BRISTOL, Conn. – For the third-straight year and fifth time overall, a BIG EAST women’s basketball player has been selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft as Connecticut forward Maya Moore was picked first by the Minnesota Lynx. Last year UConn center Tina Charles was picked first by the Connecticut Sun, while in 2009, Louisville forward Angel McCoughtry was selected No. 1 by the Atlanta Dream. Ex-UConn standouts Diana Taurasi (2004) and Sue Bird (2002) also have been picked No. 1.
Moore finished her career as UConn’s all-time leading scorer with 3,036 career points. She also ranks second in school history in made 3-pointers (311) and rebounds (1,276). In 2011, she averaged 22.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 4.0 assists. In her career, Moore led UConn to four straight Final Fours and two national titles, while serving as an integral part of her team’s historic 90-game win streak that spanned three seasons. Her team won 150 of the 154 games played during her career. She is a four-time Academic All-American as well.
DePaul’s Felicia Chester was picked in the Second Round, 14th overall, also by the Minnesota Lynx. Chester was one of the top shooters in the BIG EAST and ranked third in field goal percentage at 57.0 percent in 2010-11. A First Team Academic All-District selection as well, Chester averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds for the Blue Demons. This past season she helped DePaul to a school-record 29 wins and a spot in the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
Marquette’s Angel Robinson was drafted late in the Second Round, 22nd overall by the New York Liberty. Robinson helped the Golden Eagles return to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2006-07. Marquette finished the year with 24 wins, the second-most in program history. Robinson finished her career as one of the most decorated players to ever don a Marquette uniform as she ranks in the top 12 in eight career statistical categories, including a MU-record 134 career games played. The All-BIG EAST First Team selection and WBCA All-America Team finalist stands second on the career steals (277), free throws made (434) and free throws attempted (600) lists, third in assists (570), sixth in points (1,699), eighth in field goals made (587) and 12th in rebounds (640). Robinson is the only player in program history to amass over 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals for her career.
Overall, three BIG EAST players were selected in the first two rounds.
WNBA teams will begin exhibition games on May 19, while the season will start June 3. Throughout the year the WNBA will celebrate its 15th season by selecting the Top 15 Players and Greatest Moments in league history.
Photo courtesy Jennifer Potthieser/NBAE/Getty Images/WNBA.com