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WNBA DRAFT BRINGS GOOD NEWS FOR LADY MONARCH STANDOUTS

Old Dominion University and the national champion Connecticut Huskies led the WNBA draft each with four players selected on Friday.

Old Dominion's forward/guard Hamchetou Maiga, the 12th overall selection, was picked by the Sacramento Monarchs in the first round. Center/forward Lucienne Berthieu was the 19th overall pick and will head to Seattle. In the fourth round, guard Sharron Francis was chosen by Minnesota and forward Tiffany Thompson by defending champion Los Angeles.

Maiga will be the second Lady Monarch on the Sacramento roster. She joins Ticha Penicheiro '98, who was the second overall choice in the 1997 draft. The team is coached by another Old Dominion alum, Maura McHugh '75. Berthieu will head to Seattle's camp with the National Player of the Year, Sue Bird of Connecticut, who was the top overall draft choice. Francis also will be joined by a UConn player, Tamika Williams, who was selected sixth. Thompson's new team selected Rosalind Ross of NCAA runner-up Oklahoma with their first pick.

Maiga is a three-time All-CAA, All-CAA Defensive selection and the League's Player of the Year in 2000-01. She averaged 11.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season and netted double figures 25 times this year with a season-high 21 against Delaware. She had 10 double-doubles and a season-high 17 rebounds in the Lady Monarchs NCAA Tournament victory over second seed Purdue. A dean's list student and CAA Scholar-Athlete, Maiga received her bachelor's degree in information systems in the summer of 2001 and is currently working toward a master's degree in business administration. She completed her career with 1,483 career points and 885 career rebounds.

Berthieu was named Player of the Year in the CAA for the third time, averaging 14.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Berthieu earned Kodak District II All-American honors and was selected to the NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament squad, after missing all of the 2000-01 season due to ACL surgery. She led the CAA in field goal percentage at .589, scored in double figures 26 times, including a career high 32 points against James Madison. She recorded another 30-point outburst in ODU's NCAA win over third-seed Kansas State. Berthieu registered a career high 19 rebounds in ODU's win over nationally ranked Penn State. Berthieu completed her career with 1,382 career points and 734 career rebounds.

The 5-8 Francis, a two-time CAA All-Defensive selection, averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She ranked third in the CAA in steals and fourth in the league in assists. Francis completed her career with 1085 career points, 488 career assists and 277 career steals.

Thompson, a 6-3 center, started 32 of 34 games, averaging 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds. She hit .417 from three-point range. She scored 11 points and 11 rebounds against North Carolina State and dished out eight assists in ODU's win over #3 seed Kansas State.

Under head coach Wendy Larry, the Lady Monarchs compiled a 28-6 record this season, advancing to the NCAA's Elite Eight.

Prior to the draft, former Lady Monarch standout Clarisse Machanguana '99 was traded to the Orlando Miracle by her former team, the Charlotte Sting, in exchange for a first-round selection. The Sting are coached by Old Dominion Hall of Famer Anne Donovan.

In addition to Machanguana and Penicheiro, Old Dominion alumni Adrienne Goodson '88 and Mery Andrade '99 currently play in the league. Former Lady Monarchs head coach Marianne Stanley is the head coach with Washington.

This article was posted on: April 19, 2002

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.