Utah's Shona Thorburn (right) and WNBA President Donna Orender hold a Lynx jersey after Thorburn was chosen by Minnesota in the 2006 WNBA Draft. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
April 5, 2006
Both Thorburn and Smith were selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft, being held in Boston. They become the first Utah players ever to be selected in the WNBA Draft.
"That's pretty cool," Smith said of being the first Ute players drafted by WNBA clubs. "All it is going to do is help the school and the program. I think it could really help recruiting. If it is a good thing for Utah, that's great."
Thorburn was the No. 7 pick overall in the draft, going to the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx also had the No. 1 pick overall and selected Louisiana State's Seimone Augustus, winner of national player of the year honors.
"We're very excited," Lynx head coach Suzie McConnell Serio said after the draft. "Seimone and Shona are the two players we agreed upon that we wanted.
"We expect Shona to come in and contribute," McConnell Serio continued. "Nobody is guaranteed anything at this level. But we expect her to come in and contribute. From here on out, it is up to her. We don't have a returning point guard, so she will have every opportunity to come in and earn a a position from the beginning."
Smith was the No. 13 pick overall and was selected by the Sacramento Monarchs. The Monarchs are the defending WNBA Champions and Smith was their first selection of the draft.
"I'm so excited," Smith said. "It seems like a great fit for me, with their team and style of play. I think I'll fit in really well."
Sacramento head coach and general manager John Whisenant was excited about adding Smith to his squad.
"Throughout her four-year college career, Kim has had a great shooting percentage from the floor and the line," Whisenant said. "We think she can learn our defensive style and be an excellent team player."