4.20.2012

Stanford star Nnemkadi Ogwumike taken No. 1 by Sparks in WNBA draft

"I am grateful for the LA Sparks to vote for me," said Ogwumike. "It means a lot and is one of the highest honors I have received. I can not wait to go back to Cali. "

Ogwumike helped guide the Cardinal to the Final Four on the fourth time in school, including this year's loss to Baylor eventually won. The 6-foot-2 forward, averaging 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds last season, the first Stanford player taken with the No. 1 pick. Three former Cardinal players are drafted third overall.

"I think looking back, many players can no longer No. 1," said Ogwumike. "Things that go in a different way. I am very proud to be part of this legacy. "

Although finishing with the fourth worst record in the league at 15-19, Sparks won the draft lottery in November. They have the smallest chance of four teams with a shot to win the chance is only 10 percent. They are the second team in history to win 11-year lottery in the fewest number of opportunities. Phoenix itself early in 2007 the concept.

Los Angeles also has the top pick in 2008 and chose Tennessee star Candace Parker, who went on to win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in his first professional season.

While the selection Ogwumike almost certainty in selecting the top, the rest of the draft a little more mystery without an obvious choice would enter

Tennessee guard Shekinna Stricklen go second in the Seattle Storm, without star Lauren Jackson for the first part of the time because he would stay in Australia to train for the London Olympics this summer.

"I'm a little surprised," said Stricklen. "It helps when I do a workout with coach Brian (Agler), I have a feeling but not sure."

Notre Dame post Devereaux Peters went to third on the Minnesota Lynx champions, with five of the first 20 picks in the draft. He was surprised that he chose to higher, recovering from two ACL surgery on his left knee because of the inclusion of Notre Dame.

"I never thought I would (make) at the time," said Peters. "When they interviewed me they were talking about my knee. To come this far and have 2 ½ years where I had to play free from great danger. It's great to see all my dreams come to fruition here. "

Lynx also selected Damiris Dantas Brazil in the final selection of the first round. Minnesota organized a major mid-stars Julie Wojta of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Kayla Standish of Gonzaga in the second round. Lynx their five-round picks in the Russian guards Nika Baric.

Tulsa, which has the worst record in the league last season with three victories alone, Glory Johnson took fourth. Tennessee forward is a great opportunity to make a direct impact on the shock. The team also selected Miami guard Riquna Williams in the second round. He said the two storms NCAA tournament game after being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team coach Katie Meier.

Williams was not surprised he is sliding down draft.

"I mean after what happened at the end of time, I hope to go in the first round. This is the mistake I made and something I have to deal with the outcome, "he said. "I am a terrible person I was portrayed in the media after the error. I think Tulsa voted for me, this is a great honor for them to trust me and found the situation does not define me. "

Williams teammates in Miami Shenise Johnson went fifth in San Antonio. Phoenix took the Ohio State point guard Samantha Prahalis sixth.

"This is perfect," said Prahalis. "They like to play up-tempo and so I, I'm actually looking forward to play with Diana Taurasi."

The New York Liberty designed the seventh Kelly Cain. Natalie Novosel came eighth in Washington. The Mystics also took LSU to LaSondra Barrett 10 pick.

Connecticut chose 6-foot-8 Astan Dabo of Mali in the ninth pick. Georgia Tech's Sasha Goodlett came 11 in Indiana.

Atlanta Dream have no first round pick, but they chose Connecticut as Tiffany Hayes in the second pick in the second round. Atlanta then select Yacoubou Isabelle of France in the third round, but he was worthy to be designed because he was too old.

League rules stipulate that international players can only be conceived in the year in which they turn 20. The 6-4 Yacoubou turns 26 on Saturday. Atlanta may try to sign him as a free agent.

WNBA season begins on May 18th opening of training camp on April 29.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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