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April 8, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two Atlantic Coast Conference basketball student-athletes were selected in the first round of the 2010 Women's National Basketball Association Draft, which was held today in Secaucus, N.J. Virginia guard Monica Wright was taken second overall by the Minnesota Lynx, while Florida State forward Jacinta Monroe was taken sixth overall by the Washington Mystics.
In addition to the two first round selections, Georgia Tech forward Brigitte Ardossi was taken in the second round (21st overall) by the Atlanta Dream, and Duke forward Joy Cheek was picked by the Indiana Fever (35th overall).
Wright, who was named both the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, is the highest draft pick in school history, following former Cavaliers Wendy Palmer (1997) and Dawn Staley (1999), who were both selected ninth overall. Earlier this season, Wright broke Staley's school record for career points and finished her career by leading the conference with 23.7 points per game and ranking as the ACC's third-leading career scorer (2,540). Wright also tallied 6.4 rebounds per game and had 115 steals on her way to first-team All-America accolades from Association Press, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, as well as the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Monroe, who joined Wright on the All-ACC first-team, led the Seminoles to a tie with Duke in the regular season standings with a 12-2 record, and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA championship for the first time in school history. Monroe averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for Florida State, while shooting 50.6 percent (176-of-348) from the field, 74.0 percent (108-of-146) from the free-throw line, and tallying 76 blocks.
Wright and Monroe give the ACC a pair of draftees in the top six picks of this year's draft, equaled by the Big East, where Tina Charles of NCAA champion Connecticut and Epiphany Prince of Rutgers were selected first and fourth, respectively.
Also representing the ACC in this year's draft were Ardossi and Cheek. Ardossi, a second-team All-ACC selection, was taken with the 21st overall pick by the Atlanta Dream. Ardossi scored in double figures in 29 of the Yellow Jackets' 32 games, pacing the team with a 16.1 points per game clip. The Melbourne, Australia, native was the go-to option of head coach MaChelle Joseph's Yellow Jackets, shooting 48.4 percent (186-of-384) from the field, 82.9 percent (160-of-193) from the charity stripe, and averaging 7.3 rebounds per game.
Cheek, also a third-team All-ACC pick, was taken in the third round (35th overall) by the Indiana Fever. Cheek helped guide Duke, which claimed its sixth league title at last month's ACC Women' Basketball Tournament, to the Elite Eight, before bowing out to Baylor. She averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils in 2009-10 and added 49 steals, 45 assists, and 20 blocks.
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