Out of the 36 players taken in today’s WNBA Draft, three were Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs: Chanel Mokango (ninth overall, to Atlanta), Armelie Lumanu (23rd, to Indiana), and Alexis Rack (29th, to San Antonio). Each round selected 12 players. It was the first time in program history that multiple Lady Bulldogs were taken in one draft. MSU tied Oklahoma for most players drafted this year.
Rack, who’s hoping to win a second consecutive Gillom Trophy award tonight as the state’s top female college basketball player, said she doesn’t know a whole lot about the Silver Stars, who are coached by Sandy Brondello.
“I haven’t really paid attention to just one team when I’ve watched the WNBA before. But I’m just happy for the opportunity.”
Mokango’s stock jumped with her play in the NCAA tournament, in which MSU reached the Sweet 16. In three games, the 6-foot-5 forward averaged 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
“I think that really put her overboard,” Rack said. “Really competing with the high names that are already out there and us beating them: the No. 1 leading scorer in the nation (Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee State), and then (Ohio State’s) Jantel Lavender, two-time (Big 10) player of the year.”
Mokango averaged 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this past season. Lumanu, a 5-9 guard/forward, averaged 12.4 points and 4.0 assists per game. Rack, a 5-7 point guard, averaged 17.5 points and 4.7 assists per game.
Of Rack, MSU coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said, “You had seniors on this team, but who has played for that four-year period, who has been there through the thick and thin of things. We’ve had a lot of players with injuries, but Alexis has been such a leader for this team.”