NEW YORK — Oregon State standout Sydney Wiese took the next step on her basketball journey Thursday, as she was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the No. 11 overall pick in the WNBA Draft.
“It was such a blessing to be part of the draft experience,” Wiese said. “Once you hear your name called, it’s a dream come true. It’s something you picture in your mind when you’re a kid shooting in the driveway. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and excited to go to LA.”
Wiese is the highest Oregon State player ever selected in the draft, and the third Beaver picked in the last two years, joining Ruth Hamblin and Jamie Weisner. Hamblin is about to begin her second season with the Dallas Wings, while Weisner will join Wiese in Sparks training camp.
Wiese set the Pac-12 career record for made 3-pointers, and is the Oregon State record holder for career assists. Wiese averaged 15.2 points per game this season, and was among the top 20 in the nation in 3-point percentage.
Kelsey Plum went first in the draft. Then, South Carolina took over.
Plum was taken No. 1 by the San Antonio Stars. The Washington guard finished her college career with an NCAA-record 3,527 points. The Stars had the worst record last season and held the top pick for the first time in franchise history.
"I've been dreaming about it for so long," Plum said. "I'm really excited and grateful for the opportunity and will make the most of it."
It's the second straight year that the Stars have drafted a guard. They took Moriah Jefferson with the No. 2 pick last season. Plum played with Jefferson on a USA Basketball Under-18 team and was excited for the chance to play with her again.
Chicago drafted Alaina Coates with the second pick. The South Carolina star, the first of three Gamecocks selected in the first round, injured her right ankle in the SEC Tournament and didn't play in the team's run to the national championship.
Dallas took Kentucky forward Evelyn Akhator with the third pick, and the Wings came back with South Carolina's Allisha Gray with the fourth choice. Kaela Davis was taken by the Wings at No. 10, meaning the two Gamecocks who had both transferred into South Carolina together and skipped their last year to play in college will be together in Dallas.
Northwestern's Nia Coffey went fifth to San Antonio, with Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough picked sixth by Washington.
Atlanta took Brittney Sykes of Syracuse seventh. Brionna Jones of Maryland went to Connecticut with the eighth pick. Chicago used its second pick in the first round to select Tori Jankoska at No. 9.
The league will start its 21st season on May 13 with training camps opening on April 23.