WNBA: Utah's Michelle Plouffe drafted by Seattle Storm in second round

Published April 17, 2014 10:24 pm
WNBA • Seattle picks Ute forward with the No. 19 selection.
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Michelle Plouffe didn't even see the moment her basketball life changed.

It's true, ESPN broadcast the WNBA Draft on Monday night. But the network conducted so many live interviews that Plouffe never noticed her name quietly scrolling across the television screen while holding a selection party with her friends and teammates.

"I think I saw it the second time around," Plouffe said. "I was surprised because I didn't realize it. I waited until it came back around. Then we all started to celebrate."

Plouffe — who just finished a standout career at Utah — was drafted by the Seattle Storm on Monday night with the 19th overall pick, midway through the second round. She didn't know for 20 minutes that she was the fifth Utah player since 2006 to be taken by the premier pro league in the world.

Somehow, it was all worth it.

"It's so funny that I didn't even know I was picked," Plouffe said "It was certainly nerve-wracking, but it was such an honor to get picked period. I come from a program of great players, and to be on a list with them is truly exciting."

On paper, Plouffe has landed in a good spot. She gets to play in Seattle, which is the closest franchise to her home of Edmonton, Alberta — about a three-hour plane ride for her parents. She steps into a veteran-laden team, led by longtime All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson.

And because Jackson won't play this upcoming season — due to injury — there could be playing time in the frontcourt for Plouffe to claim. A 6-foot-4 combination forward, Plouffe is the first Utah player to be selected in the draft since Morgan Warburton.

"She's in good hands and they know her very well," Utes coach Anthony Levrets said. "Both sides have talked a lot over the past few weeks and they really like her. I think it's the best women's franchise in the world. It's such a cool thing for the program to see the players having success. We play quality basketball and we have quality players. This is just a great celebration for Plouffe."

This has been a difficult season for Plouffe, who suffered a death in the family in December and then had to carry a very young Utah team through the rugged Pac-12. But for two seasons, she's been one of the best players in the league, one of the most versatile and one of the best rebounders.

She brings a measure of maturity to the Storm and the ability to do a little bit of everything. Her rookie season will begin soon, as she reports to training camp in a few weeks.


twitter: @tjonessltrib —

Los Angeles Sparks select BYU's Hamson

The Los Angeles Sparks picked BYU's Jennifer Hamson in the second round of Monday night's WNBA draft, even though Hamson plans to step away from basketball for a year to play volleyball. › C2 —

MichellePlouffe file

• Two-time all-conference selection.

• Four year starter under Anthony Levrets.

• Is the fifth Utah player since 2006 to be drafted into the WNBA.



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