2012 WNBA Draft
Yesterday, Bristol, Connecticut, played host to many of the top names in women’s college basketball, women who became the newest additions to the WNBA. Leading up to this year’s draft, many commentators described the selection process as unpredictable, generally because the level of talent was so immense that experts could not pin point where many players would end up. Players like Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Glory Johnson were some of those selected in the first round. Both will look to the WNBA as a chance to redeem themselves by gaining a title, after championship hopes at Stanford and Tennessee, respectively, were dashed during their collegiate careers.
The 2012 WNBA draft opened with the Los Angeles Sparks with the No. 1 overall pick. The Sparks selected Ogwumike, who before last summer had never even considered playing professional basketball. Now, Ogwumike has the opportunity to join WNBA star Candace Parker on the LA Sparks; she will surely become an important contributor to her team and could help win it a championship. Ogwumike shared that her experience playing in the Final Four during all four of her years at Stanford helped to prepare her for the next level. Overall, her addition to the Sparks is met with enthusiasm not only from Ogwumike but from others who define her as “the most polished athlete in the draft.”
Aside from the talk about the top draft picks, the Tulsa Shock was able to generate buzz from its selections. Last season, the Shock won only three games – and after their move from Detroit to Tulsa-- the team is looking for redemption from their last two seasons when they went 9-59. Adding former Tennessee Lady Vol Glory Johnson at No. 4 and University of Miami’s Riquna Williams at pick 17 will help the Shock to rebuild a team who could have the chance to become a championship contender in the future.
Just like the Tulsa Shock looking for redemption, many of the players featured in this year’s draft are also seeking the same. According to espnW’s Mechelle Voepel, all of these players have that “title hunger that is unfulfilled” feeling. These women are looking at this opportunity as a new step in their careers; one where they are able to bring the hunger that they had in college and carry it into the WNBA.
Monday’s WNBA Draft was not about what teams came out winners or losers. It was all about showcasing the talent that the WNBA now has. The game of women’s basketball is truly transforming. Many of the players in Monday’s draft are some that have grown to be more than basketball players – they are players who are starting to evoke change within women’s sports.
First five draft picks:
No.1: Nnemakdi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)
No.2: Shekinna Stricklen (Seattle Storm)
No. 3: Devereaux Peters (Minnesota Lynx)
No. 4: Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock)
No.5: Shenise Johnson (San Antonio Stars)