The WNBA announced that its 2005 Draft will take place on Saturday, April 16 at 12:00 pm (ET). ESPN2 will televise the first round live from the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, NJ. NBATV will provide live coverage of the second and third rounds.

In addition to live television coverage of the 2005 WNBA Draft, WNBA.com will present fans with comprehensive news and analysis of the entire draft process starting today. WNBA.com's pre-draft coverage will include a NCAA Tournament prospect tracker, in-depth analysis of prospective draftees by Rebecca Lobo, ESPN's Ann Meyers and Sacramento Monarchs guard and ESPN analyst Kara Lawson, as well as insider reports from WNBA Pre-Draft Camp. WNBA.com will also provide full coverage of all three rounds of the Draft.

Based on the results of the WNBA Draft Lottery, which was held on December 1, the Charlotte Sting has the first overall selection. The Indiana Fever has the second pick and the Phoenix Mercury, last year's winner of the WNBA Draft Lottery, has the third selection. The San Antonio Silver Stars and the Houston Comets have the fourth and fifth picks, respectively.

Top players eligible for this year's draft include 2004 Associated Press All-Americans Shyra Ely from Tennessee, Jacqueline Batteast from Notre Dame, Temeka Johnson from Louisiana State, Janel McCarville from Minnesota, Kendra Wecker from Kansas State and Sandora Irvin from Texas Christian.

In 2004, for the sixth consecutive season, more than 2 million fans attended WNBA games. Also in 2004, three consecutive WNBA Finals sellout crowds (a league record) witnessed the Seattle Storm defeat the Connecticut Sun to capture its first WNBA Championship.

The WNBA will tip off its ninth season Saturday, May 21, 2005 with a full slate of exciting match-ups, including ABC's broadcast of the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm against reigning MVP Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks at Key Arena beginning at 4 p.m. EDT. Opening day will also pit the 2004 WNBA runner-up Connecticut Sun vs. the Detroit Shock at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the Houston Comets vs. the San Antonio Silver Stars at the SBC Center, the Phoenix Mercury against the Sacramento Monarchs at America West Arena and the Charlotte Sting hosting the Washington Mystics at the Charlotte Coliseum. The current 2005 draft order follows.

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT ORDER

First Round
1) Charlotte (16-18)
2) Indiana (15-19)
3) Phoenix (17-17)
4) San Antonio (9-25)
5) Houston (13-21)
6) Washington (17-17)
7) Detroit (17-17)
8) Connecticut (18-16)
9) Sacramento (18-16)
10) New York (18-16)
11) Minnesota (18-16)
12) Seattle (20-14)
13) Washington (25-9) (Holdsclaw, 3/21/05)

Second Round
1) San Antonio (9-25)
2) Houston (13-12)
3) Indiana (15-19)
4) Minnesota from Charlotte (16-18) (Darling, 2/11/05)
5) Phoenix (17-17)
6) Washington (17-17)
7) Detroit (17-17)
8) Connecticut (18-16)
9) Sacramento (18-16)
10) New York (18-16)
11) Charlotte from Minnesota (18-16) (Darling, 2/11/05)
12) Seattle (20-14)
13) Los Angeles (25-9)

Third Round
1) San Antonio (9-25)
2) Houston (13-21)
3) Indiana (15-19)
4) Sacramento from Charlotte (16-18) (Frett, 4/23/04)
5) Phoenix (17-17)
6) Washington (17-17)
7) Detroit (17-17)
8) Connecticut (18-16)
9) Sacramento (18-16)
10) New York (18-16)
11) Minnesota (18-16)
12) Seattle (20-14)
13) Los Angeles (25-9)