Most of the discussions in the days leading up to the draft were about where Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis would go (the Storm ended up taking her third overall). But, center Kiah Stokes, Mosqueda-Lewis' teammate at UConn, went mostly unnoticed through the process, though WNBA teams were well aware of who she was.
On Thursday night, the New York Liberty selected Stokes, a force in the paint but not much of a scorer in college, with the No. 11 pick. New York coach Bill Laimbeer thought so much of Stokes that he traded up to get her.
"I had not had any contact with anyone from New York, so this is all very exciting to me," Stokes said, via the Hartford Courant. "I'm taking a moment to take it all in, but I am also very anxious to get it all started. To hear your name called is an incredible experience. And now it's all about trying to do what I can to best make an impact."
Despite spending four years in Storrs, Stokes doesn't know much about New York City. That will change soon.
“I’ve been there a few times, taken a train ride,” she said, via SNY.com. “To live in New York is going to be amazing. It’s a new scenery. Connecticut has been great. So was Iowa.
“I just want to make sure that they know I’m working hard and I’m going to do everything I can to make the team and then be a consistent defensive threat. I’m going to do anything I can on and off the court.”
And Stokes is now teammates with former UConn All-American Tina Charles.
“This is an opportunity you dream of when you’re a little girl,” Stokes said. “To make this a reality is an honor and to play with Tina, someone that I’ve looked up to especially coming from UConn. I’m excited to get to know her better and learn from her. She’s a great player and I want to follow in her footsteps.”