The state will be well represented at the WNBA draft combine during the NCAA Final Four in Denver next month. All of the major local college programs are sending players who hope to land on rosters when training camp officially opens April 29. There’s even a chance one or two could be selected when the WNBA holds its draft April 16.
According Southern California coach Michael Cooper, who coached the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA titles, Washington C Regina Rogers is a lock to be drafted. A big nod since he once coached great posts Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson and DeLisha Milton-Jones.
“I know it’s hard to officiate her because she’s like Shaquille O’Neal,” Cooper said recently. “She’s so big that people are bouncing off her. She has a tremendous upside to her. She gets up and down the floor well and with her size and girth, she’s going to present a lot of problems for some players. She can hold her own down there. She’s going to get drafted.”
Rogers, who’s 6-foot-3, is attending the combine along with Seattle University guard Talisa Rhea (5-11). Rhea, who transferred from Oregon State, is an apt three-point shooter and has great court vision.
Gonzaga F Katelan Redmon (6-1), who averaged 13.7 points on 50.3 percent shooting for the No. 23 Zags this season will rep her school at the combine. Washington State guards Jazmine Perkins (5-10), April Cook (5-8), and Rosetta Adzasu (5-5) will also participate. The trio helped the Cougs advance to its first-ever quarterfinal in the Pac-12 tournament last week.
The Storm has the second and 22nd overall picks in the draft. Coach and general manager Brian Agler has invited local players, like Gonzaga post Heather Bowman, to training camp in the past. But former Washington standout Kristen O’Neill is the last local to play on Seattle’s roster. Now an assistant coach at SU, O’Neill played during the 2008 season.