Kansas Jayhawks star point guard, Angel Goodrich, Cherokee, has become the highest-drafted Native player in WNBA history. The Tulsa Shock selected Goodrich, KU's all-time assists leader, 29th overall in the WNBA Draft, held Monday night. She is the sixth KU player to be drafted into the WNBA.
A graduate of Tahlequah High School, Goodrich will be returning to her home state of Oklahoma to join a Shock team that finished fifth in the WNBA's Western Conference in 2012.
"It was neat to see my name pop up [on the draft board]," Goodrich said. "There was a lot of waiting and some anxiety, but as soon as (my name) came up my heart just started pounding. It's awesome that I will be so close to home. This is such a blessing, because it's so close. It's right there. There will be a lot of people supporting me and cheering me on. This is really a dream come true."
Prior to Goodrich being selected by Tulsa in this year's draft, Tahnee Robinson, Northern Cheyenne and out of the University of Nevada, was the only enrolled tribal citizen to be drafted by a WNBA team, with the Phoenix Mercury selecting her with the 31st pick of the 2011 draft. Navajo Nation citizen Ryneldi Becenti played as a free agent with the Mercury in 1997, the first Native to play in the league.
“The team that came up big in the third round is the Tulsa Shock,” ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said on draft night, according to the Cherokee Phoenix. “They came into tonight without a point guard. They got their starting guard in the first round [Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins, a four-time All-American and two-time Big East Player of the Year] and then picked up Angel Goodrich from Kansas. That kid has a real shot to make their roster.”
Goodrich finished her career with 1,262 points and 771 assists, the third-highest total in the Big 12 Conference history.
During the 2012-13 season, she was a finalist for the Naismith Award, Wade Trophy, Wooden Award, Nancy Lieberman Award and USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, earned First Team All-Big 12 honors and was a member of the WBCA All-Region 5 Team this season.
The 5-foot-4 guard ranked second in the conference in both assists and steals. She averaged 7.2 assists per game, while posting 2.8 steals per contest. Goodrich was second on the Jayhawks' squad with 14.1 points per game and led the team with 58 three-point field goal.