Boston to host 2006 WNBA draft, pre-draft camp

BOSTON -- The WNBA will hold its annual draft in Boston this
year, marking the first time in the league's 10-year history the
event will be held outside New Jersey.
The draft will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition
Center on April 5, the day after the women's college basketball
championship game is play at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden.
In addition, coaches and general managers will evaluate the
skills of about 40 top college seniors at the league's annual
pre-draft camp April 3 at Emmanuel College in the city's Fenway
"With our pre-draft camp in town and with our draft taking
place less than 24 hours after an NCAA national champion is
crowned, Boston will be the Mecca of women's basketball during the
first week of April," WNBA president Donna Orender said Wednesday.
The WNBA has held each of its previous drafts at the NBA's
television studio in Seacaucus, N.J. Prior pre-draft camps also
were conducted in the metropolitan New York area and, for a time,
in Chicago.
Orender said during a conference call that the league would
consider holding the draft and camp each year in the city that
hosts the women's Final Four to draw greater attention to the
But she said she wanted "to reserve the right make an
evaluation" annually to see if that practice makes sense.
The first overall selection in this year's draft goes to the
Minnesota Lynx, with the Phoenix Mercury and Charlotte Sting
holding the second and third selections.
Top prospects in this year's draft include LSU forward Seimone
Augustus, Baylor forward Sophia Young, Duke guard/forward Monique
Currie and Rutgers guard Cappie Pondexter.
The WNBA's 10th season tips off May 20. Boston is not among the
cities with one of the WNBA's 14 franchises, and the only New
England franchise is the Connecticut Sun.
Orender said the WNBA hopes to have a Boston franchise
eventually, though she had no specific details about if or when
that could happen.