Franza Drafted by Phoenix Mercury in Fourth Round

April 20, 2001

Washington senior guard Megan Franza (Leavenworth, Wash.) was selected by the Phoenix Mercury in the fourth round, as the 61st pick overall in Friday's WNBA draft.

Franza, who recently completed her collegiate career after leading the Huskies to the Elite Eight of the 2001 NCAA Tournament, was one of five players selected from the Pacific-10 Conference. The group includes Stanford center Carolyn Moos, who was also selected by Phoenix in the fourth round with the 53rd pick along, Jenny Mowe (Oregon / Portland), Angelina Wolvert (Oregon / Cleveland) and Reshea Bristol (Arizona / Charlotte).

Franza ended her Husky career at No. 6 on Washington's career scoring chart, with 1,612 points. She is the UW career leader in three pointers made (211) and attempted (708). A two-time All-Pac-10 First Team honoree, she was a national second team academic All-American this season.

The Mercury are coached by two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Cynthia Cooper, who is in her first season as a head coach. Cooper, who retired after leading the Houston Comets to all four WNBA Championships, replaced Cheryl Miller. Cooper won a pair of NCAA Championships as a player at the University of Southern California.

The Mercury finished with a record of 20-12 last season.

Here is what Franza had to say after being drafted by Phoenix:

(on watching the draft on the internet):'It (the draft) just kept going and going. It was popping up in chunks on the internet with everyone's name. They would post seven picks at a time. It was nerve-wracking. When it got to where there were four picks left that hadn't been posted, a friend called me and said, 'congratulations.' I said, 'what?' and he realized I didn't know yet. He was watching on satellite. He said, 'I'm not going to tell you where you went. The internet is slow. I'll let you watch.'

'We hung up and the teams left were Phoenix, Sacramento, Houston and Los Angeles. I was hoping it was Phoenix. Out of the four left, that looked like an awesome place to go. To play for Cynthia Cooper, that's an experience in itself. I'm excited to see her and just get to know her. I would have been happy at any of those places though.

'It was an awesome moment, to see your name on that board and realize that you really are going to go and you are going to have a chance to play at the next level. It's out there waiting for you.

'They didn't have the WNBA when I was growing up. My goal was to play basketball in college. Everything I set my sights on was for college. Once the WNBA came into view, and actually started happening -- it's just an opportunity I feel so lucky to be a part of. What has happened over the last few years in women's basketball and women's sports is amazing. I'm lucky to play basketball during this time.

(would you have been disappointed if you hadn't been drafted?)'I actually had plans for what I was going to do if I wasn't drafted. All along, I've told everybody, I'm not going to base my happiness on what happens on the 20th of April. I had plans, but I also told those people it depends on what happens on the 20th. I think I would have been a little disappointed though. There is still free agent stuff, but to actually get drafted, have someone pick you, is a great feeling.

'I'm just glad to get a chance. I'm excited for the opportunity. I'll give it my best and I'll be satisfied with the results.'

Washington head coach June Daugherty
'It's a great day for Megan Franza, our program, the University of Washington and the Pac-10 Conference. Megan joins a great list of Huskies who have played at the next level. You think right away of Rhonda Smith and Jamie Redd. Megan being drafted and able to join that elite group is a great statement about how hard she has worked, and a great statement about our entire program. I'm just so pleased for Megan. I know she will continue to represent us as like she has so well through her four years here.'

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