Georgia seniors Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James and Anne Marie Armstrong were chosen in Monday night’s WNBA Draft.
Hassell was taken in the second round by the Indiana Fever, while James and Armstrong were tabbed in the third round round by Seattle and Atlanta, respectively.
“As a coach, it always makes you feel to good to see players grow and mature,” head coach Andy Landers said. “It makes you feel even better when you see them reach their goals and objectives. J.J., Anne Marie and ‘Jas’ all aspired to play at the next level and now they’ll have that opportunity.”
All told, 16 Georgia players have been taken in the WNBA Draft over the past 13 years. That tally includes eight first-round selections.
Hassell, a 6-2, forward from Lebanon, Tennessee, was named first-team All-SEC by league coaches and second-team All-SEC in balloting of the Associated Press this season. She averaged a team-best 12.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Hassell also ranked No. 14 in the nation in field goal percentage, connecting on 53.1 percent of her shots from the floor.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid and now my dream has come true,” Hassell said. “I’ve dreamed about it, but I didn’t know if in a million years if it would come true. It’s just a blessing from God. You’re just sitting there waiting and then all of a sudden your name pops up and you think ‘Is that really my name that just came up?’ I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the coaching staff here at Georgia and so many people who have helped me since I was a little kid. So many people helped develop and motivate me, and I’m just so very, very thankful for all of them.”
James, a 5-9, guard from Memphis, Tennessee, averaged 11.0 ppg as a senior and led the Lady Bulldogs in assists for the third consecutive season. She finished her career ranked among UGA’s career leaders in five different statistical categories – No. 18 in points (1,434), No. 7 in assists (433), No. 7 in games started (123), No. 8 in steals (260) and No. 8 in FG attempts (1,428).
“It’s a dream I’ve had ever since I was a little kid,” James said. “You think about it and dream about it when you’re little and now 14-15 years later, you hear your named called. I’m excited about the opportunity to go to training camp. Just to be a part of the WNBA is a great accomplishment and is really special to me.”
Armstrong, a 6-3, guard/forward from Norcross, Georgia, was a consensus first-team All-SEC performer as a junior who was slowed for much of her senior campaign by a high ankle sprain. In stats for SEC games during her junior season, Armstrong ranked among the league’s top-10 leaders in nine of 13 categories kept.
“Growing up, I think it’s anyone’s dream who plays basketball to be able to play in college,” Armstrong said. “At the top of those dreams would be the opportunity to play professionally. To be drafted by my hometown team is something I don’t think I could have fathomed. My dreams really are coming true. Just to have a chance to try out and make the team in Atlanta, where I’ve grown up my entire life and most of my family lives, is very exciting.”
James, Hassell and Armstrong became the Lady Bulldogs’ 32nd, 33rd and 34th 1,000-point career scorers. They also became only the second trio of classmates to reach the millennium mark in the history of Georgia Basketball.
Georgia finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 28-7 record overall and a 12-4 mark in SEC play. The Lady Bulldogs ranked No. 10 in the final edition of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll after advancing to the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.