Despite having an astonishing collegiate career cut short by a tough injury, former Oregon center Jillian Alleyne still got to experience something every athlete dreams of; hearing their name called at the draft of a professional league.
On Thursday night, the Phoenix Mercury selected Alleyne with the 20th overall pick of the draft, becoming the first Duck to be selected in the WNBA Draft since Amanda Johnson was taken 33rd overall back in 2012, also by the Phoenix Mercury.
The Mercury picked up Alleyne even though she will miss her entire rookie season while recovering from a torn ACL, which she suffered back on February 23. Alleyne was this year's co-Pac-12 Player of the Year after averaging 19 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Her 92 career double-doubles ranked second in NCAA history while her 1,712 rebounds are third-most in NCAA history.
Alleyne will remain in Oregon for the next six to nine months, recovering from her injury while continuing to take classes. She won't be able to sign a professional contract until she has been medically cleared to play, but Phoenix general manager Jim Pitman expects Alleyne to join the Mercury for the 2017 season.
20th pick 2nd Round Phoenix Mercury God knows the plans He has for me and I will continue to trust Him in all that He does. Tonight was a dream come true. To see my name on the draft board overwhelmed me with pure joy. Thank you to everyone who came to the watch party, I will remember all of you and this day for the rest of my life. First order of business is rehabbing and getting healthy. I won't be back on the floor until next year but I'm just blessed to be in this position. Thank you for a great home these past 4 years Oregon (I'll be here in Oregon for rehab ) and I'm looking forward to my years in Phoenix. #wdraft16 #GoDucks #PhoenixMercury #ProDuck #JilliansDraftDay