1997 WNBA draft

Last updated
1997 WNBA draft
General information
SportBasketball
Date(s)April 28, 1997
Overview
LeagueWNBA
First selection Tina Thompson
Houston Comets
1998  

The 1997 WNBA draft was the inaugural draft held by the WNBA through which teams could select new players from a talent pool of college and professional women's basketball players. Unlike later drafts, this draft was unique because there were three different stages in which teams built their rosters. First on January 22, 1997, the Initial Player Allocation draft took place in which 16 players were assigned to each team in no particular order. The elite draft portion comprised professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues, usually international leagues. On February 27, 1997, an elite draft added two more players to each team. On April 28, 1997, the four rounds of the regular WNBA draft took place. Draftees Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson would become the core pieces of the Houston Comets dynasty.

Contents

Key

G Guard F Forward C Center
 !Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
^Denotes player who has been inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
+Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game

Initial player allocation

CountPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
1 Vicky Bullett ^CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting Maryland
2 Andrea Stinson +GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
3 Janice Lawrence Braxton ^CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers Louisiana Tech
4 Michelle Edwards ^GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers Iowa
5 Sheryl Swoopes ! ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets Texas Tech
6 Cynthia Cooper ! ^GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets USC
7 Lisa Leslie ! ^CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks USC
8 Penny Toler GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Long Beach State
9 Rebecca Lobo ! ^C/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Connecticut
10 Teresa Weatherspoon !^GFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Louisiana Tech
11 Michele Timms ^GFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Phoenix Mercury WTV Wuppertal (Germany)
12 Jennifer Gillom ^CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Ole Miss
13 Ruthie Bolton-Holifield ^GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs Auburn
14 Bridgette Gordon ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs Tennessee
15 Elena Baranova +C/FFlag of Russia.svg  Russia Utah Starzz CSKA Moscow (Russia)
16 Lady Hardmon GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Georgia

Note: 16 players assigned in no particular order.

Elite draft

The elite draft portion was composed of professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues, usually international leagues. It was the first time where the teams could draft the players out of a talent pool.

Round 1

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
1 Dena Head GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Tennessee
2 Isabelle Fijalkowski C/FFlag of France.svg  France Cleveland Rockers Colorado
3 Rhonda Mapp C/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
4 Kym Hampton ^C/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Arizona State
5 Wanda Guyton FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets South Florida
6 Judy Mosley-McAfee FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs Hawaii
7 Bridget Pettis FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Florida
8 Daedra Charles CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Tennessee

Round 2

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
9 Wendy Palmer ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Virginia
10 Lynette Woodard GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers Kansas
11 Michi Atkins FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting Texas Tech
12 Vickie Johnson ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Louisiana Tech
13 Janeth Arcain ^FFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Houston Comets Polti (Brazil)
14 Mikiko Hagiwara GFlag of Japan.svg  Japan Sacramento Monarchs Japan Energy Griffins (Japan)
15 Nancy Lieberman-Cline GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Old Dominion
16 Zheng Haixia CFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Los Angeles Sparks China

College draft

Round 1

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
1 Tina Thompson ! ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets USC
2 Pamela McGee ^CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs USC
3 Jamila Wideman GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Stanford
4 Eva Nemcova GFlag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Cleveland Rockers Bourges (France)
5 Tammi Reiss GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Virginia
6 Sue Wicks ^FFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Rutgers
7 Tora Suber GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting Virginia
8 Toni Foster F/CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Iowa

Round 2

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
9 Tia Jackson G/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Iowa
10 Sharon Manning C/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting NC State
11 Sophia Witherspoon GFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Florida
12 Jessie Hicks F/CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Maryland
13 Merlakia Jones ^G/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers Florida
14 Tamecka Dixon ^GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Kansas
15 Denique Graves CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs Howard
16 Tammy Jackson F/CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets Florida

Round 3

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
17 Racquel Spurlock CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Houston Comets Louisiana Tech
18 Chantel Tremitiere GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs Auburn
19 Katrina Colleton GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Maryland
20 Tina Nicholson GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers Penn State
21 Raegan Scott F/CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz Colorado
22 Trena Trice F/CFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty NC State
23 Debra Williams GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Charlotte Sting Louisiana Tech
24 Umeki Webb G/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury NC State

Round 4

PickPlayerPositionNationalityTeamSchool / club team
25 Monique Ambers FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Phoenix Mercury Arizona State
26 Andrea Congreaves F/CFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Charlotte Sting Mercer
27 Kisha Ford G/FFlag of the United States.svg  United States New York Liberty Georgia Tech
28 Kim Williams GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Utah Starzz DePaul
29 Anita Maxwell FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Cleveland Rockers New Mexico State
30 Travesa Gant CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Los Angeles Sparks Lamar
31 Tajama Abraham CFlag of the United States.svg  United States Sacramento Monarchs George Washington
32 Catarina Pollini FFlag of Italy.svg  Italy Houston Comets Texas

Notable undrafted players

These players were not selected in the 1997 WNBA draft but played at least one game for the WNBA.

PlayerPositionNationalitySchool / club team
Marcie Alberts GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Ohio State
Jenny Boucek [1] GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Virginia
Janice Braxton [2] FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Louisiana Tech
Rushia Brown [3] FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Furman
Linda Burgess [4] FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Alabama
Michelle Edwards GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Iowa
Pietra Gay [5] G/FFlag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago LSU
Kim Gessig [6] FFlag of the United States.svg  United States USC
Nekeshia Henderson GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Texas
Mwadi Mabika G/FFlag of Zaire (1971-1997).svg  Zaire Tourbillon Kinshasa (Congo)
Yolanda Moore FFlag of the United States.svg  United States Ole Miss
Kim Perrot PGFlag of the United States.svg  United States Southwestern Louisiana
Tiffany Woosley GFlag of the United States.svg  United States Tennessee

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