Posted: Apr 11, 2011 6:54 PM by Andrew Masuda
Updated: Apr 11, 2011 10:43 PM
Monday quickly turned in to Valentine's Day in the WNBA. The New York Liberty selected UCSB women's basketball star Mekia Valentine in the third round with the 34th overall pick in the WNBA Draft.
This past season, the 6'4" Valentine averaged 11.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, becoming the first player in program history to average a double-double for the season.
The Big West Conference's Defensive Player of the Year recorded 100 or more blocked shots in her two seasons at UCSB, something only four other women accomplished in the history of the Big West. The 120 blocked shots she swatted in the 2009-10 season set a program single-season record.
Valentine said her computer froze during the end of the Draft so she did not know she was drafted until a friend called to congratulate her. "She's like you just got drafted and I immediately dropped the phone and started screaming and shaking and I couldn't do any other reaction besides cry and I'm a crier anyway," said Valentine. " Having this great honor and future ahead of me is such a proud moment for me in my life."
Valentine became the seventh Gaucho to become a WNBA pick and the first since 2005.
Valentine plans to leave for her new team within the next two weeks. The Liberty is one of the eight original WNBA Teams that began to see action in 1997. The franchise has made it to the WNBA finals four teams, but is still searching for its first championship. New York went 22-12 last season and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.
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