With the 23rd overall pick in the 12-team WNBA draft Monday night, the Los Angeles Sparks picked BYU senior center Jennifer Hamson.
Yes, that means that girl I've watched grow from just being a tall athlete as an underclassman in high school is now a professional draftee.
Whether she chooses to go the pro basketball route or go more towards volleyball will become more clear after this upcoming year but right now, I hope she and her family are just enjoying it.
Los Angeles was the No. 2 seed from the West last year but lost in the first round to the Phoenix Mercury.
Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler said the Sparks were glad to get Hamson.
“We liked a lot of variables about Hamson and are thrilled she was available,” Toler said in a press release. “She is an all-around talented player who has a solid work ethic and defensive mindset. Her dominating inside game was a key factor in our decision to draft her.”
Here's the release from BYU:
"Senior center Jennifer Hamson was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in the second round of the 2014 Women’s National Basketball Association Draft. Hamson was the 23rd overall pick and becomes the third BYU women’s basketball player to be drafted by the WNBA.
"Before heading into the WNBA, Hamson will play her final year of eligibility with the BYU women’s volleyball team.
"Hamson was instrumental in the Cougar women’s postseason success in the NCAA tournament where the team advanced to the Sweet 16, losing to eventual champion Connecticut. The BYU team also picked up its most wins in a season with 28.
"During her stellar basketball career at BYU, Hamson left her mark in numerous historical records. She finished second in blocked shots with 340, third in rebounds with 965 and in field goal percentage .555 (549-989), ninth in points with 1,437 and sixth in rebounds per game average (7.9). She also holds the single season record for blocked shots with 147.
"The four-year letterwinner also picked up three WCC Player of the Week citations, was named to the 2012 and 2014 WCC All-Tournament Team, received three WCC All-Academic Team and three WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll awards. Most recently she was named a Capital One Academic All-District honoree and was an Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention recipient.
"This season, she picked up the West Coast Conference two highest honors, Player and Defensive Player of the Year, the first time in league history that the honor has gone to the same student-athlete. Hamson also led the nation in blocked shots, finished 11th in double-doubles, 14th in rebounds per game and 16th in field goal percentage.
"The other two Cougar women who were drafted to the WNBA were Erin Thorn in 2003 to the New York Liberty and Ambrosia Anderson in 2006 to the Detroit Shock. Both were picked 17th overall."