Bradford awaits selection in WNBA Draft
Crystal Bradford, one of the most successful women’s basketball players in Central Michigan University history, has entered the WNBA Draft, which takes place at 7 p.m. in Uncaseville, Conn. at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Bradford will be at home in Inkster during the draft, spending time with her family.
“I’m very stoked,” Bradford said. “Coming from Detroit this has always been (an) ultimate goal of mine. I wasn't invited to the draft but I’m so excited that I get to go home and be with my family. They will keep me at ease as the draft goes by.”
If Bradford is drafted, she will be the second women’s basketball player from the Mid-American Conference ever drafted. Ball State University’s Tamara Bowie in 2003, 36th overall in the third round was the first.
Bradford is projected as a top ten pick by many WNBA experts. Most of those projections have her being selected anywhere from picks sixth through eighth overall.
The San Antonio Silver Stars hold the sixth pick, the Los Angeles Sparks have the seventh pick and the Washington Mystics hold the eighth overall pick. Bradford said four teams have contacted her showing interest in drafting her.
“I don't get too excited about it because it’s just a waiting game," Bradford said. "Everybody is playing poker right now, nobody is showing their hand.”
CMU Head Coach Sue Guevara said Thursday’s draft has been a constant topic of conversation between her and Bradford.
“I’ve talked to almost every WNBA coach and she is going to be drafted,” Guevara said. “It’s just going to be a matter of when. I think it's great. It’s good for her and it's good for our program.”
For the last four seasons at CMU, Bradford has dominated in almost every phase of the game.
“This week has been extremely long,” Bradford said. “Monday was the longest day of my life. I was thinking, 'how am I going to make it to Thursday?' Thursday morning I’m going to get up. I have two classes. I have to then go home after my classes, pick up my best friend and get dressed. Until the draft starts I’m just going to be with family, spend time with them and laugh.”
The Detroit native leaves CMU leading in four major offensive categories including points (2,006), rebounds (1,140), field goals made (805) and blocks (177).
On the defensive end she ranks third in career steals with 278.
In 2011-12 Bradford was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. She was an All-MAC First Team selection in her sophomore and junior years while being named All-MAC Second Team last season.
Her final season saw her being named as a WBCA Region 4 All-American nominee.
She is one of two players from a mid-major university projected to go in the first round this season.
When camp starts with a WNBA team Bradford said she will rely on the veteran players for help and guidance on how to be the best.
“When I get to camp with a team I’m going to walk up to the hardest working player and say I want to shadow you and work with you," Bradford said. "So I can be at the peak of my game.”