LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior standout A’dia Mathies (pronounced AH-dee-uh MATH-is) was the 10th overall selection in the 2013 Women’s National Basketball Association Draft as she was chosen by the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round on Monday night in Bristol, Conn.
Mathies, a native of Louisville, Ky., is UK’s highest draft pick in school history. She is the third player in school history to be chosen in the draft and the second Wildcat in the last three seasons to be selected in the first round. Victoria Dunlap (2008-11) was chosen as the 11th overall selection in the 2011 draft, while Shantia Owens (1999-2000) was the 53rd pick in the third round of the 2000 WNBA Draft.
In her senior season, Mathies was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by The Associated Press and Co-SEC Player of the Year by the league coaches. She led the seventh-ranked Wildcats in scoring (16.1 points per game), 3-point field goals made (73) and 3-point field goal percentage (.422), and was second on the team in steals (69) and assists (80). She reached double-figure scoring in 34-of-36 games and led UK to a school-record four straight NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back Elite Eight appearances.
“All of us are thrilled for A’dia,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “She did so much for the Kentucky program while she as here and we had no doubt she was one of the top players in the country. Being chosen as a first-round pick just shows what she did for us and how hard she has worked to get here. I think the Los Angeles Sparks made a great pick.”
The 5-foot-11 guard ended her illustrious Wildcat career ranking in the top 10 of 13 career lists, including No. 1 in games played (140), games started (139) and steals (320). She moved ahead of Dunlap in career scoring at No. 2 with 2,014 points, becoming just the fifth player in UK basketball history, men or women, to chart 2,000 or more career points. She joins Valerie Still (2,763, 1979-83), Dan Issel (2,138, 1967-70), Kenny Walker (2,080, 1982-86), Jack Givens (2,038, 1974-78) on that elite list. She ranks second all-time in 3-point field goals made (177) and free throws made (413).
Los Angeles will play two preseason games beginning May 12 vs. Seattle in the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., at 1 p.m. PDT followed by a matchup vs. Tulsa on Sunday, May 19 at noon PDT at the SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif. The Sparks, coached by former Florida and Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross, begin regular-season play at home in the Staples Center vs. Seattle on Sunday, May 26 at 5:30 p.m. PDT. For more information visit www.LASparks.com.