Fluker, Zolman drafted by WNBA

Boston, Mass. -- Lady Vol seniors Tye'sha Fluker and Shanna Zolman have been selected to pursue professional basketball careers in the 10th annual WNBA draft, which was held Wednesday at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Fluker becomes the eleventh Lady Vol to be a first-round selection, as she went 10th overall to the Charlotte Sting. The San Antonio Silver Stars chose Zolman as the second pick of the second round, the 16th pick overall.

Since the WNBA began play in 1997, Tennessee has produced more first-round draft picks than any other program. Eleven Lady Vols have gone in the opening round, including Fluker as the tenth overall pick in 2006. Fluker is the sixth Lady Vol to go in the first round since 2001.

Over the years, 36 Lady Vols have played professionally, including 22 players in the WNBA. The 2006 rosters sport 10 former Lady Vols on ten different teams in the league, including Tasha Butts (Charlotte Sting), Michelle Snow (Houston Comets), Ashley Robinson (Chicago Sky), Chamique Holdsclaw (Los Angeles Sparks), Lisa Harrison (Phoenix Mercury), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs), Loree Moore (New York Liberty), Shyra Ely (San Antonio Silver Stars), and Tiffani Johnson (Seattle Storm).

Louisiana State's Seimone Augustus was the No. 1 overall pick by the Minnesota Lynx. The Southeastern Conference saw four of its athletes earn first-round selections and seven ladies from five different SEC schools were drafted. The Atlantic Coast Conference placed three athletes in the first round and nine overall in the three rounds of selection. The Big East claimed seven picks, including three by Connecticut. Duke also had three draft picks.

In their four years at Rocky Top, Fluker and Zolman led the Lady Vols to three Final Four appearances, two regular season SEC Titles, two SEC Tournament crowns, three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournaments, 60 weeks ranked in the top-five in the Associated Press polls and an overall record of 125-19.

The following quotes were provided by the Lady Vol sports information department:

Tye'sha Fluker (1st Round, 10th pick - Charlotte Sting):

"I am totally excited to play for Muggsy (Bogues) at Charlotte. I appreciate the Sting organization thinking that I'm the best post player in my senior class. It is bittersweet that this time in my life has come, but I think it's time to move on. I am so thankful to Coach Summitt and the University of Tennessee for allowing me the opportunity to play, grow, learn and mature over the past four years."

Shanna Zolman (2nd Round, 2nd pick, 16th pick overall - San Antonio Silver Stars):

"I'm excited. I'm anxious to start a new phase in my career and go on to the next level. I'm particularly excited about San Antonio because Shyra (Ely) will be there and I was able to play with her for three years at Tennessee. I look forward to playing with Chantelle Anderson (Vanderbilt) and working with the Silver Stars coaching staff. Playing under Pat Summitt and all of our assistant coaches has made me a better player. All Lady Vols are greatly coached. We are able to play the toughest schedule every game and that helps us develop our own game and skills. I am eagerly anticipating going and starting this new part of my life and I hope to be an impact player right off the bat."


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