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BRISTOL, Conn.—It won’t take long for the Texas A&M women’s basketball program to make history yet again this spring.

With a memorable run to capture the SEC Tournament title in the Aggies’ first season in the league and a school-record eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the team will now see its name in lights on the professional scene.

Junior All-American Kelsey Bone projects as the highest draft pick in program history and first from the school to go in the first round when the WNBA Draft is held this evening (ESPN2, 7 p.m. CDT).

Bone, a 6-4 center from Houston, is projected to go as high as fourth overall when the picks are made, and would be by far the highest draft pick in school history. She will join a long and impressive list of Aggies who, under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Gary Blair, have continued their career at the highest level. Eight players have been drafted over the previous five seasons, most recently Tyra White and Sydney Carter last season.

Other A&M draftees under Blair include the likes of Sydney Colson, Danielle Adams, Tanisha Smith, Danielle Gant, Morenike Atunrase, A’Quonesia Franklin and Toccara Williams. Prior to Blair’s arrival, only one Aggie—Jaynetta Saunders in 2001—was chosen in the WNBA Draft.

“Kelsey Bone is who I consider in my ten years at Texas A&M the best spokesperson for A&M and women’s basketball,” Blair said. “Her future is unlimited and I am very excited for her today and her future. Kelsey is just the third player that I can think of has made this decision following Candace Parker of Tennessee and Epiphany Prince of Rutgers. There is nobody in the country that has improved as much as Kelsey Bone in the past year. She put in the work in the summer, streamlined everything and made up her mind to be a next-level player for us this season and for her future.”

Her list of accolades has continued to grow following a spectacular season in the maroon and white. A consensus All-America pick and the SEC Tournament’s MVP, she scored the fourth most points in a single season in program history with 582 while ranking third in the SEC at 16.6 points per game. Additionally, Bone pulled down 326 rebounds--ranking second all-time in the A&M single season record books—and placed second in the SEC averaging 9.3 rebounds per contest. The Dulles high school product was the only representative from the SEC on the USBWA All-American team.

Among Bone’s highlights in an Aggie uniform were a career-high 33-point outburst in the World Vision Classic in Las Vegas against Old Dominion, one of her SEC-leading two 30-point outings this past season. The center also recorded an Aggie Reed Arena-record 17 rebounds against Ole Miss in late February. Additionally, Bone led the league in field-goal percentage.

Tonight’s telecast of the WNBA Draft – which will be broadcast in its entirety for the first time in league history – will also be available online at WatchESPN.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.

 

TEXAS A&M’S ALL-TIME WNBA DRAFT SELECTIONS (10)

·         Tyra White* (16th overall, 2012 Second Round, Los Angeles Sparks)

·         Sydney Carter* (27th overall, 2012 Third Round, Chicago Sky)

·         Sydney Colson* (16th overall, 2011 Second Round, Connecticut Sun [traded to New York Liberty])

·         Danielle Adams* (20th overall, 2011 Second Round, San Antonio Silver Stars)

·         Tanisha Smith* (22nd overall, 2010 Second Round, Seattle Storm)

·         Danielle Gant* (16th overall, 2009 Second Round, Chicago Sky)

·         Morenike Atunrase* (24th overall, 2008 Second Round, Atlanta Dream [traded to San Antonio Silver Stars])

·         A’Quonesia Franklin* (38th overall, 2008 Third Round, Sacramento Monarchs)

·         Toccara Williams* (34th overall, 2004 Third Round, San Antonio Silver Stars)

·         Jaynetta Saunders (27th overall, 2001 Second Round, Cleveland Rockers)

* under Gary Blair

 

GARY BLAIR’S ALL-TIME WNBA DRAFT SELECTIONS (12)

·         Tyra White* (16th overall, 2012 Second Round, Los Angeles Sparks)

·         Sydney Carter* (27th overall, 2012 Third Round, Chicago Sky)

·         Sydney Colson* (16th overall, 2011 Second Round, Connecticut Sun [traded to New York Liberty])

·         Danielle Adams* (20th overall, 2011 Second Round, San Antonio Silver Stars)

·         Tanisha Smith* (22nd overall, 2010 Second Round, Seattle Storm)

·         Danielle Gant* (16th overall, 2009 Second Round, Chicago Sky)

·         Morenike Atunrase* (24th overall, 2008 Second Round, Atlanta Dream [traded to San Antonio Silver Stars])

·         A’Quonesia Franklin* (38th overall, 2008 Third Round, Sacramento Monarchs)

·         Toccara Williams* (34th overall, 2004 Third Round, San Antonio Silver Stars)

·         Shameka Christon** (5th overall, 2004 First Round, New York Liberty)

·         Dana Cherry** (23rd overall, 2003 Second Round, Charlotte Sting)

·         Christy Smith** (17th overall, 1998 Second Round, Charlotte Sting)

* at Texas A&M  ** at Arkansas

 

2013 WNBA DRAFT ORDER

First Round
1) Phoenix (7-27)
2) Chicago (14-20)
3) Tulsa (9-25)
4) Washington (5-29)
5) New York (15-19)
6) Seattle (16-18)
7) Atlanta (19-15)
8) San Antonio (21-13)
9) Indiana (22-12)
10) Los Angeles (24-10)
11) Connecticut (25-9)
12) Minnesota (27-7) 


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