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Iowa State in WNBA Draft History

The WNBA Draft is today, so here’s a look back at every Cyclone that has been drafted into the WNBA.

Since the inaugural draft in 1997, 13 Cyclones have been drafted.

This article will be updated after the Draft provided Bridget Carleton gets selected.

2000s

2000 WNBA Draft - Desirée Francis - 2nd Round, 29th Overall - New York Liberty

The Antiguan came to Iowa State after spending two years at Kirkwood CC. Francis averaged 13.7 ppg and made 53.6% of her shots (339-633). She also led the 1998-99 and 1999-00 Cyclones in steals with 52 and 57 respectively. The 1999 Big 12 Conference Newcomer of The Year was also named an honorable mention All-American by Basketball Journal.

1999-2004 head coach of the New York Liberty praised Francis, who was “surprised that Francis, who is a good 3-point shooter, plays defense well and can also play the low post.”

Desirée was ecstatic when she found out she was going to New York “I wanted New York because my dad lives in Jersey City,’’ Francis said during a teleconference from her dormitory room, where she monitored the draft on her computer. ‘’When Coach Fennelly told me I’d been chosen by New York, I thought he was kidding.” (Quotes via The New York Times)

After just one month in the concrete jungle, Hartford Courant reported she was waived on May 28.

She would be reactivated June 2, and battle through injuries the entire season. She appeared in one regular season game and two playoff games logging six total minutes and 0-3 shooting. She did get one offensive rebound in the season.

@CycloneWBB

2000 WNBA Draft - Stacy Frese - 3rd Round, 35th Overall - Utah Starzz

A three time ISU Female Athlete of the Year (1998-2000), as well as a three time First Team Academic All Big 12 guard, transferred to ISU from one year at Iowa.

In her three year Cyclone career, she scored 1,494 total points (15.6 ppg) (822 of those coming from 3-Pointers, she has the school record with a percentage of .453 (274-605))

In 2000, she represented Iowa State at the WBCA All-Star Challenge and won the Three-Point Competition

A case can be made that her #4 should be up in the rafters, as was argued here in June 2018.

2001 WNBA Draft - Megan Taylor - 4th Round, 55th Overall - Minnesota Lynx

The first Cyclone on this list to have her jersey retired (in 2004), Taylor (1998-2001) was an outstanding guard from Roseau, Minnesota, who still has the freshman record for points and rebounds in a season with 460 and 270.

She finished her Cyclone career with 1,866 points which is fourth all time, however, she graduated as the leading scorer as seen in the highlight clip below. She also pulled down 966 rebounds as a Cyclone.

In three preseason games with her home state Lynx, Taylor scored six points and grabbed three rebounds, per Post Bulletin.

@CycloneWBB

2002 WNBA Draft - Angie Welle - 2nd Round, 31st Overall - Cleveland Rockers

The 6’4” forward/center is the all-time leading scorer at Iowa State with 2,149 total points. After her phenomenal senior season in which she averaged 20.5 points and 11.3 rebounds a game.

She was listed as an All-American by nine different outlets. She, as of publication, is the second and only other Cyclone women’s cager to have her number retired and get drafted by the WNBA.

Angie Welle #32 of the Cleveland Rockers poses for a portrait at the WNBA Media Day in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tony Morrison/WNBAE/Getty Images

Unfortunately, Welle was cut before the season started, and, double unfortunately, the franchise folded after the 2002-03 season.

In 2017, she was inducted into the Cyclone Hall of Fame.

2002 WNBA Draft - Tracy Gahan - 3rd Round, 46th Overall - Cleveland Rockers

Gahan (1999-2002) was named to the 1999 NCAA Regional (Mideast) All-Tournament Team along with teammate Frese.

Iowa State Women’s Basketball - Facebook

In 2001, she was named MVP of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament. She led the 2001-2002 Cyclones with 64 steals in 33 games. 2002 ESPN Three-Point Championship Participant. She finished with 1,357 total points as a Cyclone.

Tracy Gahan of the New York Liberty poses for a portrait during WNBA Media Day 2002 in New York, New York.
Jen Pottheiser/WNBAE/Getty Images

Even though the Liberty released her early in the 2002 season, she still enjoyed a stateside and international pro career that lasted from 2002-2011.

She is married to Dallas Wings assistant Erin Phillips.

Catching Up With: Lindsey Wilson (Aug. 19, 2008)
cyclones.com

2003 WNBA Draft - Lindsey Wilson - 3rd Round, 34th Overall - Connecticut Sun

Lindsey Wilson (2000-2003) was a phenomenal point guard during her for years at Iowa State. She averaged 19.3 points over her senior year, and also, Wilson is one of only three players in Big 12 Conference history to record 1,800 points and 500 assists.

@CycloneWBB

On March 3, 2000, the Big 12 Conference recognized her as rookie of the week, and in 2001-2003, she was Third, Second and First team All-Big 12 respectively.

She went off for 36 against Baylor (6/10 3s) in her senior season. She also had a 24-point, nine-assist and five-rebound outing at Colorado.

Lindsey Wilson #13 of the Connecticut Sun poses for a portrait during the Sun’s Media Day on May 5, 2003 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Nathaniel S. Butler/WNBAE via Getty Images

In two preseason games, the Seattle native recorded four minutes, a steal and 0-2 shooting.

Here’s an interesting article from 2012 on ESPNW sharing how Wilson is trying to change minds.

Anne O’Neil scored 1,186 points and grabbed 461 rebounds in her #Cyclone career (2002-05).
@CycloneWBB

2005 WNBA Draft - Anne O’Neil - 3rd Round, 30th Overall - Sacramento Monarchs

Anne is one of the best high school basketball players in Iowa High School history, having a very successful four years at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. There, she averaged 26.3 points per game as a freshman, and by the time she was done with her prep career, she had a then state record of 2,494 career points. She was a WBCA High School All-American.

After high school, she spent a season at Illinois where she started all but two games.

In her Cyclone debut, she scored in double figures against St. Francis [PA].

In 2003, she was named to the Conference All-Star Team. Also in 2003, she made the USA team for the World University Games held in Daegu, South Korea.

Her most notable shot came against #2/#1 Texas Tech in 2004.

Anne would be honored as an honorable mention All-America in 2005 by both the AP and WBCA/Kodak. O’Neil would also become a first team All-Big 12 in 2005, after making the honorable mention team the year prior. She also represented Iowa State at the ESPN Three-Point Championship in 2005.

Lyndsey Medders dishes out 16 assists against IPFW in 2005.
@CycloneWBB

2007 WNBA Draft - Lyndsey Medders - 2nd Round, 22nd Overall - Indiana Fever

Lyndsey (Medders) Fennelly (2003-2007) was another outstanding point guard for the Cyclones. She led the nation in assists per game as a junior with 7.7 apg (sixth nationally as a senior with 6.5 per) and graduated with the most assists in school history with 719.

Colorados Kate Fagan guards Iowa States Lyndsey Medders.
Mark Leffingwell/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

She finished her Cyclone career with 1,449 points in 122 games played. She was honored by Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention in 2007.

Lyndsey Medders #14 of the Indiana Fever drives around Janell Burse #33 of the Seattle Storm during the WNBA game on May 5, 2007 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Fever won 75-58.
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

She would spend about two months in Indiana before being released in June.


The Oklahoman

2010 WNBA Draft - Alison Lacey - 1st Round, 10th Overall - Seattle Storm

The highest WNBA Draft pick has the unique distinction of being “the only player in school history and only the seventh player in the history of the Big 12 Conference to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career,” her bio states.

An All-Big 12 First Teamer in 2010 garnered national respect as well when The Associated Press made her an All-America Honorable Mention. She finished with 1,620 career points.

Below are her stats with the Storm.

Alison’s WNBA number would be 40.
McClanahan Studio

2011 WNBA Draft - Kelsey Bolte - 3rd Round, 32nd Overall - Atlanta Dream

The OA-BCIG high school grad quickly made her (2007-2011) stamp on Iowa State basketball when she became the “first freshman in Big 12 history to score 20+ points in each of her first four league games,” per her bio. Because of that performance, she was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.

In 2009 and 2010 she was on the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team.

She finished with 1,639 points.

However, in 2011, she really hit her stride.

Here are just some of her accolades:

  • Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American
  • WBCA Honorable Mention All-American
  • All-Big 12 First Team
  • Naismith Trophy Watch List
  • Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team
  • ESPN Three-Point Contest Runner-Up
Kelsey Bolte #7 of the Atlanta Dream poses for her official WNBA headshot during Dream Media Day at 200 Peachtree Special Events & Conference Centre on May 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

May 2011 interview of Bolte.

Gonzaga guard Jazmine Redmon (34) reaches around Iowa State forward Chelsea Poppens (33) during the first half of the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Tournament on Saturday at McCarthey Athletic Center.
The Spokesman-Review

2013 WNBA Draft - Chelsea Poppens - 2nd Round, 18th Overall - Seattle Storm

Poppens (2009-2013) was an outstanding 6’2” forward from Aplington-Parkersburg in career here. In 2011, she was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

In 2012 and 2013 she was named to both the All-Big 12 First Team and The Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American team.

Getty Images

She spent time with both the Seattle Storm and San Antonio Silver Stars.

Chelsea Poppens #30 of the San Antonio Silver Stars attempts a shot against Glory Johnson #25 of the Tulsa Shock during a game at AT&T Center on September 8, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

With the Silver Stars, she scored all nine of her WNBA points.

The Oklahoman

2013 WNBA Draft - Anna Prins - 2nd Round, 23rd Overall - Connecticut Sun

Prins (2009-2013) is the tallest women’s basketball player in school history at 6’7”. The 2009 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year averaged 12.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg in her final year in a Cyclone uniform.

In her seven games against Brittney Griner, she averaged 14.9 ppg on 46.4% shooting.

Anna Prins #55 of the Connecticut Sun poses for a portrait during the 2012-13 WNBA Media Day on May 8, 2013 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

Prins was cut after just three days of camp.

2015 WNBA Draft - Nikki Moody - 3rd Round, 33rd Overall - San Antonio Stars

Nikki Moody (2011-2015) averaged 14.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds in her senior campaign which led her to All-Big 12 First-Team as a unanimous pick.

Moody also recorded a triple double her senior year against Wyoming (third in school history, 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds), and graduated with the career assists record (745) and 1,416 points.

The point guard had a clutch game in the win at #8 Texas in 2015.

The Stars waived her a month after the draft.