2009 WNBA Draft Chat Wrap

Q&As with the draftees
Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta
Marissa Coleman, Washington
Kristi Toliver, Chicago
Renee Montgomery, Minnesota
DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix
Briann January, Indiana
Courtney Paris, Sacramento
Kia Vaughn, New York
Chante Black, Connecticut
Shavonte Zellous, Detroit
Ashley Walker, Seattle
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Los Angeles
Rashanda McCants, Minnesota
Lyndra Littles, Connecticut
Ashley Paris, Los Angeles

The WNBA Draft was back at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey this year and once again WNBA.com was there to give you up-to-the-minute draft coverage as we welcomed 39 new players to the WNBA.

There were 15 of the top prospects in attendance, waiting to hear their name called, meet WNBA President Donna Orender, pose for a picture, and then the new draft picks joined us to chat with you and fans all over the world.

Below is a complete transcript of the draft day chat.

 Brian Martin: (2:55 PM ET ) Hello WNBA fans and welcome to the 2009 WNBA Draft Live Chat. We are about five minutes from the festivities getting underway, which gives me a few minutes to answer a few questions that have come in.

Kennesaw Brad (New York, NY): Hi Brian, it was always fun watching Matt Wurst sweat and scramble to get the answers in for the chat. Are you as fast a typer as he is? How many questions can we expect each prospect to answer after they are drafted? Good luck.

 Brian Martin: (2:57 PM ET ) Many props to Matt Wurst and Adam Hirshfield for holding down the WNBA.com live chat in the past. I'm a decent typer, hopefully we'll be able to get 3 or 4 questions with each player before they have to head out for the rest of the media circuit.

Ross Tucker Everett Washington: I would like to know with the roster cut from 13 to 11 how many draft picks will end up on a team? Thank-You!

 Brian Martin: (2:59 PM ET ) That is one of the biggest questions going into this draft. We posted our top draft steals feature a few days ago and it made us think about how many of the second and third round picks this year will have the opportunity to make that list in the future. When it comes down to it, only the best of the best are going to make roster this year, which should lead to some great basketball this year.

SPANKY E.c. N.C.: which point guard do you think is going to fall in the phoenix mercury laps.. Kristi Toliver or Renee Montgomery and which one do you think they will take?

 Brian Martin: (3:01 PM ET ) I don't know if either of those players will make it to the Mercury. I think there is an outside shot that Toliver falls to No. 5, and if she did I think she would be a great fit in Phoenix with their run and gun style of play. Not sure if there are enough shots for her, Dee and Cappie though.

Sam (Spokane, Washington): Who do you think the Seattle Storm will take with their first round pick?

 Brian Martin: (3:03 PM ET ) I'm not sure how the Storm will handle this draft. Do they act as if LJ is coming back or heading to the desert? They could play it safe and take a post player that could help in LJ's absence or provide depth if Jackson comes back.

Fairfax Va: Hiya Brian what channel does the draft come on again espn 2 or espn u ?

 Brian Martin: (3:04 PM ET ) The draft is on ESPN2 right now for the first round, then switch over to NBA TV or ESPNU for the second and third rounds.

 Brian Martin: (3:04 PM ET ) Hello Donna. We are underway.

 Brian Martin: (3:06 PM ET ) Intro is done ... Dream are officially on the clock

audrey (gary.in): Who do u think atlanta will chose for the number one pick.

 Brian Martin: (3:07 PM ET ) In my mock draft, I had the Dream selecting Renee Montgomery. They could also go with Coleman or McCoughtry here as well and get a solid wing player to add to the mix.

Jeff, Thompson Ct: will the picks be listed somewhere as they are made?

 Brian Martin: (3:09 PM ET ) On the homepage of WNBA.com we have the first round draft board. Once we get to the second and third rounds, click on the Draft Board link at the top of the page. This page will be updated in real time... or as close to real time as we possibly can.

Derrick Raleigh, NC: Has the first pick been announced yet? I'm stuck at work.

 Brian Martin: (3:09 PM ET ) Not yet... Dream is still on the clock ... we'll let you know when the pick happens ... keep checking back.

 Brian Martin: (3:10 PM ET ) Angel goes No. 1 to the Dream

TK - Denver: Are there any live draft boards that you know of?

 Brian Martin: (3:12 PM ET ) We've got one on the homepage of WNBA.com... check it out

 Brian Martin: (3:12 PM ET ) Angel is on her way ... send in those questions.

Sharon, Louisville: Angel, which players on the Dream are you looking forward to playing with?

 Angel McCoughtry: (3:14 PM ET ) Ivory Latta is a great point guard that plays with a lot of passion like I do. Both of our goals are to win a WNBA championship so it will be great to play with her.

 Brian Martin: (3:14 PM ET ) Were you surprised to go No. 1?

 Angel McCoughtry: (3:15 PM ET ) Yes I was because there are so many great players out there.

Steve, Louisville: Angel, which player do you think will be your toughest opponent in the WNBA?

 Angel McCoughtry: (3:15 PM ET ) I think Deanna Nolan is tough, she can do it all, shooting, guarding everything on the court. She is unstoppable.

Karen, Connecticut: Did Angel get to meet Kara Lawson in St. Louis?

 Angel McCoughtry: (3:16 PM ET ) Yes I did. That went great, she's a very nice person, a legend and I look up to her.

Alex Miami, Florida: Angel are you excited to play with the dream or with a championship caliber team

 Angel McCoughtry: (3:17 PM ET ) I'd rather be where I am because it will mean so much more when we win one in Atlanta.

 Brian Martin: (3:17 PM ET ) That's it for Angel ... Marissa is on her way.

Jerome, Washington D.C.: Marissa, are you excited to stay in the area to start your WNBA career?

 Marissa Coleman: (3:19 PM ET ) I�m very excited to start my career in the area. Over the past few years I�ve gotten to play in front of some great fans at the Comcast Center, and a lot of them said they hoped I would stay home so they could come watch me play. Hopefully they�ll come out, especially since now there�s two Terps on the team.

Mark Fisher - Rockville, Maryland: Marissa Coleman, While there are many very talented women in this year's draft, I believe that you are the most solid, pro-ready pick this year. Your desire and determination for the game is unmatched. How does it feel to be able to play with Crystal Langhorne again?

 Marissa Coleman: (3:20 PM ET ) It's a dream come true. Crystal makes life so much easier for everyone around her. We played well together for three years and hopefully we'll have success in the WNBA with the Mystics.

Ann, Towson, MD: Marissa, Who was your favorite player growing up and is she still in the league so you can play against her?

 Marissa Coleman: (3:21 PM ET ) I was a big UConn fan because of Diana Taurasi. I got to play against her when she was on the USA team and they did the college tour. It will be great to play against her in the WNBA. Not many people get to guard their idol.

 Kristi Toliver: (3:22 PM ET ) This is the first time I�ve been involved in basketball and I've been shaking.

Stephanie, Indy IN: For Tolliver, what makes you nervous about playing at the next level?

 Kristi Toliver: (3:22 PM ET ) I think its just the fact that its a new experience, a new league. If you look back at being a freshman in college, it�s like that. I'm going to a great organization so my teammates will help me out. I just want to contribute as much as I can.

Steve, Cary NC: Kristi do you expect to make an immediate impact this year?

 Kristi Toliver: (3:23 PM ET ) Absolutely. I think I have a lot to contribute to the team, I know they are in need of a PG and I hope to deliver whatever they need.

Tiffany (chicago): Kristi, congrats for an excellent career at Maryland. You are my favorite player and can't wait to see you this in the WNBA. My question is what parts of your game do you think needs improvement to be successful at the next level? Thanks for the memories at Maryland and again congrats to you.

 Kristi Toliver: (3:25 PM ET ) I think that my on ball defense is going to be very crucial to my game in the WNBA. I need to work on my footwork and keep people in front. I've always been a good help defender but I can get better one on one.

 Brian Martin: (3:25 PM ET ) How does it feel to go to theLynx

 Renee Montgomery: (3:26 PM ET ) It feels good to go there. I have a teammate there already, it�s nice when you go someone new to have someone you know that can help you out.

Bob, MN: Renee what will you bring to the lynx team?

 Renee Montgomery: (3:26 PM ET ) Hopefully just leadership and excitement and passion.

Courtney Gray (New Haven, CT): FOR RENEE MONTGOMERY! How does it feel to win a National Championship? Then becoming a first round draft pick all within a couple of days?

 Renee Montgomery: (3:27 PM ET ) It�s a little overwhelming at first. Right after winning the championship I had to think about playing at the next level. It�s just an exciting time.

Alexis (Camden, New Jersey): Renee Montgomery, what do you think will be your hardest adjustment leaving college?

 Renee Montgomery: (3:28 PM ET ) I think the hardest adjustment is that basketball now is a business., I'm going to miss the closeness that me and my teammates had. My team at UConn was like a family. I hope we can have that same feeling in the WNBA.

 Brian Martin: (3:29 PM ET ) How are you feeling right now?

 DeWanna Bonner: (3:29 PM ET ) I�m excited right now. I'm ready to go to Phoenix and give all that I have. I can't wait to play with Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter.

D.bARR, Tennessee: For DeWanna Bonner: Congratulations on an amazing career and an amazing year (even though I'm an Ole Miss fan). What do you see as your greatest challenge in becoming a great pro player?

 DeWanna Bonner: (3:30 PM ET ) I think its just learning the philosophy of a new coach. From what I hear Phoenix likes to run up and down and that's my style. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing.

Ryan (Rocklin, CA): DeWanna, who do you compare your game to the most in the WNBA?

 DeWanna Bonner: (3:31 PM ET ) I would say a mix between Sophia Young and Lisa Leslie. I can work with my back to the basket like Lisa and get out and run like Sophia.

Stephanie Indy, IN: DeWanna, who are you most looking forward to defending?

 DeWanna Bonner: (3:32 PM ET ) That's a tough one. There are so many out there that I want to defend. I'll say Candace Parker because we play a similar style. I look forward to that challenge of guarding her.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: DeWanna, what position do you think you'll play?

 DeWanna Bonner: (3:32 PM ET ) I think the 3 or the 4. I don't really have a preference I�m just ready to get out there and play.

Matt, Belford, NJ: Briann, Is there any WNBA player you modeled your game after and what will it be like to face them?

 Briann January: (3:33 PM ET ) Sue Bird has been one of my role models. She's a just a great point guard and a great player. I love the way she runs her team.

Stephanie Indy, IN: Briann January, We are looking forward to you coming to Indiana. Who are you most looking forward to playing with and what makes you nervous coming to this level?

 Briann January: (3:34 PM ET ) I'm more excited than nervous. It�s just the next step in my career. There are some great players on that team in Katie Douglas and Tamika Catchings and it will be fun to get them the ball.

Chris (indy): Welcome to Indy, Briann. What do you feel you need to improve in your game at this level?

 Briann January: (3:35 PM ET ) Maybe get a little stronger and start being more aggressive to the rim and get that confidence going into the pro game.

Coco (Phila. PA): My question is to all the girls. Are you happy with the team that picked you?

 Briann January: (3:35 PM ET ) Of course. It's an honor just to have the opportunity. This has been my dream for so long and its great to have it come true. I�ve never been to Indiana before; it should be a fun experience.

Brett (Lawrence, KS): Courtney Paris, how will it feel to play on a different team than your sister Ashley?

 Courtney Paris: (3:37 PM ET ) Its going to be hard but I'm extremely excited to be back in California. Even though we go to the same school, we are independent of each other as well. I know she will support me as I will support her.

 Brian Martin: (3:38 PM ET ) How nervous for her in this draft process?

 Courtney Paris: (3:38 PM ET ) I�m not nervous for her. I know wherever she goes she's going to play well and work hard for that team. I'm not nervous for her, I'm excited for her.

Harris: Macon, GA: Courtney, an amazing college career what do you think would be your biggest asset on this level?

 Courtney Paris: (3:39 PM ET ) I think I have a lot of things to work on. I need to work on my fitness and learning more ways to score. One thing I've always been able to do is rebound so I'll concentrate on that and work on my weaknesses from there.

Kara, Orlando: Courtney, who do you think you'll learn the most from in the next year?

 Courtney Paris: (3:41 PM ET ) This whole week they have been asking who I look up to and I've been saying Tamika Catchings and Kara Lawson. I can't wait to play with Lawson. It�s amazing to play with her like I did in when I was with USA basketball.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: KIA!!!!!! My prayers have been answered HOMEGIRL. How's it feel to be reunited with Essence Carson! I can't wait for the season to start!

 Kia Vaughn: (3:42 PM ET ) Its feels great. I can't wait. It�s like old times now. I can't wait to be there and play with her again. I feel comfortable with her taking me through the ropes.

Matt, Belford NJ: Kia Vaughn, Have you gotten any advice on playing in the WNBA from your former teammates like Essence Carson and Matee Ajavon?

 Kia Vaughn: (3:44 PM ET ) Certainly. I've spoken to Essence, Matee and Cappie on just bring on what I learned from Coach Stringer to the biggest stage and just always working hard because hard work ultimately gets you wherever you want.

Cyndy (Washington, DC): Kia, what are you most looking forward to as a player in the WNBA?

 Kia Vaughn: (3:45 PM ET ) For one, its another chapter in my life where I can grow as a player and as a person. And I�m really excited to player with veterans and legends like Essence and Lisa Leslie and others.

Kat (newbrunswick, nj): Kia, Does being drafted by a team so close to home make this that much more meaningful?

 Kia Vaughn: (3:46 PM ET ) Its definitely meaningful because I get to represent the city I was born in and having my family being able to be close to me and their support is meaningful to me.

Danny Buckets, Sheepshead Bay, NY: Chante, when did you first make playing in the WNBA a goal of yours?

 Chante Black: (3:48 PM ET ) I would say after sophomore year and going to the national championship. I really wanted to exert myself as a player and playing with my teammates Monique Currie and Lindsey Harding, they basically told me that I should aim to play at the next level.

Coach Willert Kernersville, NC: Chante Black the East Forsyth Family is very proud of you. What was your greatest college memory?

 Chante Black: (3:49 PM ET ) My sophomore year beating Tennessee at home, they were number one and we were number two and all bets were against us.

Ryan (Rocklin, CA): Chante, what is the one area of your game that you need to work on the most?

 Chante Black: (3:50 PM ET ) Still working on my face up game and being more active when pursuing rebounds.

Ryan (Rocklin, CA): Shavonte, who do you look forward to playing against most in the WNBA?

 Shavonte Zellous: (3:52 PM ET ) Well it was Deanna Nolan becuse she was my favorite player but now she's my teammate. I'm just so excited and overwhelmed by the moment.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: Shavonte, I guess we'll see up close and personal how much you play like Deanna Nolan. Congrats to you. Do you think you will help Detroit repeat as champs?

 Shavonte Zellous: (3:52 PM ET ) I think so with my versatility. they have great guards in Smith, Nolan and Hornbuckle and I look forward to playing with them. I think I'll be able to help them out with my scoring ability.

 Brian Martin: (3:53 PM ET ) Are you looking forward to playing for Coach Bill Laimbeer?

 Shavonte Zellous: (3:54 PM ET ) I look very forward to plyaing for him. He's much like Coach B. He expects you to play hard all the time and that is how I play. I'm looking forward to getting to Detroit and playing for him.

Steiny (NYC): What is the best advice that you ever got?

 Ashley Walker: (3:55 PM ET ) To keep playing hard no matter what, through the good times and the bad.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: Ashley, as a big college basketball fan, I'm ashamed to admit I never saw you play until this year's tourney. What will we find out about you when you play this season?

 Ashley Walker: (3:56 PM ET ) That I'm a hard worker. I'm going to play as hard as I can every possession. And I'm aggressive even though I'm undersized.

Harris: Macon, GA: Who in the WNBA would you say your game is most reminds you of?

 Ashley Walker: (3:57 PM ET ) I don't know. I'd say I'm different than most. A little like Tina Thompson because she is versatile, but she's bigger than me. I think I'm unique.

Andre, Atlanta, GA: Ashley, This is your cousin... I'm very proud of you!!!! How excited are you about staying on the west coast?

 Ashley Walker: (3:58 PM ET ) Really, really excited. My mom can come visit me a lot now.

Amy (Chicago, IL): Lindsay, what area of your game do you feel you need to work on the most at the next level? Congrats and good luck!

 Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton: (3:59 PM ET ) I really want to work on my outside shot to be able to hit the face up jumper and my ball handling; and being a more physical presence inside.

Stephanie (Indy, IN): Lindsay, we are going to miss you at Purdue. How are you feeling that you went in the 1st round? I hear a trade may be brewing already?

 Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton: (4:00 PM ET ) Well I'm just excited to be here no matter where I go or when I go. It's tough to know that things can change and I can be traded, but I'm just excited to be anywhere.

 Brian Martin: (4:02 PM ET ) What do you is your best asset that you will bring to your team?

 Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton: (4:02 PM ET ) I think its my versatility, being able to play on the inside and outside.

Johnny J, Princeton, NJ: Rashada, has your brother given you any advice on how to succeed as a pro athlete?

 Rashanda McCants: (4:13 PM ET ) Yes. As far as going out there and knowing that are you fighting for a job. Its a business approach but you have to have a love for the game to make it in this business and that's never been a problem for me.

 Brian Martin: (4:14 PM ET ) You and your brother seem to be following each other throughout your career.

 Rashanda McCants: (4:14 PM ET ) My whole life I've always followed my brother, around the house, on the court. For it to convert from being kids to going to college to being drafted by the same franchise, even though he's left, I don't think any other brother sister combo has done that. It's a blessing.

Ryan (Chaska, MN): Who would win in a game of one-on-one, you or Rashad?

 Rashanda McCants: (4:15 PM ET ) Me. All day!

 Brian Martin: (4:15 PM ET ) Can you just describe your feelings right now from waiting in the studio, to hearing your name called?

 Rashanda McCants: (4:16 PM ET ) I'm going to say its like a relief to be picked to a team and to be part of such a great franchise. I'm friends with the girls there and I�m looking forward to a new beginning.

bob, mn: what will you bring to the team?

 Rashanda McCants: (4:17 PM ET ) I will bring versatility, stong defense, a winning mentality, passion, anything you can think of, I have in my arsenal. I'm a hard worker and I'm very personable. I'm also very familiar with Minnesota so I should be able to get around really well.

Maylan, NY, NY: Lyndra, ARe you excited to play for one of the WNBA's best coaches in Mike Thibault?

 Lyndra Littles: (4:18 PM ET ) I�m very excited., I think he's done a great job with that team. I'm looking forward to getting there and working with him and learning his program.

Sarah, Virginia: Lyndra Littles 1st of all congrats on being drafted. We UVA fans love you! You really worked hard in the offseason to expand your game this year. Do you have a new goal going into the WNBA?

 Lyndra Littles: (4:19 PM ET ) My goal is to go in there and work extremely hard and compete for a championship.

Matt, Belford, NJ: Lyndra, How did playing in a tough conference like the ACC prepare you for the WNBA?

 Lyndra Littles: (4:20 PM ET ) I think the competition in the ACC is one of the best conferences as far as talent; you can see that in Toliver, Coleman, McCants and myself as well.

Ryan (Rocklin, CA): Lyndra, who do you compare your game to the most in the WNBA?

 Lyndra Littles: (4:21 PM ET ) That's a tough one because so many women in the WNBA are versatile like me. They are all strong, they can all shoot, they can all shoot, they are all good with the basketball. So it�s hard to pick just one player.

bob, mn: Could the Paris sisters end up on the same team? Sacramento?

 Brian Martin: (4:26 PM ET ) Looked like it was going to happen there for a minute. That's tough to hear all of that buildup with the analysts talking about a reunion and then it doesn't happen.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: I think the Liberty need a guard now... who's still out there?

 Brian Martin: (4:29 PM ET ) Liberty just picked Abby Waner from Duke, so there is your guard. She could fit in well in New York.

 Brian Martin: (4:31 PM ET ) Well Ashley Paris had to wait a while to hear her name called, but she is headed to Los Angeles. Could be a steal for the Sparks to get a player like Paris so late in the draft. Both Paris twins are heading back to California.

Astrose00, East Brunswick, NJ: Brian, can you tell us who's getting picked. The draft board isn't updating. I'm at work (sssshhhh!)

 Brian Martin: (4:32 PM ET ) Here is the link to our draft board that is updating with every pick.


Kendra, Beverly Hills, CA: Ashley, Are you looking forward to facing your sister a lot since you are now on division rivals?

 Ashley Paris: (4:34 PM ET ) Yeah. I doubt she's looking forward to facing me. I think people have been thinking I've been living in her shadow, but now they'll see how I was stomping her every day in practice.

Michelle, Compton: Ashley are you excited to play in LA in your home state?

 Ashley Paris: (4:35 PM ET ) Yes, very exciting. LA is a great place. It�s a great opportunity to play with Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie, who are two great post players.

Takia J, Atlanta Ga: This question is for Courtney and Ashley Paris.How do you think it will feel final playing against each other on different teams?And do you think it will be hard adjusting to not having your sister there with you as you journey through your rookie year?

 Ashley Paris: (4:36 PM ET ) I honestly think as much as I love playing with her, this will be a great opportunity for me to kind of drift away from her. It will be a good opportunity to get out of her shadow and establish myself on my own.

Harris, Macon, GA: Ashley, youre about to play with last years MVP and many gold medalists and WNBA champs. What kind of advice will you be seeking from them?

 Ashley Paris: (4:37 PM ET ) Just all of their knowledge. If i can makethat team it will be a great experience. I'll be playing with great players and I'll try to absorb all of her knowledge.

 Brian Martin: (4:38 PM ET ) That's it for the players as Ashley is off to do the rest of the media circuit along with the rest of the draft picks. I'll stick around for a while and answer some questions that have been coming in throughout the draft.

Chun Li, Los Angeles: finally... ashley got taken. she's really a steal at this point, IMO. brian... who do you think has been the biggest steal so far? montgomery?

 Brian Martin: (4:42 PM ET ) That's a good question. Obviously, Montgomery could have gone as high as No. 1, but she didn't fall too far down to No. 4. It could end up being Ashley Paris, who went to LA at No. 22. It's going to be tough for her to make that team, but I think she can be productive in a reserve role if she does. We've also had some international players selected that I don't know as much about. It will be interesting to see if these second and third round picks can compete in training camp and make a WNBA team.

Aaron Smith (Caseville, MI): Brian, What do you think of the Detroit Shock this year. If I am correct their line-up reads: Braxton, McWilliams-Franklin, Ford, Smith, Nolan. You have Pierson, Hornbuckle, Sanni, and now zellous. can anyone touch them as they look to repeat?

 Brian Martin: (4:45 PM ET ) In my opinion Detroit was the favorite in the East before the draft and now they add a player in Zellous that I think can help them. Nolan and Smith have played a ton of minutes over the past few years, so getting a guard who can score and take some of the load off of their shoulders can make them even more dangerous.

Kara, Orlando: How do you think Phoenix & Seattle's selections will set things up for Lauren Jackson's pending decision?

 Brian Martin: (4:51 PM ET ) I think the draft picks will work well for both teams whether they get LJ or not. Adding Jackson would be a huge benefit, but I think Bonner is a great fit in PHX and Walker is a great fit in Seattle regardless.

 Brian Martin: (5:05 PM ET ) With the draft coming to a close, it is time to wrap up this chat. Thank you for all of your questions. Hope you enjoyed getting to hear from the newest players in the WNBA.