Lynx finalize 2012 draft picks

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

We predicted in our “Another View” WNBA draft preview (MSR, April 12) that Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters might make a nice fit for the Minnesota Lynx, possibly at the 12th overall selection. The team, however, chose the 6-2 power forward several picks earlier during Monday’s draft — at number three.

“I’m just extremely excited that I got picked by Minnesota,” said Peters during a conference call with reporters after her selection. The Lynx instead selected center Damiras Dantes of Brazil with the 12th and final pick of the opening round — one of five international players chosen in this year’s draft.

When asked her initial reactions once she heard her name called, Peters told the MSR, “A pure shock. I did not know I would go so high. It’s truly exciting, and I am happy to be with such a great team.”

During a pre-draft conference call last week with reporters, including the MSR, Peters was asked about her health — she battled injuries early in her college career. Since she’s a top-three pick, “I don’t believe that will be an issue,” the newest Lynx pointed out, adding that injuries “haven’t been an issue for two and a half years. Hopefully I will continue to be healthy.”

Peters also said she’s looking forward to playing with Maya Moore, a former opponent in college, as well as Seimone Augustus: “I really like [her] game,” admitted the rookie.

When a reporter asked which current or past WNBA player she modeled her game after, “I really think my game is unique,” said Peters, who graduated last year with a B.A. degree in television. “I don’t try to model my game after anyone particularly.”

The Lynx later picked guard Julie Wojta (Wisconsin-Green Bay) at No. 18; Gonzaga forward Kayla Standish (No. 19) and guard Nika Baric of Russia (No. 20.) USC guard Jackie Gemelos was the team’s final selection, No. 31, in the third round.

As expected, Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike was chosen by Los Angeles as the top overall pick Monday.

Tennessee led all schools with three players drafted in the first round: Shekinna Stricklen (No. 2, Seattle), Glory Johnson (No. 4, Tulsa) and Kelly Cain (No. 7, New York). Teammate Vicki Baugh (No. 25) was later taken by Tulsa in the third round. Six schools each had two players selected: Miami, Rutgers, Gonzaga, Maryland, USC and Notre Dame. Two guards were drafted back to back: Miami’s Shenise Johnson was the fifth overall pick by San Antonio, and Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis was taken sixth by Phoenix.

Peters’ college teammate Natalie Novosel was No. 8 by Washington, who picked LaSondra Barrett at No. 10. Connecticut chose Mali’s Astan Dabo at No. 9 and Sasha Goodlett of Georgia Tech (No. 11, Indiana) completed the opening round selections.

The 2012 WNBA regular season begins May 18; training camps are expected to open April 29.

“I’m hoping I make the team,” said Peters.

 

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com