WNBA Draft: Clarendon to Indiana, Whyte to San Antonio, Jeffery to Minnesota
The Pac-12 saw three of its departing seniors get their names called in the 2013 WNBA Draft Monday night in Bristol, Conn. With the three selections, the Pac-12 has had multiple players selected in every WNBA college draft dating back to the league’s inception in 1997.
Layshia Clarendon was the Pac-12’s lone first-round selection, as the former Cal guard was chosen ninth overall by the defending champion Indiana Fever. There, the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year will have a chance to catch up with a couple of other Left Coast hoopers - Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen and Arizona State's Briann January. Oddly enough, Pohlen was also selected ninth overall by the Fever two years ago. This could shape up to be a very successful year for Clarendon on a team level after leading the Golden Bears to their first-ever Final Four. From a conference perspective, Clarendon’s first-round selection makes it eight consecutive years that at least one Pac-12 player has been drafted in the first round. That streak is tied for second longest along with the ACC for any collegiate conference, trailing just the SEC, which has had a first-round selection in every WNBA Draft.
[Related: Three Pac-12 players selected in WNBA Draft]
While the mohawk’d one is heading to the Midwest, Niya Butts’ nicest Wildcat will just have to shuttle a couple of states over in the Southwest as a result of the San Antonio Silver Stars choosing Arizona’s Davellyn Whyte in the second round with the 16th overall pick. The Wildcats’ second all-time leading scorer and four-time all-Pac-12 selection will have some conference company - Jayne Appel also will be donning a Silver Stars jersey this coming season. As the Arizona athletic department web site is quick to point out, Whyte is the highest drafted player in Arizona women's basketball history.
The last Pac-12er to go was also the last selection of the second round - Linda Lappe will now entrust Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve with the care of Chucky Jeffery, who was taken 24th overall by the Lynx (though who are we kidding, the tough-as-nails Jeffery doesn’t need any taking care of). It might be difficult for a late second-rounder to make the opening day roster of a team that reached the WNBA finals last season and drafted two others ahead of her, but if anyone has the determination to overcome a little adversity, Jeffery’s it. Another courageous Pac-12er will be making her home in Minnesota as Jacki Gemelos was signed by the Lynx two weeks ago; the former Woman of Troy is trying to come back from a fifth ACL reconstruction.
Assuming all remain healthy and on their teams' rosters, you will be able to catch the newest Pac-12ers-turned-WNBAers a grand total of six times on national TV this season:
- June 8 - Phoenix at Indiana (12:30 pm PT, ABC - watch Layshia Clarendon match wits with Brittney Griner, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft)
- June 12 - Connecticut at Indiana (5:00 pm PT, ESPN2)
- June 25 - Phoenix at San Antonio (5:00 pm PT, ESPN 2)
- July 9 - Atlanta at Minnesota (6:00 pm PT, ESPN 2)
- July 23 - New York at Indiana (4:00 pm PT, ESPN 2)
- August 24 - Indiana at Minnesota (4:00 pm PT, ESPN 2 - they save the Layshia vs. Chucky battle for the end!)