The Seattle Storm Monday selected University of Tennessee forward Shekinna Stricklen with the second overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile. It was the Storm’s highest pick since choosing Sue Bird at No. 1 in 2002. In the second round, 22nd overall, the Storm picked DePaul forward Keisha Hampton.
Stricklen, a 6-2 forward, averaged a team-high 15.4 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior while leading the Tennessee to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. A versatile player, she was tabbed U.S. Basketball Writers’ Freshman of the Year when she started at point guard. She earned All-America Honorable Mention after her sophomore season and was named SEC Player of the Year by coaches as a junior. Stricklen led the Lady Vols to three consecutive SEC Championship teams.
“Shekinna will fit in with our veteran players and is someone we can build our future around,” said Storm Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler. “The nice thing for Shekinna this year is we don’t have to force the issue because of who else we have on the team for her to immediately start. We would like for her to come in and be a contributor and be a starter for us down the road.”
“When I first heard my name, I was really excited,” said Stricklen, who was invited to attend the WNBA Draft at ESPN’s studios. “I couldn’t quit smiling. Especially about going to the Seattle Storm – a good team that has a lot of veteran players that I know I can go in there and learn from. It will help me raise my game to a new level and I think I can also help Seattle.”
Hampton, a 6-2 forward out of DePaul, earned All-Big East honors and led her team to the Sweet 16 as a junior but saw her senior season cut short by a knee injury. She will meet with the Storm’s medical staff before deciding whether to attend training camp this year or wait until 2013.
“This is a dream come true,” Hampton said from Philadelphia after watching the draft show at home with her family. “I have wanted to play in the WNBA since I was younger and have tried to put in the hard work since day one and today my dream came true. This is a great opportunity to be drafted even after missing my senior year. I appreciate Seattle giving me the opportunity.”
Seattle previously re-signed Sue Bird, Katie Smith and Tanisha Wright as free agents and added All-Stars Tina Thompson and Ann Wauters via free agency. Guard Silvia Dominguez was also added to the training camp roster.
WNBA training camps open April 29. The Storm tips off the regular season May 18 when it hosts the Los Angeles Sparks and No. 1 overall Draft pick Nneka Ogwumike.