BRISTOL, Conn. —
“We have a team of All-Stars already,” Phoenix Mercury president Amber Cox said. “To add her to the mix solidifies us for a long time. When Phoenix comes to town it will be must see basketball.”
The Mercury have had the first pick in the draft two other times, including 2004 when they drafted Taurasi.
It was an eventful day for Griner. Not only was she the top pick, but she bumped into her skateboarding idol Tony Hawk, who was also at ESPN.
“Getting drafted being the No. 1 overall pick that was above it, but Tony’s right there at No. 2,” Griner said.
Like Phoenix, Chicago added a budding star in Elena Delle Donne with the No. 2 pick to an already stacked roster that just missed making the playoff last season. The 6-foot-5 forward, who can play multiple positions was second in the nation in scoring (26.0) and averaged 8.5 rebounds. She finished her career at Delaware with 3,039 career points — fifth all-time in NCAA history.
“This is a phenomenal team I’m joining, mentors who will help me out along the way,” Delle Donne said. “I’ll learn a ton from these players. We definitely have a great team. I felt I was a good puzzle piece for this team. You don’t say where you want to go before it was happening, but Chicago was my pick and I wanted to go there really badly.”
Tulsa took Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins with the third pick. Diggins averaged 17.1 points, 6.1 assists and 3.1 steals while helping the Irish reach the Final Four the past three seasons.
“When I entered Notre Dame we had lost in the first round of the tournament the year before,” Diggins said. “At the end of my career we had brought the program back to an elite level. I’m looking forward to get to Tulsa and show my leadership skills and do whatever coach Klopp wants me to do.”