UNCASVILLE, Conn. — It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top choice in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.
The Sun acquired the Liberty’s fourth choice this year which turned out to be Alyssa Thomas as well as Kelsey Bone and New York’s first-round selection next year. Charles had told the Sun that if she wasn’t traded she’d sit out this year.
“We’re not going to be held hostage by anybody,” Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said. “We had to do what’s best for our organization and fan base. New York came back with a significant offer. … That’s a great trade.”
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Ogwumike joined her sister Nneka, drafted by Los Angeles in 2012, as the only siblings to be chosen first in the WNBA.
“To be picked No. 1 in front of those Connecticut fans with my family and sister, it’s unreal,” Chiney Ogwumike said.
Peyton and Eli Manning are the only other siblings to be taken No. 1 in the history of the four major American pro sports according to STATS.
“When someone told me that I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s pretty cool,’ ” Chiney Ogwumike said. “We fell into the sport and found our passion in it and now it’s life. To share that moment with my sister, she’s the reason I play, and to be called a No. 1 draft pick is inconceivable.”
Chiney Ogwumike finished her stellar career at Stanford as the top scorer and rebounder in Pac-12 history.
Odyssey Sims of Baylor went second to Tulsa, which means she’ll team up with Skylar Diggins in the backcourt. Sims was happy for a chance to play with her former rival.
“Me and Skylar will make a great backcourt,” said Sims, who finished this season with 1,054 points — second all time for a single year. “
San Antonio took Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride with the third pick.
“This is surreal,” McBride said. “It was so awesome to have the fans cheering for me, I’m not used to that in Connecticut.”
The Indiana Fever selected Natasha Howard of Florida State with the fifth pick.