Two Tigers wait for WNBA draft pick

Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:19 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This afternoon, Christelle N’Garsanet could be facing an interesting choice over her plans for the summer.

On one hand, the senior and former Tiger basketball player worked hard off the court, missing an exhibition game to secure an internship at one of St. Louis’ Big Four accounting firms, KPMG. In May, she will graduate with a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting.

On the other hand, she faces the possibility of playing basketball professionally at the highest level, the WNBA, if she is selected in one of the three rounds of today’s draft.

Given the options in front of her, it’s a good day to be Christelle N’Garsanet.

“For right now I haven’t decided what I’ll do,” N’Garsanet said. “I’m just focused on playing well and we’ll see what happens.”

Her teammate, LaToya Bond, is being looked at as a possible combination guard by most draft pundits because her shooting — 51.3 percent this year — improved each season at Missouri.

Bond was an honorable mention All-American at point guard this year in her breakout season and will most likely be drafted in the later half of the draft, if she is selected at all.

This year’s draft is regarded as guard-heavy, with a possibility that four to five point guards will be selected in the first round.

In late February, Bond said that if she went undrafted, playing overseas would not be an option she would seriously entertain.

In their final chance to impress scouts, coaches and general managers, the two were invited to the league’s pre-draft camp in Boston, the site of the Final Four. On Monday they participated in drills and scrimmages throughout the day and into the night at the Yawkey Center.

Bond was solid if unspectacular and did little to hurt her draft stock. N’Garsanet made the most of her last chance to make her mark in the camp, scoring 11 points and pulling down three rebounds in 20 minutes for her team in the last scrimmage of the day.

Despite nearly hitting her season average for points in significantly less playing time, N’Garsanet was happier with another aspect of her game.

“I tried to focus on my defense,” N’Garsanet said. “That’s the one thing I know I can do really well and I think I did okay.”

Bond could not be reached for comment.

Today, four years of hard work could result in a lucrative payoff for two players who didn’t get any national recognition until this season.

Should both former Tigers be selected, they would be the fourth and fifth players recruited and coached by Cindy Stein drafted in the 10-year history of the WNBA. Evan Unrau was the most recent Missouri draft pick, selected by the Washington Mystics in the third round of the 2004 draft.

The draft is set for noon and will be televised on ESPN2.

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