Bales Highlights Fever Draft Selections
Bales, who celebrated her 22nd birthday with her first-round selection, joins a frontline contingent that includes recent free agent signing Tammy Sutton-Brown, 2004 first-round pick Ebony Hoffman who was a 33-game starter last summer, and 6-5 Kasha Terry who was a second-round pick in last year’s draft.
On the added size to the Indiana lineup, Fever Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf quipped, “We go from having no one over 6-2 last year, to having players now that are 6-4 and 6-7!”
Bales averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.4 blocked shots per game while leading the Blue Devils to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. She anchored a Duke lineup that was ranked No. 1 throughout the 2006-07 season, winning its first 30 games and claiming the Atlantic Coast Conference title. As a junior, Bales averaged 9.1 points, 6.7 boards and 3.4 blocks per game while helping Duke to the national championship game.
Born April 4, 1985, in Indianapolis, Bales will return to her native city when training camp begins April 22. She will be surrounded by family in surrounding communities of Terre Haute, Kokomo, Rochester and South Bend. Her parents moved to Dayton, Ohio, where she was raised and graduated high school, at the age of 5. She is the Fever’s tallest player since Kara Wolters, also 6-7, guided Indiana during its inaugural 2000 season.
“In terms of a specific need, we didn’t think we really had one, but anytime you have a big center drop into your lap, you have to grab her,” added Krauskopf. “I think what she does so well is that she is a dominating presence in the lane. She blocks shots, and we can see her against the bigger post players in the East. The next step in her game is to really work on her low-post moves. We can almost play her at a four, because she likes to face the basket and can shoot the ball a little bit.”
Indiana selected a pair of guards with its final picks. Medders, chosen 22nd overall, was the Cyclones’ starting point guard for four straight seasons, and was named an honorable mention AP All-American as a senior. She owns every single-game, season and career assist record at the school, and finished her career ranked seventh among career scorers. With the 35th overall selection, Key was a three-time ACC All-Defensive Team selection who averaged 8.8 points last season for the Wolfpack. Key joined Bales on the ACC’s All-Defensive squad.
“After we got Bales,” Krauskopf continued, “we knew we were going for a point guard and we were glad that Medders was still on the board. She is a really good point guard who competed in the Big XII and is good perimeter shooter. Then in the third round, we thought to go after the best available athlete, and Ashley is someone we’ve watched an awful lot at NC State.”
The Fever hosts a preseason opener on May 5 against the Seattle Storm (6:00 p.m.), and welcomes 2006 top draft pick and Rookie of the Year Seimone Augustus and the Minnesota Lynx to open the regular season, May 19 (7:00 p.m.). Single-game tickets for all Fever home games may be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations or FeverBasketball.com. For season ticket information, call (317) 917-2500.