Add another accomplishment to Courtney Vandersloot's growing résumé.
Vandersloot, the former Kentwood High and Gonzaga standout, was drafted No. 3 overall by Chicago in Monday’s WNBA draft to become the highest selection from the state of Washington.
Another local – Alex Montgomery of Georgia Tech, who starred at Lincoln High – was taken by New York with the No. 10 pick.
As expected, forward Maya Moore of Connecticut was taken first by Minnesota.
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The Seattle Storm, drafting last in the first round, selected Duke point guard Jasmine Thomas.
Vandersloot, a 5-foot-8 guard, became the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and dish out 1,000 assists in her career. Still, she was surprised to be picked third – Tulsa chose Liz Cambage, a 6-foot-8 Australian center, with the second pick – ahead of players such as Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender and Stanford’s Kayla Pedersen.
“They had to pass up a few great post players to pick me and I’m happy about it,” she said. “I was just excited to even be here.”
Montgomery, a honorable mention All-American, led Georgia Tech to a school-record 24 wins and an NCAA tournament berth last season while leading the team in scoring (13.9) and rebounding (8.6).
“It’s an honor to be one of the top players selected in the WNBA draft and to be drafted by the New York Liberty,” Montgomery told the school’s website. “I’m very excited to get to New York and work to help the Liberty compete for a championship.”
Montgomery, the highest WNBA selection in Georgia Tech history, is sixth on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time scoring list with 1,565 points, third in 3-pointers made (237), fourth in rebounds (837), fifth in steals (226) and tied for second in games played, with 123.
Moore, a four-time All-American, averaged 22.8 points this season. She helped UConn win a record 90 consecutive games and two national championships. She was the only collegian to play on the U.S. women’s national team that won gold at the world championships in October.
For the second consecutive year, and fourth overall, a UConn player was the frist overall pick in the draft. Tina Charles, who went to the Connecticut Sun last season, earned the league’s rookie of the year award.
Cambage was drafted second by the Shock. The 19-year-old made a splash at the world championships, leading Australia in scoring with an average of 13.6 points a game.
She’s one of the youngest players taken in the WNBA draft, only a few months younger than countrywoman Lauren Jackson, who was just under 20 when she was drafted in 2001 by Seattle.
The rest of the first round: fourth, Amber Harris of Xavier (Minnesota); fifth, Lavender of Ohio State (Los Angeles); sixth, Danielle Robinson of Oklahoma (San Antonio); seventh, Pedersen of Stanford (Tulsa); eighth, Ta’Shia Phillips of Xavier (Atlanta, but traded to Washington); ninth, Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen to Indianapolis; No. 10, Montgomery to New York; No. 11, Kentucky’s Victoria Dunlap to Washington; and then Thomas to Seattle.
Thomas averaged 15 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists for Duke last season.