LINCOLN — Like the fulfillment of any dream, former Nebraska guard Lindsey Moore calls her presence at Monday night’s WNBA draft “surreal.”
She’s one of the 12 invited to Bristol, Conn., for the 7 p.m. event. If she’s drafted in any of the three rounds — she wouldn’t have been invited if it weren’t a shoe-in — she’ll be on ESPN2 or ESPNU. Just weeks after ending her collegiate career by leading the Huskers to the second Sweet 16 in their history, she’ll be trying on duds for her new pro team — and getting paid to play.
“You really don’t expect yourself to go until it happens,” the 5-foot-9 Moore said during a layover Friday from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. “It’s weird, but I’m really excited. They pack a lot in a few days.”
Meetings. Hobnobbing with other top college players. Even a hair and makeup session for a night on TV. On Sunday, Moore, who’s projected to go in the first round of the 12-team draft, posted on Twitter a photo of the WNBA draft studio. “Can’t wait for tomorrow,” her tweet said.
Moore’s presence in Bristol is the byproduct of a Nebraska career in which she set school records for career assists, minutes, starts, total wins and NCAA tournament wins. As a senior, she averaged 15.1 points and 5.7 assists, saving her best performance (20 points, 10 assists) for an upset win against Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament.
After the Huskers lost to Duke 53-45 in the Sweet 16, Moore said she took two days off to decompress. Then, she went right back to playing pickup basketball — against guys — at NU’s Campus Recreation Center. She talked to former Huskers Kelsey Griffin and Danielle Page to find an agent. She picked Page’s agent, Jeanne McNulty-King.
She’s only had extensive conversations with one WNBA team — the San Antonio Silver Stars, who pick eighth in the first round and 16th in the second — but expects she could go anywhere after the first three picks, which pundits agree will be Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins.
NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has publicly floated the idea of drafting Griner, but few expect it to happen. Delle Donne is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, while Diggins is considered the top point guard prospect. Besides Diggins and Moore, Penn State’s Alex Bentley, Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers, Connecticut’s Kelly Faris and Ohio State’s Tayler Hill are the other guards invited. A&M center Kelsey Bone, who had her career ended by NU, declared for the WNBA draft and will be in Bristol, as well.
Though Moore, a native of suburban Seattle, wouldn’t mind heading to the hometown Storm, she said she’ll go “anywhere.” She hasn’t yet chewed on whether she’ll play overseas after the summer WNBA season, but Moore told The World-Herald in a previous interview she’d be excited to do it.
But after she’s drafted Monday, Moore said, she first heads back to Lincoln to finish classes. Apparently this was a small concern to Moore’s roommate and best friend, Husker junior Jordan Hooper.
“She said she was really happy,” Moore said, “but then she asked ‘You’re coming back, right?’”
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