CINCINNATI - Xavier was well represented at the 2011 WNBA draft Monday afternoon as Amber Harris was picked fourth overall by the Minnesota Lynx while Ta'Shia Phillips was chosen eighth by the Atlanta Dream but was later traded to the Washington Mystics. Harris becomes XU's highest-ever draft pick while Phillips is the second-highest pick in Xavier history.
Harris joins Connecticut's Maya Moore in Minnesota. The Lynx made Moore the first overall pick. Phillips will join Kentucky's Victoria Dunlap who was chosen by the Mystics as the 11th overall pick in the first round.
Minnesota will open preseason play on May 24 at home against Indiana at 1 p.m. while the regular season schedule will open at Los Angeles June 3 at 10:00 p.m. Washington is set to open preseason play on May 25 at New York at 10:30 a.m. while the regular season will get underway June 4 at Connecticut at 7:00 p.m. The first time Harris and Phillips will square off against each other will be August 18 in D.C.
Xavier's WNBA Draft history includes three players taken in 2001. Nicole Levandusky was the first-ever Xavier player chosen in the draft when the Los Angeles Sparks selected her with the 32nd pick overall (second round). The Charlotte Sting used the 34th (third round) pick to select Jennifer Phillips, and Taru Tuukkanen went to the New York Liberty with the 57th pick overall (fourth round).
Levandusky was the only player to play in the WNBA. Phillips and Tuukkanen did not make the final rosters of the teams that drafted them.
Harris, the 2010 and 2011 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, finished her career at Xavier as the all-time leading blocker (361) and ranks second all-time in scoring (2,205 pts.) and rebounding (1,226 rbs.). She is only the second player in XU history to surpass the 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound mark and was Xavier's first-ever WBCA State Farm All-American.
Phillips, the 2010 and 2011 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, ended her collegiate career as both the A-10's and Xavier's all-time leading rebounder (1,552 rbs.), ranks second with 209 career blocks and ranks third all-time in scoring (1,895 pts.). She holds the top four single-season rebounding marks and became only the third Xavier player to surpass the 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound mark.