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Sky celebrates Epiphanny with WNBA draft pick
By Patricia Babcock McGraw | Daily Herald Staff

Epiphanny Prince


Kurdzuk, Tony

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Published: 4/8/2010 7:20 PM

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If 6-foot-6 center Sylvia Fowles stays healthy from start to finish for the first time in her career, the Chicago Sky could be dangerous this summer.

The Sky keeps adding to its arsenal of players who can do significant damage from the perimeter - which, in theory, could give Fowles more room to work in the paint and make her even more lethal.

On Thursday, with the fourth overall pick in the WNBA draft, the Sky picked up a dynamic scoring guard in 5-foot-9 former Rutgers star Epiphanny Prince, who averaged 19.5 points per game as a junior two years ago. Prince, who once scored 113 points in a high school game, became the first American woman to forgo her senior year of college in order to go overseas and play professionally.

This winter as a rookie, she averaged 19 points per game for Turkey's Botas-Spor.

"Epiphanny is terrific in transition and can score over bigger players. This a great fit for Chicago," ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said. "With Fowles inside, they now have players who can extend the defense and hit that perimeter shot."

"You add Epiphanny Prince, that's going to put more points on the board," ESPN analyst Carolyn Peck added.

Clearly, Prince knows how to score, as do Shemeka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld, the two players they acquired last week from the New York Liberty in a major trade that sent forward Candice Dupree - the first-ever draft pick in Sky history - to Phoenix.

Christon, a small forward, averaged 16.1 points per game last year for the Liberty and Kraayeveld, a 3-point shooter in a post's body, was at about 9 points per game.

They'll complement Sky veteran shooting guard Jia Perkins, who will be able to play alongside Prince because Prince can also slide over and play some point guard if necessary.

"I think for Epiphanny Prince, going overseas was a good thing," Peck said. "It helped her with being a true point guard. At Rutgers, she was relied upon so much to do the scoring. Going overseas helped with her with her decision-making."

The Sky also snapped up Oklahoma forward Abi Olajuwon, the daughter of former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon, in the third round (No. 28 overall).

The Connecticut Sun got the WNBA draft going by making Tina Charles, the star center for the NCAA national champion Connecticut Huskies, the first overall pick.

Illinois center Jenna Smith was picked up in the second round (No. 14 overall) by the Washington Mystics.