Owens Drafted In Fourth Round Of WNBA Draft
April 25, 2000
LEXINGTON, Kty. - Senior Shantia Owens was picked 53rd overall in the fourth round of the WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury today before being traded to the 2000 expansion Miami Sol franchise for a fourth round draft pick in 2001.
Owens, a 6-4 center from Newark, N.J., was the Wildcats' starting center from 1998-00 after transferring from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. She averaged 8.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in two years at Kentucky, leading the Cats in rebounds per game and blocks per game both seasons.
In her senior season, Owens averaged 9.6 points per game and led the Cats' in rebounding, averaging 7.6 rebounds per game. She ranked seventh overall in the Southeastern Conference in rebounding and second overall in blocks with 43. Owens, who helped lead Kentucky to its second straight winning season, is the first Wildcat to be drafted in the WNBA since its inception in 1997.
"I'm just so excited," Owens said. "I can't believe this is really happening. I'm just going to go down there and work as hard as I can to make the team and represent Kentucky well. Miami is a new team and they are doing a lot of great things down there. I'm just proud for a chance to be part of the WNBA."
Four other Wildcats were not selected in the team of 64, but
have been invited to various WNBA tryouts. Senior guard Erica Jackson
(Lexington, Ky.) will tryout with the Miami Sol on May 3 while senior
guards Tiffany Wait (Hot Springs, Ark.) and Natalie Martinez
(Albuquerque, N.M.) will tryout with the Orlando Miracle on April 29.
Former Wildcat Jaye Barnes (1997-99) will attend a tryout for the
Seattle Storm later this month.