WNBA Draft: Connecticut takes Kentucky's Stallworth 25th overall

jsmith3@herald-leader.comApril 14, 2014 

Kentucky was hoping to have two players picked in the WNBA Draft for the first time in school history on Monday night, but the Cats had only one selected.

DeNesha Stallworth became UK's fourth WNBA Draft pick in school history when the 6-foot-3 forward from California was picked by the Connecticut Sun in the third round at No. 25 overall.

Earlier in the evening, the Sun were part of a blockbuster trade minutes before the event that included sending star forward Tina Charles to New York for Maryland's Alyssa Thomas and former Texas A&M star Kelsey Bone.

With the first pick in the draft, Connecticut chose Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike and grabbed Duke's Chelsea Gray with the No. 11 pick overall.

Shortly after Stallworth was picked, Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell tweeted his congrats to his star forward: "Very proud of her! @ConnecticutSun is getting a great player!"

The former McDonald's All-American who started her career at California became the Cats' fourth player taken in the WNBA Draft, including A'dia Mathies, who was selected No. 10 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks last season.

Stallworth, a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection, led UK in field goal percentage and was second on the team this season in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.

She missed five games this season after having arthroscopic surgery on her knee.

For her career, Stallworth averaged 12.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 blocked shots, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals a game.

The forward graduated in December and eventually would like to become an American Sign Language interpreter.

Kentucky's Samarie Walker, a transfer from UConn, was not picked in the WNBA Draft on Monday night. She was fourth in the SEC and led UK in rebounding and double-doubles this season.

Louisville had a big night and was the only school to get three picks in this year's draft, starting in the first round with star Shoni Schimmel. The Atlanta Dream grabbed the guard up with the eighth overall pick.

Atlanta already is the home of another former Louisville star in Angel McCoughtry.

"I'm looking forward to being able play with her," Schimmel said during the ESPN broadcast. "I watched her growing up. She went to Louisville and I went to Louisville. Kind of weird how that works."

Antonita Slaughter of Louisville was selected by the Sparks with the 35th overall pick and then the final pick of the night went to another Cardinals player, Asia Taylor. She was the final pick of the night and is headed to the Minnesota Lynx.

Slaughter, who played her high school ball at Louisville Christian and missed part of this season with a blood clot in her lung, tweeted shortly after the draft ended: "I'm still crying! Dreams do come true!"

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader.Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com

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