Coleman and Toliver Selected with Second and Third Overall Picks in WNBA Draft
April 9, 2009
SECAUCUS, N.J. - The University of Maryland saw its pair of graduating seniors selected with two of the top three overall picks in the 2009 WNBA Draft on Thursday, as guard/forward Marissa Coleman was chosen second overall by the Washington Mystics along with point guard Kristi Toliver as the third selection by the Chicago Sky.
Coleman will be reunited with former Terrapin teammate Crystal Langhorne in Washington. Langhorne, Maryland's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, was the sixth overall selection by the Mystics in 2008. Coleman, a Cheltenham, Md., native, ranks second in both categories behind Langhorne and is now Maryland's highest WNBA Draft pick in school history.
"We are excited to add a standout player like Marissa Coleman to the Washington Mystics roster with the second overall pick," Mystics Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor said. "Marissa was an integral part of building a championship program at Maryland and has consistently demonstrated an ability to elevate her game at crucial times during the course of a game. Her size, versatility, and ability to score from anywhere on the floor makes her a very special player. Her competitiveness, work ethic, and passion for winning have made her a champion."
Former Maryland All-American Vicky Bullett serves as an assistant coach with the Mystics.
Toliver was the first point guard chosen in the entry draft. The 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, Toliver finished her collegiate career in second place in league history in assists (751) and third in 3-point field goals (300).
"Toliver is a true point guard," Sky General Manager and Head Coach Steven Key said. "Our point guards in the past have done a great job for us but I think Kristi will make us that much more versatile and allow us to move Dominique Canty over to the shooting guard role as needed. Canty is very good at getting to the basket; adding Kristi and some shooting to the team will help create some space inside for our inside players in Sylvia (Fowles) and Candice (Dupree).
"It's a great selection for us!"
"What a great way to cap off the winningest four-year period in our history," Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese said. "Marissa and Kristi are both ecstatic about where they are heading and they have been prepared to have success there."
The Maryland duo's selections marked the third time in league history that college teammates comprised two of the top three picks and first since 2002 when UConn's Sue Bird went No. 1 followed by Swin Cash at No. 2.
The first-round selections come a year after Langhorne (No. 6 overall) and fellow former Terp Laura Harper (No. 10 overall) were chosen in the first round by Washington and Sacramento, respectively, in the 2008 WNBA Draft.
Four of Maryland's nine all-time WNBA draft choices have come in the first round.