The WNBA held its annual pre-draft conference call yesterday. While the timing of the nearly hour and a half long teleconference overlapped with the NCAA Final Four media day, representatives from newspapers, websites and radio outlets dialed in to listen and ask questions. ESPN analysts Carolyn Peck and Rebecca Lobo led off with their views of next week’s draft and fielded questions. Lobo left the call a few minutes early to attend to her five year-old.
Former Rutgers player Epiphanny Prince, who played overseas this season instead of staying in college for her senior year, was a topic of conversation. Peck talked about the maturity Prince might have gained playing overseas with a funny anecdote:
[O]ne year of playing internationally can allow a player to grow up. One article said that she learned you can’t carry $10,000 through an airport, now why she would be carrying that much money, I don’t know, but she said that was a lesson learned, so she got a lot of off-the-court maturity as well.
WNBA coaches became the focus after the Q & A with the analysts ended. Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, Tulsa Shock Coach/General Manager Nolan Richardson and Los Angeles Sparks coach Jen Gillom gave opening statements. All three are entering this year’s draft period for the first time as head coaches of WNBA teams. However, Reeve’s former role as an assistant to Bill Laimbeer and the Detroit Shock gives her the edge in experience.
It feels like my eleventh draft. My role has been the same throughout my career, in this case with Roger (Griffith) being the General Manager, I kind of found that the process for me, I’ve thought about this the same way I always have. I really like the process of evaluating players. I think for us it is not going to be that much different.
After the coaches finished up, draft prospects Allison Hightower (Louisiana State) Danielle McCray (Kansas),