UNC's Chay Shegog a second-round selection in WNBA draft

A second-round selection of the Connecticut Sun, the Tar Heels center is the only player from the ACC’s Triangle schools to be drafted Monday.

CorrespondentApril 16, 2012 

Appropriately enough, North Carolina center Chay Shegog was playing in a pickup basketball game in Carmichael Arena when she received word that she had been selected by the Connecticut Sun in the second round of Monday afternoon’s WNBA draft.

“A couple of my teammates were on the sidelines watching the draft on the computer, and they stopped the game to tell me,” said an excited Shegog.

“First, I was really happy that I got drafted, and secondly that it was Connecticut,” said Shegog, a 6-foot-5 senior from Stafford, Va. “My former (UNC) teammate, Jessica Breland, plays there now. And I’ve always been a Tina Charles fan.”

Charles, the unquestioned leader of the Sun, was the first pick in the WNBA Draft in 2010 after leading the University of Connecticut to back-to-back NCAA titles. As a freshman and sophomore at UNC, Shegog played against Charles and UConn.

“I’m really excited to get up there,” Shegog said. “I’ve been watching them for years, and I’ve always wanted to play on a team with people like that.”

Shegog was one of six ACC players taken in Monday’s three-round draft but the only one from the Triangle. Miami guard Shenise Johnson and Georgia Tech center Sasha Goodlett went in the first round to the San Antonio Silver Stars and Indiana Fever as the fifth and 11th picks overall, respectively. The Tulsa Shock drafted Miami guard Riquna Williams in the second round (17th overall). In the third round, two Maryland teammates, guard Anjale Barrett and center Lynetta Kizer, were taken by the Washington Mystics (26th) and Tulsa (29th).

Shegog, the 21st pick overall, was the second center chosen by the Sun, which drafted 6-8 Astan Dabo with the ninth pick in the first round. But Dabo, a 19-year-old from Mali who is playing in a French league for Reims, isn’t expected to join the Sun this season because she has a commitment with the Mali national team this summer prior to the London Olympic Games.

Shegog said she had lunch recently with Breland, who discussed the Sun’s prospects for the upcoming season with her former teammate.

“She was praising the coach (Mike Thibault),” Shegog said. “She really liked the way he coached and really liked the players and the environment.”

But they had no inkling what would transpire on draft day.

“Actually I had no idea I would go there,” Shegog said. “Jessica was talking about how they needed another (No.) 5 player. My (UNC) coaches said they spoke with Minnesota and a couple of other teams, but I personally hadn’t talked to anyone.”

A second-team All-ACC pick this year, Shegog ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (15.6) and averaged 6.9 rebounds per game. She was third in the ACC with 71 blocked shots and a 52.9 field goal percentage. Since the season ended, she said she has been playing pickup games with her former teammates and working out on her own. The pickup games in Chapel Hill will end soon.

The Sun expects her to report for training camp on April 28.

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