Zahui B Selected #2, Kelley Drafted by Lynx
UNCASVILLE, Conn (gophersports.com) – For the first time in program history, the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team had two players selected in the WNBA Draft.
Center Amanda Zahui B. was selected as the No. 2 pick overall by the Tulsa Shock and forward Shae Kelley was selected as the No. 35 pick overall by the Minnesota Lynx. Zahui B. was one of 12 players in attendance at the draft which was held at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Zahui B. is the highest Gopher to be selected since Janel McCarville was taken first overall in 2005 by the Charlotte Sting. The center is also the highest Big Ten selection since Maryland’s Marissa Coleman was picked second overall by the Washington Mystics in 2009. The last time a Big Ten team had two players selected in the same year was in 2013 when Penn State's Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene were picked in the second and third round, respectively.
Zahui B.’s Shock and Kelley’s Lynx will open their respective seasons against each other on June 5 at the Target Center.
The first Associated Press All-America First Team selection in Gophers program history, Zahui B. was also recognized this season as an All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, U.S. Basketball Writers Association and espnW. The Stockholm, Sweden native became just the sixth Gopher in program history to be named a Wade Trophy Finalist and the first in 10 years, as well as the third Naismith Trophy finalist in program history and earned a spot on the National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award.
In just two seasons with the Gophers, Zahui B. made her mark upon the record books as the school’s all-time blocks leader (240) and the fourth sophomore to join the program’s 1,000-point club. She set Big Ten and school single-season rebounding records for the second straight year, pulling down 426 in 2014-15. Zahui B.’s average of 12.2 rebounds per game is the highest in program history, and she finished this past season ranked sixth on Minnesota's single-season record chart in points, seventh in field goals and free throw attempts and ninth in field goal percentage and free throws.
Zahui B. had the top single-game marks in the NCAA this season with 29 rebounds, 12 blocks and a 1.000 (11-for-11) field goal percentage. She was an integral part of the Gophers squad which finished 23-10, its highest victory total in 10 years.
Earning the media’s selection for Big Ten Player of the Year, Zahui B. was a unanimous All-Big Ten first team honoree, and was named to the conference’s All-Defensive Team as well in 2014-15. In her freshman campaign, Zahui B. was selected the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year and a WBCA All-America honorable mention, along with All-Big Ten, All-Defensive and Academic All-Big Ten recognition.
Kelley, who was head coach Marlene Stollings’ first recruit at Minnesota, provided a perfect complement to Zahui B. in the front court in her lone season as a Gopher.
She was an All-Big Ten First Team selection and was a three-time Big Ten Player of the Week honoree, while leading the Maroon and Gold in steals (56) and ranking second in points (578), scoring average (17.5), field goal percentage (.486), field goals (221), free throws (133), rebounds (309), rebounding average (9.4), offensive rebounds (110), defensive rebounds (199), blocks (27) and minutes played (1097). The Gophers concluded the season with an 11-3 mark when Kelley led the team in scoring.