PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 16, 2012) – Rutgers senior guards Khadijah Rushdan (Wilmington, Del.) and April Sykes (Starkville, Miss.) were selected in the 2012 WNBA Draft, announced Monday. The draft was held at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., with live coverage on ESPN2.
The Los Angeles Sparks selected Rushdan with the third pick in the second round (15th overall), while Sykes was taken with the fourth pick of the third round (28th overall).
“I’m excited and very grateful for the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing professional basketball in the WNBA,” said Rushdan. “The Los Angeles Sparks are a great organization and I look forward to going out there and working hard.”
During her Rutgers career, Rushdan appeared in 135 career games, making 117 starts. A two-time All-BIG EAST selection, she scored in double figures in 65 outings, recorded 11 double-digit rebounding games, seven double-doubles and one triple-double (only second player in RU history) in her career. This season, Rushdan achieved a pair of milestones becoming the 30th player in program history to record 1,000 career points and just the second player in Rutgers history (men’s or women’s) to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists. She finished her career ranked tied for first in career games played (135), second in free throws attempted (554), third in made free throws (379), seventh in assists (464) and 17th in points (1,288) in the Rutgers record books.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to continue to play the game I love,” said Sykes. “I’m excited to play for the Los Angeles Sparks and Coach Ross, someone I’ve known since I was 10 years old. It’s also going to be a lot of fun to have the chance to play with Khadijah again.”
Sykes played in 129 career games ‘On the Banks,’ earning starts in 74 contests. She owns 53 double-digit scoring games, including 12 with 20 or more points. Sykes became the 31st player to score 1,000 career points and is represented in the Rutgers record books in a number of categories. She ranks fourth in career three-point field goals attempted (468), sixth in three-point field goals made (138), tied for eighth in games played (129) and 24th in points (1,162)
“I’m so thrilled for these two young women,” said Stringer. “They have worked extremely hard throughout their careers and have come a long way. It’s a joy to do something you love and they definitely share a genuine love for the game of basketball. This is a great opportunity for both of them and I know they will do whatever it takes to make themselves, their families and Rutgers very proud.”
Rutgers has had at least one player selected in the WNBA Draft in six of the past eight drafts except in 2007 and 2011 (no draft eligible players in 2011). It marks the third time during that span that two Scarlet Knights were chosen in one draft. Rushdan and Sykes join current WNBA players Matee Ajavon (Washington Mystics), Essence Carson (New York Liberty), Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), Epiphanny Prince (Chicago Sky), Tammy Sutton-Brown (Indiana Fever) and Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty).
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