By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Baylor women’s basketball senior guard Kristy Wallace joined Lady Bear royalty Thursday night.
Wallace became the 14th player in program history to be selected in the WNBA draft. Wallace was the 16th pick overall and went to the Atlanta Dream.
“It’s a really exciting time,” Wallace said. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment and for it to happen is so awesome. I can’t wait to show them my game and learn from other professionals in the league. It’s so surreal that this happened.”
Wallace, who became the program’s first ever second-round pick, averaged 12.9 points per game her senior season and shot 38 percent from three-point distance for the Lady Bears. However, Wallace missed Baylor’s final six games due to a knee injury, including its 72-67 loss to Oregon State in the Sweet Sixteen.
Wallace said she’s just thankful for the opportunity and that to be in this situation is a blessing.
“I am honestly speechless,” Wallace said. “I’m so thankful and blessed. This year has been really tough in a lot of ways, but for this to happen, it’s just really phenomenal.”
Wallace was recently named the team’s Co-Most Valuable Player and the Melissa Jones Hustle & Courage Award winner at the team’s end of year banquet.
Wallace earned spots on the All-Big 12 first team as well as the All-Big 12 defensive team. She earned WBCA All-America honorable mention recognition as well, becoming the 19th All-American in program history.
Wallace becomes the fourth player in the last three seasons to be drafted, as guard Alexis Jones was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx and guard Alexis Prince went to the Phoenix Mercury in the 2017 draft and guard Niya Johnson went to the Dream 28th overall in 2016.
Wallace said as she begins the next step in her career, she would never forget the support she received from Baylor Nation.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone at Baylor for having my back through the ups and downs,” Wallace said. “Being there for me and for the support, especially through my ACL injury. I’m just so thankful and so blessed to have my support group at Baylor and in Waco.”
The Atlanta Dream did not have a pick in the first round, but acquired both the 15th and 16th picks via trade with the Connecticut Sun. The Dream gave up forward Bria Holmes in exchange for the two second-round picks.
The Dream drafted UCLA power forward Monique Billings with the 15th pick before nabbing Wallace at 16.
Atlanta added Georgia power forward Mackenzie Engram in the third round with the 27th overall pick.
Atlanta is coached by Nicki Collen and finished 12-22 in 2017.The Dream will play their first preseason game on Sunday, May 6 against the Chicago Sky in Wintrust Arena in Chicago.