Tina Charles, Monica Wright and Kesley Griffin selected as top picks in 2010 WNBA Draft presented by adidas

SECAUCUS, N.J., April 8, 2010 � Tina Charles, Monica Wright, and Kelsey Griffin were selected with the first three picks of the 2010 WNBA Draft presented by adidas.

The Connecticut Sun selected the University of Connecticut�s Charles with the first overall pick of the draft. The Minnesota Lynx then used the second and third picks to draft Wright from the University of Virginia and Griffin from the University of Nebraska. The Chicago Sky selected former Rutgers star Epiphanny Prince with the fourth pick, and the San Antonio Silver Stars chose Stanford�s Jayne Appel to round out the first five selections.

Before the first round ended, Griffin was dealt to the Sun in exchange for Connecticut�s first and second round selections in the 2011 Draft. The Sun would ultimately grab four of the first 15 selections, taking Danielle McCray of Kansas with the seventh pick and Allison Hightower of LSU with the 15th pick.

Charles enters the WNBA after earning All-America honors while leading the University of Connecticut Huskies to their second consecutive NCAA Championship and a record 78 straight wins. She wrapped up her college career as UConn�s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding.

�It is unbelievable,� Charles said when asked what it felt like to be the top draft pick after winning a second straight national championship. �My heart is pounding out of my chest. I am very grateful and this is definitely a dream come true. I�m more interested on what kind of impact I am going to have on the team than being the number one pick.�

While it marked the first time in franchise history that the Sun held the top pick in the draft, it was the third time in WNBA history that the No. 1 overall pick came from New York City�s Christ the King High School (Chamique Holdsclaw�Washington Mystics, 1999, and Sue Bird�Seattle Storm, 2002). It also was the first time in WNBA annals that the No. 1 overall selection had been traded prior to the Draft. Connecticut obtained the pick earlier this year when it sent Lindsay Whalen and the second overall pick to the Lynx in exchange for Renee Montgomery and the top selection.

Few players led their collegiate teams as completely as did Wright, who led Virginia in scoring, minutes, rebounds, assists, field goals made, three-pointers made, free throws made and steals. In Minnesota, Wright will join a superstar whom she has looked up to for some time.

�Seimone Augustus is player I watched when I was in high school,� said Wright. �I am honored an excited to play side by side with her.�

One of the few centers in a guard-heavy draft, Appel joins the Silver Stars after leading Stanford to three consecutive Final Four appearances, including the most recent one in San Antonio.

�It�s a tremendous honor,� said Appel. �I�m very excited to go back to San Antonio; I got my taste during the Final Four. I spoke with (General Manager Dan Hughes) and he seemed very upbeat and very pleased and I just hope to return all of that energy back to him.�

Chicago head coach Steven Key was extremely pleased to add the playmaking Prince to the Sky roster.

�We are super excited about getting Epiphanny,� said Key. �Everybody knows her as a scorer but what they don�t know is that she�s a pretty good defender on the perimeter as well, and a great ball handler. It�s a great thing when you can run the point and put the ball in the basket.�

Prince, who spent what would have been her senior year overseas playing in Turkey for Botas-Spor alongside the Sky�s Courtney Paris, was equally excited to being going to the WNBA and Chicago.

�I just wanted to go. It was a dream I had for a long time. I just feel like it�s finally been fulfilled. I am really close with Sylvia [Fowles] and Courtney, so it was like a dream come true�. I�ve wanted to do this since I was a little girl.�

The complete draft order follows.

1Connecticut Sun | Tina Charles | Connecticut16-18
2Minnesota Lynx | Monica Wright | Virginia14-20
3Minnesota Lynx | Kelsey Griffin | Nebraska (traded to Connecticut)14-20
4Chicago Sky | Epiphanny Prince | Botas/Rutgers16-18
5San Antonio Silver Stars | Jayne Appel | Stanford15-19
6Washington Mystics | Jacinta Monroe | Florida State16-18
7Connecticut Sun | Danielle McCray | Kansas16-18
8Los Angeles Sparks | Andrea Riley | Oklahoma State18-16
9Atlanta Dream | Chanel Mokango | Mississippi State18-16
10Seattle Storm | Alison Lacey | Iowa State20-14
11Indiana Fever | Jene Morris | San Diego State22-12
12Los Angeles Sparks | Bianca Thomas | Mississippi18-16

13New York Liberty | Kalana Greene | Connecticut13-21
14Washington Mystics | Jenna Smith | Illinois16-18
15Connecticut Sun | Allison Hightower | Louisiana16-18
16New York Liberty | Ashley Houts | Georgia16-18
17San Antonio Silver Stars | Alysha Clark | Middle Tennessee15-19
18Washington Mystics | Shanavia Dowdell | Louisiana Tech16-18
19Tulsa Shock | Amanda Thompson | Oklahoma18-16
20Los Angeles Sparks | Angel Robinson | Georgia18-16
21Atlanta Dream | Brigitte Ardossi | Georgia Tech18-16
22Seattle Storm | Tanisha Smith | Texas A&M20-14
23Indiana Fever | Armelie Lumanu | Mississippi State22-12
24Phoenix Mercury | Tyra Grant | Penn State23-11

25New York Liberty | Cory Montgomery | Nebraska13-21
26Minnesota Lynx | Gabriela Marginean | Drexel14-20
27Connecticut Sun | Johannah Leedham | Franklin Pierce16-18
28Chicago Sky | Abi Olajuwon | Oklahoma16-18
29San Antonio Silver Stars | Alexis Rack | Mississippi State15-19
30Washington Mystics | Alexis Gray-Lawson | California16-18
31Tulsa Shock | Vivian Frieson | Gonzaga18-16
32Los Angeles Sparks | Rashidat Junaid | Rutgers18-16
33Atlanta Dream | Brittainey Raven | Texas18-16
34Seattle Storm| Tijana Krivacevic | Hungary20-14
35Indiana Fever | Joy Cheek | Duke22-12
36Phoenix Mercury | Nyeshia Stevenson | Oklahoma23-11

About the WNBA

The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Now preparing for its 14th season, the WNBA is the most successful women�s professional team sports league in the world. The 2009 regular season featured increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for the second straight summer. Average viewership on ESPN2 jumped 76 percent from a year ago for the 2009 WNBA Finals presented by adidas. The five-game series also featured three sellouts plus the highest total attendance figure (82,018) in WNBA Finals history.

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