WNBA

Kentucky basketball's Dunlap set for WNBA debut

June 4, 2011 

WNBA Draft Basketball

Victoria Dunlap, left, held up her Washington Mystics jersey at the WNBA Draft in April with Renee Brown, head of the league's basketball operations.

JESSICA HILL — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former University of Kentucky standout Victoria Dunlap has completed a nerve-wracking training camp and is set to make her professional basketball debut Saturday for the WNBA's Washington Mystics.

The Mystics unveil a roster that includes Dunlap and three other rookies when they open the regular season at the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m.

Rookies surviving the final cut along with the former UK forward were center Ta'Shia Phillips of Xavier and point guard Jasmine Thomas and guard/forward Karima Christmas, both from Duke.

Dunlap, a first-round pick in the April 11 draft, told the Washington Times this week that she's still learning.

"I just wanted to make sure I was doing what the coaches want me to do," Dunlap said.

Dunlap, the highest WNBA Draft pick in UK history as the 11th pick of the first round, came off the bench for both of the Mystics' pre-season games. She played seven minutes, 32 seconds in a victory over Chicago, with four points, two rebounds and a blocked shot. Against New York, Dunlap played 6:51 and finished with two points, one rebound and one turnover.

The Mystics won the Eastern Conference last season with a 22-12 record but were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Atlanta Dream. They have since undergone a youth movement, according to the Washington Times report, that has left them with just two players with at least five years' experience.

The 6-foot-1 Dunlap was a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, finishing her career as UK's second-leading scorer with 1,846 points.

She also was the first player in school history with more than 300 steals, 100 assists and 100 blocks and just the second behind all-time great Valerie Still with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

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