Two Wildcats selected in WNBA draft

The Wildcat basketball team had two players selected in the WNBA draft held on Friday. Lakiesha Taylor was selected with the first pick of the fourth round (49th overall) by the Indiana Fever. Elizabeth Pickney was selected 11 picks later (60th) by the Sacramento Monarchs.

Taylor learned of her selection off the Internet after the early part of the draft went off the air.

"I was stunned," said Taylor of her selection. "It still hasn't sunk in. I'm very excited about being picked. I'm glad to have this experience."

Taylor averaged 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game at center for the Wildcats. She is tied for fourth on the UA's all-time career field goal percentage list (.516) and is tied for eighth in career blocked shots (44). Despite less than overwhelming stats, Taylor was the third Pac-10 player selected in the draft.

"I'm honored to be the third player from the Pac-10," Taylor said. "It's a great conference with a lot of great players."

"They are looking at potential," coach Joan Bonvicini said. "It's a lot like recruiting players out of high school in that regard. She has great size and athletic ability. She has great upside."

One of the Fever coaches is very familiar with the Wildcats. Assistant coach Shelly Patterson coached under Bonvicini at Arizona and knows what kind of player they are getting.

Pickney goes into a situation where the coaches are familiar with her as well. The Monarchs are coached by Maura McHugh, a former ASU coach.

"She (McHugh) is familiar with our program," Bonvicini said.

Pickney was a first team All-Pac-10 choice for the second year in a row and led the Cats with 16.1 ppg. She was the second leading scorer at an even eight a game. She ended her career as Arizona's all-time leader in games started (112) and blocked shots (147) and was second all-time in scoring (1,620 points) and rebounding (736).

"I'm very excited," Pickney said. "It's a dream come true. It's a great chance for me."

Both players have little time to enjoy the draft. They will report to a rookie orientation next weekend, before beginning training camp at the end of the month.

"Getting drafted is just the first step," Bonvicini noted. "Next they have to work on making the team. They have their work cut out for them."






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