By Peter Koutroumpis
NEW YORK, N.Y. – As expected, Duke Blue Devils guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell were selected in the 2018 WNBA Draft that took place at Nike New York Headquarters on Thursday night.
Brown was picked during the first round (ninth overall) by the Connecticut Sun, while Greenwell was a third-round (31st overall) selection of the Washington Mystics.
“Honestly, finally,” Brown said when asked what was going through her mind when her name was called.
“It was a relief. Waiting out there was nerve-racking. Having my family by my side definitely helped. To have my name called is like my dreams are coming true. I wanted to cry, but my makeup, so I didn’t.”
“It feels great to get selected by Washington,” commented Greenwell.
“This has been a dream of mine ever since I started playing basketball. I’m excited for this next chapter and so grateful I can continue to further my basketball career as a pro.”
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Brown became Duke’s 11th WNBA first round selection in school history and marked the fifth time over the last eight seasons that Duke’s program has spawned a high-profile pick in the WNBA Draft.
Along with Greenwell, the 2018 Draft marked the eighth time the Blue Devils have featured two or more WNBA picks in the same season while leading the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) which had five players selected of the 36 named overall.
“Lexie is an amazing person who will impact Connecticut and make a difference,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
“So now some of the excitement is there, but also it’s time to go to work, and I think she’s really ready to go to work.”
“We are absolutely thrilled for Becca,” McCallie additionally noted.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that she has the passion, the work ethic, and the skill set to be exceptional and we are very proud of her, and excited for her that she was recognized in this way and has been given the opportunity to make her professional dreams come true.”
In addition to Brown and Greenwell, 2016 ACC Player of the Year Myisha Hines-Allen of Louisville was selected with the seventh pick of the second round (19th overall) by the Washington Mystics, along with 2017 ACC Player of the Year Shakayla Thomas who was picked by the Los Angeles Sparks 23rd overall, and Florida State’s Imani Wright, selected in the third round, 26th overall, by the Phoenix Mercury.
Brown’s selection gave the ACC the distinction of having at least one player go in the first round in each of the last 13 drafts as current league membership now accounts for 47 first-round picks.
Draft picks and free agents will next prepare to attend training camps that open on Apr. 29, and eventually lead into the WNBA preseason (May 4), and the tip-off of the regular season that takes place on Sat., May 18.
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport