Last April, all sports fans in Indiana were paying close attention to a certain pr0fessional draft…The Colts had the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft and used it to select quarterback Andrew Luck.
While the 2013 WNBA Draft did not generate as much press, there were quite a few storylines for basketball fans in Indiana.
First, the defending WNBA Champion Fever added a quality point guard from the Pac-10. Indiana selected Layshia Clarendon with the 9th pick in the first round. Clarendon led California to the 2013 Final Four and tallied 1,820 points in her Golden Bear career.
Lin Dunn talked about the selection with members of the Indianapolis media moments after selecting Clarendon.
“Just a terrific guard that can play the two, the one, a great defender, a very high basketball IQ. We just really loved what we saw about her all year and we didn’t know if she would be around, but when she was we just jumped at her and are thrilled to death to get her,” explained Dunn.
This was the first prime-time WNBA Draft and one reason for the time-change was the star-power at the top of the draft. Baylor’s Brittney Griner was drafted first overall by the Phoenix Mercury. Perhaps the second-biggest star in the draft was Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins. The 2009 Indiana Miss Basketball was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock.
Diggins was one of three members of the 2009 Girls Indiana All-Star team to hear their name called within the first 13 picks of the draft.
Heritage Christian and UCONN star Kelly Faris was drafted 11th overall by the Connecticut Sun. Faris is an absolute winner as displayed by helping Connecticut to four NCAA Final Fours and two national championships. Faris also won four consecutive IHSAA State Championships at Heritage Christian.
“I worked really hard over the summer, and especially throughout this year to become more of an offensive threat. I learned that can actually help my team. I’m just going to continue to get in the gym and hopefully get some pointers from some of my teammates,” said Faris on the ESPN WNBA Draft coverage. The Sun have a number of former UCONN Huskies on their roster already.
Alex Bentley helped Ben Davis to the 2009 Class 4A State Championship and was the third IHSAA product invited to ESPN Headquarters for the WNBA Draft. Bentley was taken by the Atlanta Dream with the first pick of the 2nd round (13th overall). Bentley played collegiately for Penn State.
The Fever made two additional selections in the draft taking Georgia’s Jasmine Hassell (21st overall) and Florida’s Jennifer George ( 33rd overall)
The Fever beginning training camp Sunday, May 5th and their first regular season game is May 24th at San Antonio.