WNBA

NC State's Gatling, Duke's Gray and Liston part of 7 WNBA 1st-round picks from ACC

Posted April 14

North Carolina State Wolfpack center Markeisha Gatling (34) watching the loose ball. N.C. State faces Syracuse in the Women's ACC Championship quarter final game in Greensboro N.C. After a close first half, N.C. State has a strong second half and wins by a score of 63 to 79. (Chris Baird / WRAL Contributor).

— It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.

Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.

The Sun acquired the Liberty's fourth pick this year which turned out to be Alyssa Thomas as well as Kelsey Bone and New York's first round pick next year. Charles had told the Sun that if she wasn't traded she'd sit out this year.

"We're not going to be held hostage by anybody," Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said. "We had to do what's best for our organization and fan base. New York came back with a significant offer. ... That's a great trade."

The Chicago Sky took NC State's Markeisha Gatling with the 10th pick. The Sun drafted injured Duke star Chelsea Gray 11th and her Blue Devils teammate Tricia Liston went to Minnesota to close out the first round.

It was the third time in school history, Duke women’s basketball featured two first-round selections in the WNBA Draft.

“It is hard to describe it in words,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said about having two first round selections. “For all that Chelsea has been through. For the Connecticut Sun to understand her value and how terrific she is, it is absolutely incredible. To see Chelsea come up as 11 and see Tricia come up as 12, it was perfect.”

The two other times Duke featured multiple first round draft selections were in 2007 with Lindsey Harding (1st) and Alison Bales (9th) and in 2004 with Alana Beard (2nd) and Iciss Tillis (11th).

Ogwumike joined her sister Nneka, drafted by Los Angeles in 2012, as the only siblings to be chosen first in the WNBA.

"To be picked No. 1 in front of those Connecticut fans with my family and sister, it's unreal," Chiney Ogwumike said.

Peyton and Eli Manning are the only other siblings to be taken No. 1 in the history of the four major American pro sports according to STATS.

"When someone told me that I was like, 'Whoa, that's pretty cool,'" Chiney Ogwumike said. "We fell into the sport and found our passion in it and now it's life. To share that moment with my sister, she's the reason I play, and to be called a No. 1 draft pick is inconceivable."

Chiney Ogwumike finished her stellar career at Stanford as the top scorer and rebounder in Pac-12 history.

The choice of the two-time AP All-American drew loud cheers from the crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena, where Connecticut plays its home games. This was the first time fans were allowed to attend the draft since it was held in Tampa in 2008.

"The fans were great," Chiney Ogwumike said. "It was really awesome having them here and having them be part of my draft experience."

Odyssey Sims of Baylor went second to Tulsa, which means she'll team up with Skylar Diggins in the backcourt. Sims was happy for a chance to play with her former rival.

"Me and Skylar will make a great backcourt," said Sims, who finished this season with 1,054 points — second all time for a single year. "

San Antonio took Notre Dame's Kayla McBride with the third pick.

"This is surreal," McBride said. "It was so awesome to have the fans cheering for me, I'm not used to that in Connecticut."

The Indiana Fever selected Natasha Howard of Florida State with the fifth pick. UConn teammates Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley went with the next two picks to Washington and Seattle. Hartley was later traded by the Storm to the Mystics to reconnect the Huskies.

Washington also selected former NC State guard Kody Burke with the No. 32 overall selection.

Louisville star Shoni Schimmel went eighth to the Atlanta Dream. The Indiana Fever took Notre Dame's Natalie Achonwa with the ninth pick. Achonwa tore her ACL in the Final Four and will most likely miss the entire season.

The ceremony was held in primetime for the second straight year. Training camps open April 27, and the WNBA's 18th season tips off on May 16.

___

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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  • thomasew Apr 15, 8:29 a.m.

    Ogwumike might have been the top pick, but she didn't show much of that in the final four.

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
2nd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
4th
MIA 98
BOS 84
 
4th
BRK 104
DET 102
 
4th
SAC 99
LAL 93
 
4th
ORL 84
PHI 92
 
4th
WAS 89
PHO 101
 
3rd
MIN 42
IND 61
 
3rd
OKC 53
NOP 57
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
 
2nd
ALA 60
APP 59
 
2nd
KSU 41
NDST 42
 
2nd
WASU 53
SJST 35
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
3rd
DET 1
COL 0
 
3rd
EDM 5
DAL 5
 
2nd
BOS 1
BUF 1
 
2nd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
2nd
CHI 2
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA