Los Angeles Sparks Win Top Pick in 2008 WNBA Draft

-- Chicago Sky, Minnesota Lynx Round Out Top Three --

The ping pong balls bounced in the Sparks' favor as Los Angeles won the first pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.
NBAE Photos
NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2007 � The Los Angeles Sparks won the seventh annual WNBA Draft Lottery and earned the top pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, the League announced today.

The winning team had 341 chances out of 1,000 to receive the first overall selection. The Chicago Sky will have the second pick in the draft followed by the Minnesota Lynx, Atlanta, Houston Comets and Washington Mystics.

The Atlanta franchise, announced last week as the League's 14th team, was previously awarded the fourth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

WNBA officials and a representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young conducted the Draft Lottery in New York City, which included the five teams that did not qualify for the 2007 Playoffs and established the order of selection for the first six picks of the 2008 Draft. The order of selection for the first, second and third picks was determined by the lottery while the fourth pick was awarded to the Atlanta franchise. The fifth and sixth picks were then designated for the two remaining lottery-eligible teams who did not earn one of the top three picks, based on inverse order of their finish during the 2007 regular season. Additionally, the order of selection for the remainder of the first round as well as the second and third rounds is also based on each team's finish during the 2007 regular season.

Following are results of the 2008 Draft Lottery:

Team 2007 Record
1. Los Angeles 10-24
2. Chicago Sky 14-20
3. Minnesota Lynx 10-24
4. Atlanta n/a
5. Houston Comets 13-21
6. Washington Mystics 16-18

Following is the remaining order for the first round as determined by overall records from 2007:

Team 2007 Record
7. New York 16-18
8. Seattle 17-17
9. Connecticut 18-16
10. Sacramento 19-15
11. Detroit From San Antonio (20-14), Riley/Feenstra trade on 2/22/07
12. Indiana 21-13
13. Phoenix 23-11
14. New York From Detroit (24-10) via San Antonio, Hammon/ Davenport trade on 4/4/07

The WNBA will feature 14 teams in 2008, with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. Atlanta will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm will continue to comprise the Western Conference.

The WNBA enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in 2007 with increased regular season attendance, a new postseason attendance record and Finals viewership on ESPN2 that was up 12 percent vs. 2006. Spectacular performances from the world's best women's basketball players highlighted the WNBA's 11th season. The Storm's Lauren Jackson tied a league record for points in a game (47) and also became the youngest player ever to reach 4,000 career points en route to earning league MVP honors, while the Mercury's Diana Taurasi scored 30-or-more points per game a league-record 10 times. Led by 2007 All-Stars Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Penny Taylor, the Mercury capped the most exciting WNBA season ever by defeating the defending champion Detroit Shock in five games in the WNBA Finals.