Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike becomes first overall selection of 2014 WNBA Draft

April 14, 2014

The Connecticut Sun selected Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike with the top overall pick of the 2014 WNBA Draft, while Odyssey Sims of Baylor went to the Tulsa Shock and Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride headed to the San Antonio Stars with the second and third selections, respectively.  

A 6-4 forward, Ogwumike was a four-time First Team All-American, three-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year at Stanford.  Ogwumike, the younger sister of Los Angeles Sparks' 2012 No. 1 overall selection Nneka Ogwumike, leaves Stanford as the Pac-12’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

A 5-8 guard, Sims was a consensus All-American and finalist for all major National Player of the Year awards the last two seasons.  Sims’s 1,054 points as a senior were the second highest single-season total in Division I history (Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles,1,062), while her career total of 2,533 points impressively surpassed former Baylor teammate Brittney Griner’s Big 12 record.

McBride, a 5-11 guard, helped the Irish to a berth in the NCAA Championship Game in three of the past four seasons and earned the 2014 ACC Player of the Year during her senior campaign.

Connecticut did not stop making moves after drafting Ogwumike, as the Sun then acquired the rights to the fourth overall pick, Notre Dame’s Alyssa Thomas, from the New York Liberty in exchange for Tina Charles and its own 2015 third-round pick.  Connecticut also received the contract of Kelsey Bone and New York’s own 2015 first-round pick in the deal.

The Indiana Fever rounded out the top five selecting 6-3 forward Natasha Howard from Florida State, and the Washington Mystics followed by selecting 6-5 center Stefanie Dolson from the University of Connecticut with the sixth overall pick.

After the Seattle Storm tapped UConn’s Bria Hartley with the seventh selection, Washington did some wheeling and dealing of its own, trading Crystal Langhorne to the Storm for the draft rights to Hartley and the contract of Tianna Hawkins.  The UConn pair, now headed to Washington, helped the Huskies to four straight Final Four appearances, including back-to-back national titles the last two seasons.

The Sparks did not have a first round pick this year, but did have selections in the second and third rounds.

With their second round pick, the 23rd overall, the Sparks went big, selecting Brigham Young center Jennifer Hamson.  The 6-7 center last season averaged a double-double with 17.7 points and 11.5 rebounds, and paced the Division (Div. I) in blocks with 4.2 blocks per game in 35 games.

“We liked a lot of variables about Hamson and are thrilled she was available,” said General Manager Penny Toler.  “She is an all-around talented player who has a solid work ethic and defensive mindset. Her dominating inside game was a key factor in our decision to draft her.”

Last season, Hamson became the first player in WCC history to be voted Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, and was also an honorable mention All-American (AP) in the same year.

The Utah native spent three seasons playing volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter before redshirting last season in volleyball to focus on basketball.  She will remain at BYU next fall to finish up her volleyball career before joining the Sparks 2015 training camp.

With their third round pick, the 35th overall, the Sparks selected Louisville guard Antonita Slaughter.  The 6-1 guard averaged 8.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 24.6 minutes in 32 games with the Cardinals last season.

“Antonita comes from a great pedigree out of Louisville,” said Toler. “She is a talented player who will be able to stretch the defense with her shooting, size and athleticism.”

The complete draft order is listed below:

First Round
1.    Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun), Stanford
2.    Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock), Baylor
3.    Kayla McBride (San Antonio Stars), Notre Dame
4.    Alyssa Thomas (New York Liberty), Maryland
5.    Natasha Howard (Indiana Fever), Florida State
6.    Stefanie Dolson (Washington Mystics), Connecticut
7.    Bria Hartley (Seattle Storm), Connecticut
8.    Shoni Schimmel (Atlanta Dream), Louisville
9.    Natalie Achonwa (Indiana Fever), Notre Dame
10.  Markeisha Gatling (Chicago Sky), North Carolina State
11.  Chelsea Gray (Connecticut Sun), Duke
12.  Tricia Liston (Minnesota Lynx), Duke

Second Round
13.  Jordan Hooper (Tulsa Shock), Nebraska
14.  Tyaunna Marshall (New York Liberty), Georgia Tech
15.  Asya Bussie (Minnesota Lynx), West Virginia
16.  Astou Ndour (San Antonio Stars), Grand Canary, Spain
17.  Tiffany Bias (Phoenix Mercury), Oklahoma State
18.  Inga Orekhova (Atlanta Dream), South Florida
19.  Michelle Plouffe (Seattle Storm), Utah
20.  Cassie Harberts (Atlanta Dream), Southern California
21.  Maggie Lucas (Phoenix Mercury), Penn State
22.  Gennifer Brandon (Chicago Sky), University of California
23.  Jennifer Hamson (Los Angeles Sparks), BYU
24.  Christina Foggie (Minnesota Lynx), Vanderbilt

Third Round
25.  DeNesha Stallworth (Connecticut Sun), Kentucky
26.  Meighan Simmons (New York Liberty), Tennessee
27.  Theresa Plaisance (Tulsa Shock), LSU
28.  Bri Kulas (San Antonio Stars), Missouri                    
29.  Haiden Palmer (Indiana Fever), Gonzaga
30.  Carley Mijovic (Washington Mystics), Australia
31.  Mikaela Ruef (Seattle Storm), Stanford
32.  Kody Burke (Washington Mystics), North Carolina State
33.  Stephanie Talbot (Phoenix Mercury), Australia
34.  Jamierra Faulkner (Chicago Sky), Southern Mississippi
35.  Antonita Slaughter (Los Angeles Sparks), Louisville
36.  Asia Taylor (Minnesota Lynx), Louisville

By Staff of and news services

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