Three Lady Vols invited to WNBA draft

NEW YORK- Fifteen of the world's top female basketball prospects, including Tennessee Lady Vols Vicki Baugh, Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen have been invited to the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile, which will be held on Monday, April 16 at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

ESPN2 will provide coverage and analysis of the first round beginning at 2 p.m. ET; in addition, ESPN3 will simulcast the entire Draft. The second and third rounds will be televised on ESPNU and NBA TV.

Among the top prospects invited to this year's WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile telecast are seven players who earned All-America honors either from the Associated Press or the WBCA Coaches' poll this season, including Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, an All-America pick the past three years. Invited are three sets of teammates: Tennessee's frontcourt trio of Johnson, Stricklen and Baugh; Miami (Fla.) guards Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams; and guard Natalie Novosel and forward Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame.

Rounding out the list are guards Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut) and Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State); forwards LaSondra Barrett (Louisiana State), Kayla Standish (Gonzaga), and Julie Wojta (Wisconsin-Green Bay); and centers Sasha Goodlett (Georgia Tech) and Lynetta Kizer (Maryland).

"Obviously, this is a great honor for these players," said Lady Vol head coach Pat Summitt. "Vicki, Glory and Shekinna have meant a great deal to our program, and I am excited for them as they go to the next level."

Johnson, who starred for the Lady Vols in her hometown of Knoxville and earned various All-America honors, was the 2011-12 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. She finished her career as Tennessee's second all-time leading rebounder behind only Chamique Holdsclaw. Stricklen, who earned All-America Honorable Mention status as early as her sophomore campaign, further distinguished herself when she played all five positions en route to SEC Player of the Year acclaim as a junior. Baugh, a center, led Tennessee in field goal percentage this past season.

Ogwumike, a three-time finalist for both the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award as the nation's top collegiate player, led Stanford to four consecutive Final Four appearances. A product of Cypress, Texas, Ogwumike earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors twice - first as a sophomore and again this past season when she led the conference in scoring and defensive rebounds while averaging a double-double.

Both Novosel and Peters, who helped lead the Irish to the NCAA championship game the past two seasons, were finalists for the Wade Trophy and All-BIG EAST First Team selections this season. A product of Lexington, Ky., Novosel led the conference in three-point field goal and free throw percentage. Chicago native Peters garnered BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors each of the past two years.

Shenise Johnson of Henrietta, N.Y., an AP and WBCA All-America selection the past two years, also has an ACC Player of the Year award to her credit. Williams, a product of Pahokee, Fla., has ranked among the ACC scoring leaders each of the past three seasons.

After winning the Draft Lottery for the first time since 2008, the Los Angeles Sparks hold the No. 1 overall pick. It was in 2008 that the Sparks used the top pick to select Tennessee All-America Candace Parker, who went on to make history that season, earning both the WNBA's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards.

With the first pick last year, Minnesota chose University of Connecticut star Maya Moore, who helped propel the Lynx to its first WNBA championship in franchise history. In 2010, the Connecticut Sun, having acquired the No. 1 pick in an offseason deal with Minnesota (it marked the first time in league history that a team had swapped the No. 1 pick in advance of the Draft), selected UConn's Tina Charles. The 6'4" post player has been an impact player, earning Rookie of the Year honors in first campaign and a spot on All-WNBA First Team this past season.

Rounding out the top five picks are the Seattle Storm (second, via trade with Chicago), Minnesota (third, by virtue of a trade with Washington), the Tulsa Shock (fourth), and the San Antonio Silver Stars.

WNBA.com, in addition to providing comprehensive draft-day coverage, will serve as the web destination for fans who want to track top prospects throughout the Draft.

The players invited to attend the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile at ESPN are:

Name College/University Position Height
LaSondra Barrett Louisiana State Forward 6’2”
Vicki Baugh Tennessee Center 6’4”
Sasha Goodlett Georgia Tech Center 6’5”
Tiffany Hayes Connecticut Guard 5’10”
Glory Johnson Tennessee Forward 6’3”
Shenise Johnson Miami (Fla.) Guard 5’11”
Lynetta Kizer Maryland Center 6’4”
Natalie Novosel Notre Dame Guard 5’11”
Nnemkadi Ogwumike Stanford Forward 6’2”
Devereaux Peters Notre Dame Forward 6’2”
Samantha Prahalis Ohio State Guard 5’7”
Kayla Standish Gonzaga Forward 6’2”
Shekinna Stricklen Tenneessee Guard/Forward 6’2”
Riquna Williams Miami (Fla.) Guard 5’7”
Julie Wojta Wisconsin-Green Bay Forward 6’0”

The current 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile order follows:

2012 WNBA DRAFT ORDER

First Round
1) Los Angeles (15-19)
2) Seattle from Chicago (14-20) (Cash/Willingham, 1/2/12)
3) Minnesota from Washington (6-28) (Anosike, 4/5/11)
4) Tulsa (3-31)
5) San Antonio (18-16)
6) Phoenix (19-15)
7) New York (19-15)
8) Washington from Atlanta (20-14) (Harding/Miller/Phillips, 4/11/11)
9) Connecticut (21-13)
10) Washington from Seattle (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)
11) Indiana (21-13)
12) Minnesota (27-7)

Second Round
1) Los Angeles from Tulsa (3-31) (Riley, 2/1/11)
2) Atlanta from Washington (6-28) (Harding/Miller/Phillips, 4/11/11)
3) Los Angeles from Chicago (14-20) (Wisdom-Hylton, 5/31/11)
4) Los Angeles (15-19)
5) Tulsa from San Antonio (18-16) (S. Robinson, 5/2/11)
6) Minnesota from Phoenix (19-15) (Houston, 2/28/12)
7) Minnesota from New York (19-15) (Breland/A. Robinson, 4/11/11)
8) Minnesota from Atlanta (20-14) (Chester/Jarry, 4/11/11)
9) Connecticut (21-13)
10) Seattle (21-13)
11) Chicago from Indiana (21-13) via Seattle (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11) (Cash/Willingham, 1/2/12)
12) Phoenix from Minnesota (27-7) (Houston, 2/28/12)

Third Round
1) Tulsa (3-31)
2) Washington (6-28)
3) Chicago (14-20)
4) Los Angeles (15-19)
5) Tulsa from San Antonio (18-16) (S. Robinson, 5/2/11)
6) Phoenix (19-15)
7) Minnesota from New York (19-15) (Hollingsworth, 5/27/11)
8) Atlanta (20-14)
9) Phoenix from Connecticut (21-13) (T. Robinson, 4/11/11)
10) Indiana from Seattle (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)
11) Washington from Indiana (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)
12) New York from Minnesota (27-7) (Hollingsworth, 5/27/11)

About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. A fifth consecutive year of attendance growth, the highest ESPN2 viewership since 2005, increased viewership during the WNBA Finals, and the signing of a landmark multiyear deal with Boost Mobile as the first leaguewide marquee partner highlighted the WNBA’s 2011 regular season.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.


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