WNBA draft will air in prime-time on ESPN
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12/11/12 at 5:28 AM
Tulsa Shock officials can only hope that the 2013 WNBA draft will be as history-making for the team as it shapes up to be for the entire league.
On Monday, the league announced that the annual selection of new talent will be televised in prime time for the first time.
ESPN2 (Cox 26) will televise the first round, starting at 7 p.m. April 15. ESPNU (Cox 253) will televise the second and third rounds, starting at 8 p.m. on the same night.
"This can be a historic draft for our league, and we at the Shock are excited to be able to add another excellent young player in 2013," head coach Gary Kloppenburg said.
With the third overall pick, Tulsa hopes to add another exciting talent to go with 2012 rookie standouts Glory Johnson and Riquna Williams.
"Absolutely we're gonna get a great player at the third pick," Shock president Steve Swetoha said. "This is a big draft for this league, with some of the players identified among the top two or three players in the country."
WNBA watchers describe it as a "deep draft," but especially among the top three players.
The Phoenix Mercury won top prize in the league's annual draft lottery in September and is expected to choose Baylor's 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner with the No. 1 pick.
Conventional wisdom says the Chicago Sky will choose Delaware guard/forward Elena Delle Donne or Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins with the No. 2 pick, and Tulsa will choose whoever is left from that duo with the third pick.
Johnson and Williams averaged 11.5 and 10.5 points, respectively, in 2012 and were named to the WNBA's All-Rookie Team. They helped lead the Shock to a 9-25 record, representing a six-win improvement from the year before.
WNBA president Laurel J. Richie said, "To schedule the WNBA draft in prime time is a significant commitment for our broadcast partner, ESPN, and is indicative of the growing interest in the league and the women's game overall."
Richie said she's anticipating "one of the most exciting - and followed - drafts in league history."
Original Print Headline: WNBA draft to get prime TV time
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