Hairston takes game to WNBA

Another Owl has landed in the WNBA.

Kamesha Hairston became the second-ever Temple player to join the ranks of the WNBA when the Connecticut Sun selected her 12th overall Tuesday afternoon.

Hairston joins Candice Dupree, the sixth overall pick last year, as the second Temple player ever selected in the WNBA Draft.

The 6-foot forward will play against Dupree, a member of the Chicago Sky, four times this season. The two former Owls will meet for the first time as professional adversaries May 31.

Hairston’s new team is loaded with potential. Led by five-time WNBA All-Star Nykesha Sales, the Sun finished first in the Eastern Conference with a 26-8 record last season before losing to the Detroit Shock in the Eastern Conference finals.

Sun coach Mike Thibault told the Hartford Courant Tuesday that he was looking to draft a wing or a versatile forward after interviewing more than 10 players in Cleveland last weekend.

Hairston, the Atlantic Ten Conference Player of the Year, led Temple to a 25-8 overall record and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, where the Owls fell to Duke in the second round. She was also selected to the A-10 First Team and All Defensive Teams and was named to the 2007 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America Team.

Hairston led the Owls and the A-10 in scoring with an 18.9-points-per-game average. She also led the Owls in rebounding, steals and double-doubles.

She finished her career as the fourth-best scorer in Temple history behind Marilyn Stephens, Dupree and Pam Balogh, respectively.

Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the Shock, told the Detroit Free Press today that Hairston improved her draft stock by playing well in the pre-draft camps.

“She was the best player out there on the first day as far as being noticeable,” Laimbeer said.

Hairston will have a chance to be noticed May 19, when the Sun play their first game of the 2007 season.

Tyson McCloud can be reached at

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