Sun grab Ogwumike with No. 1 pick

By The Sports Network
April 14, 2014 - 9:09pm

Uncasville, CT ( - Wooden Award winner Chiney Ogwumike was
selected first overall by the Connecticut Sun as the 2014 WNBA Draft commenced
at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino.

Ogwumike, a 6-foot-4 forward from Stanford, is the second member of her family to be taken with the No. 1 choice. Her older sister, Nneka, was the top overall pick of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012.

The pair becomes only the second siblings to be No. 1 overall picks in North American professional sports, joining NFL star quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.

The younger Ogwumike finished a stellar four-year career with the Cardinal as the Pac-12's all-time leader in points (2,737) and rebounds (1,567) and was the only player in the nation this past season to finish in the Division I top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and double-doubles.

Ogwumike averaged 26.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and shot 60.1 percent from the field in 2013-14, leading Stanford to its sixth Final Four appearance in the last seven years.

A two-time Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year, the 22-year-old Ogwumike also set a conference record with 967 points in her final season.

Baylor point guard Odyssey Sims, the nation's leading scorer last season, was taken by the Tulsa Shock with the No. 2 overall choice.

Sims took home the Wade Trophy honoring the top overall player by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and also claimed the Lieberman Award as the nation's best point guard. The 5-foot-8 three-time All-American averaged a prolific 28.4 points per game in 2013-14 and finished the campaign with 1,054 points, just eight shy of the all-time season record held by Missouri State's Jackie Stiles.

The Big 12 Player and Defensive Player of the year, Sims finished her career as Baylor's career leader in assists (572) and 3-pointers made (223).

Notre Dame guard Kayla McBride went third overall to the San Antonio Stars, with the New York Liberty tabbing Maryland forward Alyssa Thomas at No. 4 and Florida State forward Natasha Howard going fifth to the Indiana Fever.

Thomas was then dealt to Connecticut, along with center Kelsey Bone and the Liberty's first-round pick in 2015, in exchange for 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles.

McBride, the 2013-14 ACC Player of the Year, averaged 17.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a senior to help the Fighting Irish to a record- setting 37-1 season capped by an appearance in the NCAA national championship game. The 5-foot-11 sharpshooter compiled 1,876 points during her collegiate tenure.

Thomas, the Terrapins' all-time leading scorer (2,356) and rebounder (1,235), led the nation with four triple-doubles and topped the ACC with 28 double- doubles this past season. The 6-foot-2 All-American, one of just three players in NCAA history with six or more career triple-doubles, averaged 19.0 points and 10.9 boards to help Maryland reach the 2014 Final Four.

Howard averaged 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 2.1 steals as a senior and holds the Seminoles' records for double-doubles in a season (15) and career (41). She becomes Florida State's highest selection in the WNBA Draft, surpassing Jacinta Monroe, who went sixth overall to Washington in 2010.

A pair of players from national champion Connecticut went sixth and seventh, with the Washington Mystics choosing center Stefanie Dolson and the Seattle Storm grabbing guard Bria Hartley. The two former Huskies will remain teammates in the pros, as the Storm then traded Hartley to the Mystics along with forward Tianna Hawkins for two-time All-Star forward Crystal Langhorne.

The Atlanta Dream took Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel with the next pick, followed by Indiana's selection of Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa. The Chicago Sky rounded out the top 10 by taking North Carolina State center Markeisha Gatling.

Connecticut continued its overhaul by nabbing Duke guard Chelsea Gray at No. 11. The defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx then concluded round one by landing another Blue Devil guard in Tricia Liston.