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Missouri's Bri Kulas gets drafted to WNBA

Monday, April 14, 2014 | 10:59 p.m. CDT
Missouri forward Bri Kulas attempts a shot during play against Ole Miss on Thursday at Mizzou Arena. Kulas scored her 1,000th-career point in the game and was injured temporarily in the second-half. She retired to the bench and re-entered play again but fouled out after which the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

COLUMBIA – Missouri women's basketball player Bri Kulas became a Star on Monday night.

The San Antonio Silver Stars selected the senior forward 28th overall, making her the seventh Tiger drafted into the WNBA.

"unbelievable feeling, thankful for the San Antonio Stars and this amazing opportunity, can't wait !!!" Kulas tweeted Monday night, roughly an hour after her pick. She was not immediately available for an interview with the Missourian.

The Stars, who went 12-22 and missed the WNBA playoffs last year, begin their season on May 17 – the weekend of MU graduation. Kulas will attend Stars training camp in two weeks, and the Stars open preseason play on May 2, according to a Missouri spokesman.

Kulas, who averaged a team-best 18.3 points per game this season, is the first Tiger drafted since Christine Flores was picked by the Phoenix Mercury in 2012.

After transferring from Johnson Community College before her junior year, Kulas played in 62 out of 63 games as a Tiger and scored more than 1,000 points in just two seasons at Missouri.

The Overland Park, Kan., native was an all-SEC First Team selection.

San Antonio also drafted Notre Dame guard Kayla McBride and Spain's Astou Ndour, in the first and second rounds, respectively. Kulas went in the third round, nine picks before the final one of the draft, which took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

"I am absolutely thrilled for Bri," Missouri head coach Robin Pingeton said in a statement released by MU athletics. "This is a great honor for both her and our program. Bri has worked extremely hard for this opportunity, and she has proven all season long that she has the ability to play at this level.

"It has been remarkable to watch her grow both as a player and as a leader, and I am confident she is more than ready for this next phase of her playing career. She has a true passion for the game, and it will be fun for all of us to continue watching her play." 

The national storylines from draft day were all about the hometown Connecticut Sun.

Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.

The Sun acquired the Liberty's fourth pick this year, which turned out to be Alyssa Thomas as well as Kelsey Bone and New York's first round pick next year. Charles had told the Sun that if she wasn't traded, she'd sit out this year.

Ogwumike joined her sister Nneka, drafted by Los Angeles in 2012, as the only siblings to be chosen first in the WNBA.

Peyton and Eli Manning are the only other siblings to be taken No. 1 in the history of the four major American pro sports, according to STATS.

"When someone told me that I was like, 'Whoa, that's pretty cool,'" Chiney Ogwumike said. "We fell into the sport and found our passion in it, and now it's life. To share that moment with my sister, she's the reason I play, and to be called a No. 1 draft pick is inconceivable."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Supervising editor is Mark Selig.


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