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Beaver stars chosen in WNBA draft

Oregon State standouts Jamie Weisner and Ruth Hamblin were selected with back-to-back picks in Thursday evening’s WNBA Draft, chosen with the 17th and 18th selections, respectively.

Weisner will head to the Connecticut Sun, while Hamblin will join the Dallas Wings.

Two picks later, Oregon's Jillian Alleyne went with 20th pick to the Phoenix Mercury.

Weisner and Hamblin are the first two Beavers selected since Felicia Ragland was taken with the 28th pick (second round) of the 2002 draft.

The 5-foot-10 Weisner was named a WBCA All-American this season, as well as Pac-12 Player of the Year. The senior was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree and finished her career with 1,777 career points, the sixth best total in school history, and the No. 35 total in the history of the Pac-12.

Weisner is also among the top 10 in Pac-12 history in career 3-pointers and sits eighth in Beaver history with 719 career rebounds.

“I’m really excited to go to Connecticut,” Weisner said. “Obviously they have a huge support system up there, and it’s a basketball state. They’re used to winning and I’m excited to get started.”

A kinesiology major, Weisner played her best in the big games, going for 38 points in the Beavers’ Sweet-16 win over DePaul on her way to Dallas Regional Most Outstanding Player honors. She also scored at least 19 points in all three of Oregon State’s Pac-12 Tournament games, earning Most Outstanding Player recognition at that event as well.

The Clarkston, Wash., native went 9-for-10 on her way to 25 points against Arizona State on ESPN’s Big Monday, and scored 12 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter of the Beavers’ comeback win over Stanford.

Hamblin earned recognition as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in her junior and senior seasons. The Academic All-American is the Pac-12’s record holder for career blocked shots ended her career 10th in NCAA history in that statistic. The 6-6 also holds Oregon State’s career and single season records for rebounds and is among the top-10 scorers in program history.

“There’s a lot of excitement around the Dallas team right now,” Hamblin said. “I really enjoyed being in the city when we were out there for the Sweet 16, and I’m looking forward to my opportunity with the Wings.”

Over the course of her career, Hamblin posted an impressive 28 double-doubles, to go along with 65 double-digit scoring games.

Among her career highlights is a 23-point, 20-rebound performance against UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship game, the third 20-20 game in Oregon State history. Hamblin also recorded a triple-double during her sophomore campaign, going for 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks against Oregon.

Off the floor, the mechanical engineering major has earned Pac-12 All-Academic first-team honors three straight years and was recognized with the Elite 90 Award as the player with the highest GPA among Final Four teams.

Alleyne joins Amanda Johnson (33rd pick, 2012), Catherine Kraayeveld (27th pick, 2005), Shaquala Williams (30th pick, 2003), Edniesha Curry (41st pick, 2002), Jenny Mowe (21st pick, 2001) and Angelina Wolvert (43rd pick, 2001) as former Ducks to be selected in the WNBA draft.

“This is a great day for Jillian,” said Oregon head coach Kelly Graves. “I’m excited to see one of her dreams realized. She has worked hard for this and I’m so happy for her and her fantastic family. Her game will translate well to the pros and she will be a great addition to the Mercury. Her first order of business is to continue with her rehab and get herself ready for the WNBA next season.”

Alleyne, who finished her college career second in NCAA history with 92 double-doubles and third in NCAA history with 1,712 rebounds, suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Feb. 23. She has already had surgery to repair the injury and is rehabbing with the Oregon training staff.

Alleyne holds both the UO and Pac-12 records for single-game, single-season and career total rebounds plus single-season and career double-doubles. She finished her career averaging 14.3 rebounds per game, shattering both the UO and Pac-12 records.

This season Alleyne became just the 10th player in NCAA history to reach both 2,000 career points and 1,500 career rebounds.

The 6-foot-3 forward is a two-time All-American, earning third team status by the Associated Press as both a junior and a senior.

Oregon State's Jamie Weisner (15) is defended by UConn's Moriah Jefferson (4) in the national semifinals. Weisner was taken by Connecticut in the WNBA draft Thursday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS