1997 WNBA draft

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The 1997 WNBA draft was the inaugural draft held by the WNBA through which teams could select new players from a talent pool of college and professional women's basketball players. Unlike later drafts, this draft was unique because there were three different stages in which teams built their rosters. First on January 22, 1997, the Initial Player Allocation draft took place in which 16 players were assigned to each team in no particular order. The elite draft portion comprised professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues, usually international leagues. On February 27, 1997, an elite draft added two more players to each team. On April 28, 1997, the four rounds of the regular WNBA draft took place. Draftees Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson would become the core pieces of the Houston Comets dynasty.

Key[edit]

PG Point guard SG Shooting guard SF Small forward PF Power forward C Center
 ! Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
^ Denotes player who has been inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
* Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game and All-WNBA Team
+ Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
x Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-WNBA Team
# Denotes player who never played in the WNBA regular season or playoffs

Initial player allocation[edit]

Pick Player Position Nationality WNBA Team School/Club Team
1 Bullett, VickyVicky Bullett ^ C  United States Charlotte Sting Maryland
2 Stinson, AndreaAndrea Stinson + G  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
3 Braxton, Janice LawrenceJanice Lawrence Braxton C  United States Cleveland Rockers Louisiana Tech
4 Edwards, MichelleMichelle Edwards G  United States Cleveland Rockers Iowa
5 Swoopes, SherylSheryl Swoopes ! F  United States Houston Comets Texas Tech
6 Cooper, CynthiaCynthia Cooper ! G  United States Houston Comets USC
7 Leslie, LisaLisa Leslie ! C  United States Los Angeles Sparks USC
8 Toler, PennyPenny Toler G  United States Los Angeles Sparks Long Beach State
9 Lobo, RebeccaRebecca Lobo ^ C/F  United States New York Liberty Connecticut
10 Weatherspoon, TeresaTeresa Weatherspoon ^ G  United States New York Liberty Louisiana Tech
11 Timms, MicheleMichele Timms ^ G  Australia Phoenix Mercury WTV Wuppertal (Germany)
12 Gillom, JenniferJennifer Gillom ^ C  United States Phoenix Mercury Ole Miss
13 Bolton-Holifield, RuthieRuthie Bolton-Holifield ^ G  United States Sacramento Monarchs Auburn
14 Gordon, BridgetteBridgette Gordon F  United States Sacramento Monarchs Tennessee
15 Baranova, ElenaElena Baranova C/F  Russia Utah Starzz CSKA Moscow (Russia)
16 Hardmon, LadyLady Hardmon G  United States Utah Starzz Georgia

Elite draft[edit]

Main article: WNBA elite draft

The elite draft portion was composed of professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues, usually international leagues. It was the first time where the teams could draft the players out of a talent pool.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team School/club team
1 1 Head, DenaDena Head G  United States Utah Starzz Tennessee
1 2 Fijalkowski, IsabelleIsabelle Fijalkowski C/F  France Cleveland Rockers Colorado
1 3 Mapp, RhondaRhonda Mapp C/F  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
1 4 Hampton, KymKym Hampton C/F  United States New York Liberty Arizona State
1 5 Guyton, WandaWanda Guyton F  United States Houston Comets South Florida
1 6 Mosley-McAfee, JudyJudy Mosley-McAfee F  United States Sacramento Monarchs Hawaii
1 7 Pettis, BridgetBridget Pettis F  United States Phoenix Mercury Florida
1 8 Charles, DaedraDaedra Charles C  United States Los Angeles Sparks Tennessee
2 9 Palmer, WendyWendy Palmer F  United States Utah Starzz Virginia
2 10 Woodard, LynetteLynette Woodard G  United States Cleveland Rockers Kansas
2 11 Atkins, MichiMichi Atkins F  United States Charlotte Sting Texas Tech
2 12 Johnson, VickieVickie Johnson F  United States New York Liberty Louisiana Tech
2 13 Arcain, JanethJaneth Arcain F  Brazil Houston Comets Polti (Brazil)
2 14 Hagiwara, MikikoMikiko Hagiwara G  Japan Sacramento Monarchs Japan Energy Griffins (Japan)
2 15 Lieberman-Cline, NancyNancy Lieberman-Cline G  United States Phoenix Mercury Old Dominion
2 16 Zheng Haixia C  China Los Angeles Sparks China

College draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team School/club team
1 1 Thompson, TinaTina Thompson F  United States Houston Comets USC
1 2 McGee, PamelaPamela McGee C  United States Sacramento Monarchs USC
1 3 Wideman, JamilaJamila Wideman G  United States Los Angeles Sparks Stanford
1 4 Nemcova, EvaEva Nemcova G  Czech Republic Cleveland Rockers Bourges (France)
1 5 Reiss, TammiTammi Reiss G  United States Utah Starzz Virginia
1 6 Wicks, SueSue Wicks F  United States New York Liberty Rutgers
1 7 Suber, ToraTora Suber G  United States Charlotte Sting Virginia
1 8 Foster, ToniToni Foster F/C  United States Phoenix Mercury Iowa
2 9 Jackson, TiaTia Jackson G/F  United States Phoenix Mercury Iowa
2 10 Sharon Manning C/F  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
2 11 Witherspoon, SophiaSophia Witherspoon G  United States New York Liberty Florida
2 12 Hicks, JessieJessie Hicks F/C  United States Utah Starzz Maryland
2 13 Jones, MerlakiaMerlakia Jones G/F  United States Cleveland Rockers Florida
2 14 Dixon, TameckaTamecka Dixon G  United States Los Angeles Sparks Kansas
2 15 Graves, DeniqueDenique Graves C  United States Sacramento Monarchs Howard
2 16 Jackson, TammyTammy Jackson F/C  United States Houston Comets Florida
3 17 Spurlock, RacquelRacquel Spurlock C  United States Houston Comets Louisiana Tech
3 18 Tremitiere, ChantelChantel Tremitiere G  United States Sacramento Monarchs Auburn
3 19 Colleton, KatrinaKatrina Colleton G  United States Los Angeles Sparks Maryland
3 20 Nicholson, TinaTina Nicholson G  United States Cleveland Rockers Penn State
3 21 Scott, RaeganRaegan Scott F/C  United States Utah Starzz Colorado
3 22 Trice, TrenaTrena Trice F/C  United States New York Liberty NC State
3 23 Williams, DebraDebra Williams G  United States Charlotte Sting Louisiana Tech
3 24 Webb, UmekiUmeki Webb G/F  United States Phoenix Mercury NC State
4 25 Ambers, MoniqueMonique Ambers F  United States Phoenix Mercury Arizona State
4 26 Congreaves, AndreaAndrea Congreaves F/C  United Kingdom Charlotte Sting Mercer
4 27 Ford, KishaKisha Ford G/F  United States New York Liberty Georgia Tech
4 28 Williams, KimKim Williams G  United States Utah Starzz DePaul
4 29 Maxwell, AnitaAnita Maxwell F  United States Cleveland Rockers New Mexico State
4 30 Gant, TravesaTravesa Gant C  United States Los Angeles Sparks Lamar
4 31 Abraham, TajamaTajama Abraham C  United States Sacramento Monarchs George Washington
4 32 Pollini, CatarinaCatarina Pollini F  Italy Houston Comets Texas

Notable undrafted players[edit]

These players were not selected in the 1997 WNBA draft but played at least one game for the WNBA.

Player Position Nationality School/club team
Alberts, MarcieMarcie Alberts G  United States Ohio State
Boucek, JennyJenny Boucek[1] G  United States Virginia
Braxton, JaniceJanice Braxton[2] F  United States Louisiana Tech
Brown, RushiaRushia Brown[3] F  United States Furman
Burgess, LindaLinda Burgess[4] F  United States Alabama
Edwards, MichelleMichelle Edwards G  United States Iowa
Gay, PietraPietra Gay[5] G/F  Trinidad and Tobago LSU
Gessig, KimKim Gessig[6] F  United States USC
Henderson, NekeshiaNekeshia Henderson G  United States Texas
Mabika, MwadiMwadi Mabika G/F  Zaire Tourbillon Kinshasa (Congo)
Moore, YolandaYolanda Moore F  United States Ole Miss
Perrot, KimKim Perrot PG  United States Southwestern Louisiana
Woosley, TiffanyTiffany Woosley G  United States Tennessee

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://wnba.com/playerfile/career/jenny_boucek.html
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010305025641/http://wnba.com/playerfile/career/janice_braxton.html
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010415021010/http://wnba.com/playerfile/career/rushia_brown.html
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010220211709/http://wnba.com/playerfile/career/linda_burgess.html
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/19980208062146/http://www.wnba.com/playerfile/pietra_gay.html
  6. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010712172125/http://www.wnba.com/playerfile/kim_gessig.html