ESPN2 Telecast set for April 15 at 8 p.m. ET Draft to be Held at ESPN for Third Consecutive Year
NEW YORK and BRISTOL, Conn., Dec. 10, 2012 The 2013 WNBA Draft, scheduled for Monday, April 15, will make history as the worlds top female basketball prospects will be selected live on prime time television for the first time in the leagues 17-year history. ESPN2 will provide coverage and analysis of the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET from ESPN in Bristol, Conn. ESPNU will air the second and third rounds beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
To schedule the WNBA Draft in prime time is a significant commitment by our broadcast partner, ESPN, and is indicative of the growing interest in the league and the womens game overall, said WNBA President, Laurel J. Richie. We are very much looking forward to the 2013 season and that tips off with what we anticipate will be one of the most exciting and followed drafts in league history.
ESPN is continually looking for new ways to expand on our commitment to the WNBA and the sport of womens basketball, said Carol Stiff, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. With the caliber of players that is expected to enter the 2013 WNBA Draft, it was a logical decision to move the event to a primetime window.
After garnering the top selection in this years WNBA Draft Lottery, which aired on ESPNs SportsCenter, the Phoenix Mercury hold the top pick in the WNBA Draft for the third time in franchise history. In 2004 the Mercury used the No. 1 pick to select Diana Taurasi from the University of Connecticut and in the 2007 Draft they chose Dukes Lindsey Harding. Taurasi went on to lead Phoenix to a pair of championships and earn league MVP honors in 2009, while Harding eventually helped the Atlanta Dream win consecutive Eastern Conference titles. Last year, the Los Angeles Sparks used the top pick on Stanfords Nneka Ogwumike, who earned the WNBA Rookie of the Year award and helped lead the Sparks to the Western Conference Finals.
Rounding out this years top five picks are the Chicago Sky (second), Tulsa Shock (third), Washington Mystics (fourth), and the New York Liberty (fifth).
Among the top seniors currently playing on the collegiate level are Baylor center Brittney Griner, Delaware guard/forward Elena Delle Donne, Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins, Georgetown guard Sugar Rodgers, and Maryland forward Tianna Hawkins.
The telecast will also be available online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.
WNBA.com, in addition to providing comprehensive draft-day coverage, will serve as the web destination for fans who want to track the top seniors in advance of the draft.