After her breakthrough in the NCAA tournament, Washington senior Talia Walton has seen her WNBA prospects rise.
Following her transcendent performance in the Huskies’ march to the Final Four, Washington senior Talia Walton has been invited to attend the WNBA draft Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Walton is one of 12 players invited to the draft. For the second year in a row, the Seattle Storm hold the first overall pick, and there’s little doubt they will select Connecticut star Breanna Stewart.
The draft will air on ESPN2 starting at 4 p.m. PT Thursday.
Considered a fringe WNBA prospect entering her senior season, Walton, a 6-foot-2 forward from Federal Way, saw her professional stock skyrocket during the NCAA tournament, when she averaged 21.4 points during the Huskies’ first-ever berth to the Final Four.
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In UW’s loss to Syracuse in a national semifinal last week, Walton set a Final Four record with eight three-pointers, finishing with 29 points on 10 of 15 shooting overall. She was selected to the all-Final Four team.
Walton finished her career as one of the most accomplished players in UW history. Her 86 three-pointers this season tied former teammate Kristi Kingma (2013) for the UW season record.
Walton finished her career fifth on UW’s all-time scoring list with 1,819 points, fifth in rebounds (909) and first in blocked shots (177).
She’s also second on UW’s career list for three-pointers made (254) and attempts (753), trailing former teammate Jazmine Davis (265 for 764) in both categories.
If selected, Walton would be the third Husky drafted in program history, joining Rhonda Smith and Megan Franza. Smith was taken in the third round and 46th overall by the Sacramento Monarchs in 2000; Franza was taken in the fourth round and 61st overall by the Phoenix Mercury in 2001.
Overall, six Huskies have played in the WNBA: Laure Savasta (Sacramento Monarchs, 1997), Smith (Monarchs, 2000), Jamie Redd (Seattle Storm, 2000-02), Amber Hall (Portland Fire, 2002), Giuliana Mendiola (Monarchs, 2004) and Kristen O’Neil (Storm, 2008).
Last year, Davis made the original Seattle Storm roster but was released before playing in her first game. She went on to sign with Fribourg in Switzerland and earned League MVP honors as a rookie.