Add another accomplishment to Candice Dupree’s lengthy list.
Dupree became the first Temple women’s basketball player ever to be selected in the WNBA Draft when the expansion Chicago Sky selected her sixth overall Wednesday afternoon.
The selection marked another WNBA first. Dupree and Owls coach Dawn Staley will become the first collegiate player-coach pairing to compete against one another. During the course of the Owls’ 24-8 season, Staley said the upcoming WNBA season will be her last. The two will play each other on June 2 in Houston, when Dupree’s Sky visit Staley’s Comets.
In an online chat hosted by WNBA.com, Dupree said she expects to play the forward position in the pros. The Tampa, Fla., native played the center spot in her first three seasons at Temple, then moved to forward this past season.
Dupree’s selection to an expansion team gives her the opportunity to lift a franchise off the ground, like she did at Temple. The Third-Team All-American helped convert Temple into one of the nation’s top basketball programs over the last two seasons.
Dupree led the Owls to three straight Atlantic Ten Conference championships and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, from 2004-06. During that span, she was twice named A-10 Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. She also led the Owls to their first national ranking and first victory over a top 10 opponent.
With Dupree, the team’s leading scorer this season, the Owls were nationally ranked from start to finish for the first time in school history.
Dupree finished her Temple career second in points, third in rebounds and tied for second in blocks. Those rankings may have been even higher had she not missed much of her freshman season with an injury. Dupree’s 51.4 shooting percentage ranks first all-time at Temple.
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.