Duke forward Williams selected 4th overall in WNBA Draft

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network
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Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network
Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

UNCASVILLE, CONN. – Duke Blue Devils All-America forward Elizabeth Williams was selected as the fourth overall pick in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft held at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday.

“Just excitement,” commented Williams after being selected.

“I’m really happy to be chosen here, especially in a place like Connecticut with some great fans. So I am just really excited.”

Willams’ selection continues the exceptional playing career of one of the top Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) players of all time.

She became the first four-time Associated Press All-America in ACC history, while earning WBCA All-America and WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year in her final year.

During her collegiate career, Williams became the first ACC player to post over 1900 points, 1000 rebounds, and 400 blocks.

One of the top shot-blockers in NCAA history, Williams finished her career with 426 denials to rank ninth all-time and was eight blocks away from tying the ACC career mark.

A four-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Williams also finished her standout career with 44 NCAA Tournament blocks to rank fifth.

She was a four-time First Team All-ACC honoree and received Capital One Academic All-America as a senior.

The six-foot-three-inch center averaged 14.5 points, nine rebounds, 2.5 assists and three blocks per game this past season as the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.

She posted a career-best 10 double-doubles on the season and scored 20 or more points five times, including a 33-point performance against North Carolina, and led the ACC and tied for 12th nationally with her three blocks per game average.

Duke advanced to the postseason in each of Williams’ seasons, including three consecutive trips to the Elite 8 round of play from 2012-2014.

Her selection was only the fourth in school history to feature a top-five selection in the league’s draft which has now placed 10 Blue Devils in the first round overall.

“Elizabeth is an amazing student-athlete who will thrive in the professional ranks,” said head coach Joanne P. McCallie.

“She has all the natural talents and skills while possessing a great work ethic and tremendous character.”

Since 2007-2008, under McCallie, Duke’s program has had 10 players selected to the premier women’s professional basketball league in the U.S.

Duke has had 20 players selected in the WNBA Draft in school history.

Duke Blue Devils – WNBA Draft

Lindsey Harding (Phoenix Mercury, No. 1 overall pick in 2007)

Alana Beard (Washington Mystics, No. 2 overall pick in 2004)

Monique Currie (Charlotte Sting, No. 3 overall pick in 2006)

Elizabeth Williams (Connecticut Sun, No. 4 overall pick in 2014)

Alison Bales (Indiana Fever, No. 9 overall pick in 2007)

Chante Black (Connecticut Sun, No. 10 overall pick in 2009)

Iciss Tillis (Detroit Shock, No. 11 overall pick in 2004)

Chelsea Gray (Connecticut Sun, No. 11 overall pick in 2014)

Tricia Liston (No. 12 overall pick in 2014)

Jasmine Thomas (Seattle Storm, No. 12 overall pick in 2011)

Michele Van Gorp (New York Liberty, No. 18 overall pick in 1999)

Georgia Schweitzer (Miami Sol, No. 21 overall pick in 2001)

Mistie Bass  (Phoenix Mercury, No. 21 overall pick in 2006)

Abby Waner (New York Liberty, No. 21 in 2009)

Karima Christmas (Washington Mystics, No. 23 overall pick in 2011)

Wanisha Smith (New York Liberty, No. 27 overall pick in 2008)

Joy Cheek (Indiana Fever, No. 35 in 2010)

Krystal Thomas (Seattle Storm, No. 36 overall pick on 2011)

Jessica Foley (Indiana Fever, No. 38 overall pick in 2006).

Peppi Browne (Charlotte Sting, No. 43 overall pick in 2000)