Victoria Dunlap became the highest WNBA Draft pick in University of Kentucky women's basketball history Monday when the Washington Mystics chose her with the 11th pick of the first round. Did anyone remotely in touch with the UK Hoops program over the past four years expect any less?
Twice the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year; twice a third-team selection on the Associated Press All-American team; a member of this year's State Farm Coaches' All-America Team; the first UK player selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year; second in the team record books in career points, rebounds, blocks and steals.
Dunlap has been a dominant force on the UK team and in the SEC since she became a unanimous selection to the All-SEC freshman team. And with her fellow members of an "Earth (guard Carly Morrow), Wind (Dunlap) and Fire (point guard Amber Smith)" threesome who arrived on campus together, she helped elevate the program to the top levels of the SEC and to national prominence highlighted by last year's advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
So, who expected less than a first-round draft selection for Dunlap? Certainly, not us.
And we suspect she expected no less for herself. The product of an athletic family — a father who played in the National Football League, a brother who currently plays in the NFL and a mother who ran track in college — Dunlap has the confidence to say, "I will be the best of them."
We don't doubt it at all.