Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut the Atlanta Dream selected point guard Niya Johnson as the 28th selection in the 2016 WNBA draft.
After settings records in the Big 12 and at Baylor, Johnson found herself at No. 5 on the NCAA career assist record with 988.
“I’m very excited to be able to continue my basketball career. I appreciate all that the coaches at Baylor have done to prepare me to move to the next level and I look forward to the opportunity to play for the Atlanta Dream,”Johnson said.
Johnson, who helped lead BU to four regular season, four Big 12 Conference tournament crowns and four NCAA Championship berths, including three straight Elite Eight appearances, posted a four-year record of 135-13 (.912). She finished her Baylor career with 778 points, 988 assists and 561 rebounds.
Johnson became the 11th Lady Bear to be drafted by a WNBA team, with Odyssey Sims being the last draft in 2014.
After Baylor beat Oklahoma State this past season Sooner head coach Jim Littell said, “I know there are some point guards that score more than Niya Johnson, but there is not a point guard in the country that runs the thing better than she does. About getting the ball where it needs to be, throwing the loop pass to the post players inside. Point guards make everyone around them better, obviously she makes everyone around her better.”
With Johnson making her mark even head coach Kim Mulkey had nothing but praise for the point guard.
“It’s hard to explain the value of a point guard who only averages six points a game. It’s what she does when the game’s on the line. It’s one transition stop, it’s one transition run, one long rebound, and not to mention she puts her teammates in position to score easily,” Mulkey said. “So, yes, she is that valuable to us.”
In the end, the legacy and impact Johnson has made on the Baylor program far exceeded anyone’s imagination, and when it is all said and done, she will forever have a home at Baylor.