2013 WNBA Draft to be Held in Primetime on ESPN2 Monday
ESPN's "3 to See" Headline Collegiate Draft Class
The top female college basketball prospects - highlighted by the "3 to See" of Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame) and Brittney Griner (Baylor) - will convene at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters for the 2013 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on Monday, April 15. In the league's first-ever primetime draft telecast, coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPNU from 9-10:30 p.m. The entire Draft - three rounds of 12 picks each - can also be seen on WatchESPN.
Content will also be offered across ESPN platforms on Monday, including SportsCenter, espnW and the "3 to See" will be seen on multiple shows throughout the day leading up to the Draft.
The telecast of the Draft will take place for the third straight year from Studio E - home to several ESPN shows including Mike & Mike in the Morning and Sunday NFL Countdown. Kevin Negandhi, coming off a successful debut as studio host of ESPN's NCAA Women's Basketball Championship coverage, will anchor the WNBA Draft for the first time. He will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck and reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson.
Additional top prospects invited are guards Alex Bentley (Penn State), Layshia Clarendon (California), Kelly Faris (Connecticut), Tayler Hill (Ohio State), Lindsey Moore (Nebraska) and Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown); forwards Tianna Hawkins (Maryland) and Toni Young (Oklahoma State); and center Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M).
The Phoenix Mercury hold the top pick for the third time in franchise history. Rounding out this year's top five picks are the Chicago Sky (second), Tulsa Shock (third), Washington Mystics (fourth) and New York Liberty (fifth).
The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 17 years, dating back to the league's inaugural season in 1997, and recently extended the relationship six years through the 2022 season. ESPN's 2013 WNBA schedule opens with a brand-new ESPN2 Memorial Day doubleheader featuring the WNBA Draft's top four picks on Monday, May 27: Washington at Tulsa at 3 p.m., followed by Chicago at Phoenix at 5 p.m.
Production Features & Storylines
· Debut of new WNBA logo on all graphics and animations that will be used through the upcoming season
· Lobo will use new touch-screen technology to visually discuss the picks and their teams
· New York Liberty head coach Bill Lambier will be on set after the Liberty's first-round pick (eighth overall)
· Chicago Sky and Tulsa Shock representatives will be interviewed during the telecast
· Live shots and reaction from the friends and family area on ESPN's campus will be featured
· All-access piece will follow Griner throughout the day
· In addition to post-selection interviews, the telecast will include extended individual sit-down chats with Delle Donne, Diggins and Griner on set during the second and third rounds
· College head coaches in attendance at the Draft include: Terri Williams-Flournoy (Auburn & former Georgetown head coach); Kim Mulkey (Baylor); Lindsay Gottlieb (Cal); Tina Martin (Delaware); Keith Brown (Georgetown); Brenda Frese (Maryland); Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) and Jim Littell (Oklahoma State), plus select assistant coaches.
· Draft preview and column on the original "3 to See" of Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes compared to this year's big three
· Mock Draft: espnW experts give first-round predictions
· Video: Kate Fagan and Mechelle Voepel preview the Draft
· DraftCast: Live chat, pick-by-pick analysis of each selection and video player of WatchESPN Draft feed
· Behind-the-scenes Blog: following Griner, Diggins and Delle Donne on draft day
· New York Liberty's Swin Cash will interview the draftees
· Photo gallery and player blogs
· Team-by-team Draft grades
ESPN Car Wash
· SportsCenter hits with Delle Donne, Diggins and Griner throughout the day
· First Take appearance by Delle Donne, Diggins and Griner
· Coach & Company interviews with Diggins and Griner
· ESPN.com Chat with Delle Donne, Diggins and Griner