The 2013 WNBA draft took place last night, April 16 and as expected the first three teams picked as projected.
The Phoenix Mercury selected Brittney Griner from Baylor. The 6-8 center from Baylor was visibly nervous when interviewed shortly after the announcement. “I’m at a loss for words. Like when I met Tony Hawks just a minute ago, I couldn’t say anything.” Brittney however explained that she was ready to give her all to the Mercury. She was especially pleased to know that she will be surrounded by better players than she had in college. “I’m definitely looking forward to the freedom. It opens it up a little. No more three people around me the entire game.”
Elena Delle Donne, the 6-5 guard/forward from Delaware was selected next by the Chicago Sky. For Elena it was a defining moment considering that she almost passed on basketball after an excellent high school career due to burnout. “There was a time I didn’t even think I would go to pick up a basketball again.” She eventually joined the team the following season and after leading the nation in scoring a year ago and second this year, placing her fifth all time, the irony was not lost on her. “I can’t even describe how his feels. I’m so glad I was able to figure things out.”
Skylar Diggins, the third pick of Notre Dame brings her star with her. The 5-9 guard, who led the Irish to two consecutive NCAA finals, is looking to bring that winning attitude to the Shock. “It’s just my competitive nature and just wanting to be the best and my work ethic. I hope I can bring this to Tulsa.”
The fourth spot was owned by Washington and the Mystics took Tayler Hill, the 5-10 guard from Ohio State. Taylor felt that her best asset will be her basketball IQ. “Reading the offense and defense, knowing what play to make next. That’s really important.”
The New York Liberty selected fifth and added 6-4 center Kelsey Bone, from Texas A&M. Kelsey recognized the opportunities New York could provide. She explains, “New York is a great place to be, a great market to be in. For the things I want to do off the court, there’s no better place.”
The Liberty had four addition picks and used their seventh pick to select Toni Young, a 6-2 forward out of Oklahoma State. These first two selections supported Coach Laimbeer stated need for bigger players as New York’s major need. They finished out by drafting three guards. The second round saw New York pick up Tennessee guard Kamiko Williams with their 15th pick.
In the third round the Liberty used the 25th pick, which they secured in a trade with Washington when they traded Quanita Hollingsworth, to get Shenneika Smith, a guard from St. John’s. Shenneika was one of two players, the first two ever from St. John’s to be drafted into the WNBA. The final pick they used to get guard Olcay Cakir from Turkey.