Operation: Full Court Press
SECAUCUS, N.J. — Angel McCoughtry found a way to become No. 1 — in the WNBA draft.
Two days after her Louisville Cardinals were beaten by Connecticut in the national title game, the All-American forward was chosen by the Atlanta Dream with the No. 1 overall pick.
It’s been quite an emotional few days for McCoughtry.
"I have no complaints," she said Thursday. "This is the best thing in the world. This is the best position to be in."
The 6-foot-1 McCoughtry averaged 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds her last three years and led the Cardinals to an upset of Oklahoma in the Final Four before losing to undefeated UConn in Tuesday night’s title game.
"I want to thank Atlanta for believing in me and believing we can take this program to another level and contend for a WNBA championship," she said.
Atlanta, 4-30 in its first season, appears vastly improved after setting a league record for losses. The Dream added former All-Stars Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow, as well as Nikki Teasley and Sancho Lyttle in the offseason.
Meanwhile, UConn’s Renee Coleman was the No. 4 pick by the Minnesota Lynx.
Washington took Maryland’s Marissa Coleman with the No. 2 pick. The 6-foot-1 forward averaged 18.1 points and 8.6 rebounds while helping the Terrapins reach the NCAA regional semifinals.
"It means a lot," Coleman said. "Just kind of seals the deal as hard as I’ve worked to get to this point."
Coleman grew up in Maryland and her college campus was about 30 miles from the Mystics’ home arena.
"It’s exciting to play in Washington, in front of my family and friends," she said.
Maryland teammate Kristi Toliver was selected next by Chicago after averaging a team-high 18.4 points, 4.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds. Montgomery had career-bests of 16.5 points and 5.1 assists while helping the unbeaten Huskies to their 6th national title.