Chelsea Gardner of the Kansas Jayhawks was one of three Big 12 players selected in this week’s Women’s National Basketball Association 2015 Draft.
Gardner was selected in the second round by the Indiana Fever, 21st overall in this year’s WNBA Draft. That was the highest draft selection from the Big 12. Gardner averaged 16.8 points per game, third best in the Big 12 this past season, as a Kansas forward and was also third in the conference with 8.8 rebounds per contest.
Former Texas Longhorn forward Nneka Enemkpali was selected five positions after Gardner, taken in the third round by the Seattle Storm, and Nikki Moody, a guard from Iowa State, was the final player from the Big 12 selected in this year’s draft, going 33rd overall to the San Antonio Stars.
Enemkpali averaged 12.4 points and an impressive 10.4 rebounds a game for the Longhorns this past season. Moody was Iowa State’s leading scorer in 2014-15, averaging over 14 points a game, sixth best in the Big 12, and she was second in the league in assists, with 6.81 per game.
Three players out of the Big 12 were also selected a year ago in the WNBA Draft, when Odyssey Sims Baylor went with the No. 2 overall pick to the Tulsa Shock. Her teammate at Baylor, National Player of the Year Brittney Griner, went No. 1 overall the year before, in 2013.
The biggest years in the Big 12 era for WNBA Draft selections from the Big 12 came in 2010 and 2000. A total of 10 players out of the Big 12 were selected in both years. The conference had four first-round picks in both years.
In the 19 seasons the Big 12 has been in existence, 101 players from the conference have been selected in the WNBA Draft, 32 of those picks came in the opening round.