shock chose Glory Johnson from Tennessee and the San Antonio Silver Stars took Shenise Johnson from Miami.

Stricklen joins Seattle after earning AP All-America Third Team and All-SEC First Team honors. A versatile player, Stricklen said she is excited to join an already talent-laden team. Therere a lot of veterans Sue Bird, Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson who can really help me get better in my game, said Stricklen. I still need a lot of improvement. With my personality, that Im willing to learn, to listen real well and pay attention, Im really looking forward to that and Im really looking forward to playing with them.

Peters enters the professional ranks having guided Notre Dame to consecutive NCAA title games. A defensive stalwart, Peters earned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors each of the past two seasons, becoming only the fourth player in conference history to accomplish the feat. Peters missed large portions of her first three seasons at Notre Dame due to two ACL injuries and three related surgeries.

Its amazing, said Peters, after she was tapped with the third pick. I just never thought Id be at that point. Everyone wanted to talk about my knees and how they affected me, but just to come this far and have two and a half years where I get to play and be on the team and be free from injury its great to finally see all your dreams come to fruition.

The complete draft order follows. Click here for WNBA.com's Interactive Draft Board!

First Round

1. Nnemkadi Ogwumike (L.A. Sparks)
2. Shekinna Stricklen (Seattle Storm)
3. Devereaux Peters (Minnesota Lynx)
4. Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock)
5. Shenise Johnson (San Antonio Silver Stars)
6. Samantha Prahalis (Phoenix Mercury)
7. Kelley Cain (New York Liberty)
8. Natalie Novosel (Washington Mystics)
9. Astan Dabo (Connecticut Sun)
10. LaSondra Barrett (Washington Mystics)
11. Sasha Goodlett (Indiana Fever)
12. Damiris Dantas (Minnesota Lynx)

Second Round

13. Farhiya Abdi (L.A. Sparks)
14. Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream)
15. Khadijah Rushdan (L.A. Sparks)
16. Tyra White (L.A. Sparks)
17. Riquna Williams (Tulsa Shock)
18. Julie Wojta (Minnesota Lynx)
19. Kayla Standish (Minnesota Lynx)
20. Nika Baric (Minnesota Lynx)
21. Chay Shegog (Connecticut Sun)
22. Keisha Hampton (Seattle Storm)
23. Shey Peddy (Chicago Sky)
24. C'eira Ricketts (Phoenix Mercury)

Third Round

25. Vicki Baugh (Tulsa Shock)
26. Anjale Barrett (Washington Mystics)
27. Sydney Carter (Chicago Sky)
28. April Sykes (L.A. Sparks)
29. Lynetta Kizer (Tulsa Shock)
30. Christine Flores (Phoenix Mercury)
31. Jacki Gemelos (Minnesota Lynx)
32. Isabelle Yacoubou (Atlanta Dream)
33. Amanda Johnson (Phoenix Mercury)
34. Courtney Hurt (Indiana Fever)
35. Briana Gilbreath (Washington Mystics)
36. Katelan Redmon (New York Liberty)