Melody Johnson Taken by Portland Fire in 2002 WNBA Draft

April 19, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State senior center Melody Johnson was taken by the Portland Fire in the fourth round of the 2002 WNBA Draft, held Friday, April 19.

Johnson, who was the second pick in the fourth round and the 50th overall selection, becomes the first Sun Devil selected in the WNBA Draft directly out of college.

ASU has had two players drafted previously, both in the inaugural WNBA Draft in 1997. Kym Hampton, ASU's career leading scorer and a two-time All-American (1981-84), was drafted as the fourth pick in the 1997 Elite Draft, while Monique Ambers (1990-93) was taken in the fourth round of that first draft.

Johnson earned All-Pac-10 honors in each of her two seasons in Tempe (first team in 2001, honorable mention in 2002), leading ASU in two of its most successful seasons in school history. The Sun Devil duo helped ASU to a share its first ever Pac-10 Championship in 2001 and the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament Championship in 2002 as well as the school's first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back 20-win seasons in 19 years.

A 6-2 center out of Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson came to ASU after two years at the University of Colorado. In her two years in Tempe, she finished as ASU's career leader in field goal percentage, knocking down 56.2 percent of her attempts. She led the team in rebounding and was second in scoring in each of the last two seasons. She averaged 12.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 2002 and finished second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 55.2 percent.

Training camps for the 16 WNBA teams begin on Monday, April 29.

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