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Courtesy: Lindy Brown, Duke Sports Information
Williams Selected No. 4 in WNBA Draft by Connecticut
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/16/2015
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – For only the fourth time in school history, the Duke University women’s basketball program featured a top-five selection in the WNBA Draft as senior Elizabeth Williams was taken with the No. 4 pick in the first round by Connecticut Sun Thursday evening at the at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“Just excitement,” commented Williams after being selected.  “I’m really happy to be chosen here, especially in a place like Connecticut with some great fans.  So I am just really excited.”

Duke has now placed 10 Blue Devils in the first round of the WNBA Draft and 10 Duke student-athletes have been selected in the WNBA Draft since head coach Joanne P. McCallie took over the program in 2007-08.

“Elizabeth is an amazing student-athlete who will thrive in the professional ranks,” said McCallie.  “She has all the natural talents and skills while possessing a great work ethic and tremendous character.”

Williams, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., was the first four-time Associated Press All-America in ACC history, while earning WBCA All-America and WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year in her final year.  The 6-3 center averaged 14.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.0 blocks per contest as the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Spokane, Wash.  She posted a career-best 10 double-doubles on the season and scored 20 or more points five times. Williams led the ACC and tied for 12th nationally with her 3.0 blocks per game average.  

“I kind of figured once Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis) went third that the likelihood of me going to Connecticut was pretty high.  With their situation just having an extra post in there would be really good.”

With Williams being selected by the Connecticut Sun, she will be reunited with former Blue Devil teammate Chelsea Gray.  Gray, a No. 11 selection in the 2014 WNBA Draft, missed last season while recovering from a knee injury.  

“It’s going to be great,” commented Williams on playing with Gray.  “She was at Duke and in Tampa so I got to talk to her for a little bit.  It will be really fun to play with her again.  She is an amazing player.”

One of the top shot-blockers in NCAA history, Williams finished her career with 426 swats to rank ninth all-time and was eight blocks away from tying the ACC career mark.  A four-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Williams also finished her standout career with 44 NCAA Tournament blocks to rank fifth.  She was a four-time First Team All-ACC honoree and received Capital One Academic All-America as a senior.

Duke has had 20 players selected in the WNBA Draft in school history –Lindsey Harding (Phoenix Mercury, No. 1 overall pick in 2007), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics, No. 2 overall pick in 2004), Monique Currie (Charlotte Sting, No. 3 overall pick in 2006), Elizabeth Williams (Connecticut Sun, No. 4 overall pick in 2014), Alison Bales (Indiana Fever, No. 9 overall pick in 2007), Chante Black (Connecticut Sun, No. 10 overall pick in 2009), Iciss Tillis (Detroit Shock, No. 11 overall pick in 2004), Chelsea Gray (Connecticut Sun, No. 11 overall pick in 2014), Tricia Liston (No. 12 overall pick in 2014), Jasmine Thomas (Seattle Storm, No. 12 overall pick in 2011), Michele Van Gorp (New York Liberty, No. 18 overall pick in 1999), Georgia Schweitzer (Miami Sol, No. 21 overall pick in 2001), Mistie Bass  (Phoenix Mercury, No. 21 overall pick in 2006), Abby Waner (New York Liberty, No. 21 in 2009), Karima Christmas (Washington Mystics, No. 23 overall pick in 2011), Wanisha Smith (New York Liberty, No. 27 overall pick in 2008), Joy Cheek (Indiana Fever, No. 35 in 2010), Krystal Thomas (Seattle Storm, No. 36 overall pick on 2011), Jessica Foley (Indiana Fever, No. 38 overall pick in 2006) and Peppi Browne (Charlotte Sting, No. 43 overall pick in 2000).