Three Pac-10 Women's Basketball Players Selected in WNBA Draft
April 9, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Three Pac-10 women's basketball players were selected in the 2009 WNBA Draft, which was held on Thursday afternoon in Secaucus, N.J. at the NBA Entertainment Studios. ARIZONA STATE'S Briann January and CALIFORNIA'S Ashley Walker were selected in the first round, with January going sixth overall. USC's Camille LeNoir was selected in the second round.
January was the highest-drafted player out of the Pac-10 and is headed to the Indiana Fever, who went 17-7 during the 2008 campaign. January is coming off a successful season where she led the Sun Devils to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Also helping ASU to a 26-9 overall record, 15-3 in the Pac-10, which was good for second place, and a No. 12 national ranking in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. January was named the 2009 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a first team All-Pac-10 selection.
Picked 12th overall in the first round by the Seattle Storm, Walker helped the Cal Golden Bears to their first ever NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Conference's scoring leader, netting 19.8 points per game, she scored her 2,000th career point and grabbed her 1,000th career rebound this season, also helping Cal post a 27-7 record, 15-3 in the Pac-10, which tied for second in the league standings. Walker was named first team All-Pac-10 and was a member of the Conference's All-Defensive team. The Bears ended the season ranked 10th in the coaches' poll and 13th in the Associated Press ranking.
The 23rd pick in the draft, going in the second round to the Washington Mystics, LeNoir finished her campaign with a stellar performance in the 2009 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament, leading the sixth-seeded Women of Troy to the title bout, the lowest seed to ever advance to the conference championship game. Earning a spot on the All-Pac-10 Tournament team, she scored 18.7 points per game in the event, also shooting 50 percent from the floor. She was 10th in the Pac-10 in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game, earning second team All-Pac-10 nods. LeNoir was just shy of 1,400 points for her career, ranking third all-time at USC in three pointers made (154).
The trio follow a long line of outstanding women's basketball players who have had successful careers in the WNBA. Among those players are three-time WNBA All-Star MVP Lisa Leslie, a member of the LA Sparks, four-time WNBA Champions Tina Thompson and Cynthia Cooper, and four-time All-American and 2009 State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy national player of the year Candice Wiggins.
Preseason competition begins with the Mystics traveling to the New York Liberty on May 21, while the Sacramento Monarchs travel to Seattle on the same day. The Fever begins its preseason slate on May 23 at Minnesota.
For full coverage of the WNBA Draft and more information on the teams, visit www.wnba.com, www.wnba.com/fever/, www.wnba.com/mystics/, and www.wnba.com/storm/. The WNBA embarks on its 13th season this summer, with 13 teams across the nation from New York to Los Angeles.
- www.pac-10.org -