APRIL 5, 2012 - Tyra White #20 of the Texas A&M Aggies controls the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse
Photographer: Jamie Sabau - Getty Images
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BRISTOL, Conn. - Former Hickman Mills basketball star Tyra White is headed to Hollywood for a professional basketball career.
The Los Angeles Sparks chose White with the 16th overall pick in the WNBA draft. The Sparks drafted her with the second pick in the second round. She was the first Big 12 player to be taken in the draft.
It’s the fifth straight year a WNBA team has drafted a Texas A&M player. The San Antonio Silver Stars drafted former Lee’s Summit High School star Danielle Adams in last year’s WNBA draft.
"I've always wanted to play in the WNBA ever since I was little and I met Cynthia Cooper," White said. "Today was the longest day of my life, but having them call my name is special. It's kind of unreal, but it is a dream come true. I knew I held the option in my hands, but playing at A&M taught me to work hard every play and to not take plays off. That's something the coaches instill in us. A&M took me to the next level. Out of a select few in women's college basketball, we (Carter and I) were chosen and it's a great opportunity for both of us."
White is only the third Aggie women’s basketball player to become a two-time WBCA All-American.
The six-foot guest finished her A&M career ranked fourth all-time in career field goals made and career field goals attempted. She finished her college career seventh in career points with 1,301.
In her final two seasons, White averaged 13.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and led the Aggies in scoring as a senior.
Another Texas A&M player, Sydney Carter, has also joined the WNBA. The Chicago Sky chose Carter 27th overall in Monday’s WNBA draft.
“I'm happy for Tyra and Sydney and I'm happy that the WNBA recognizes what we do as a program - develop kids to play on both sides of the ball," A&M head coach Gary Blair said. "With eight kids drafted in the last five years, it says a lot for Texas A&M. It says that we can develop kids to play at the next level. Carol Ross (L.A. Sparks Head Coach, who had been handling radio duties for Texas women's basketball) has done her homework watching Tyra, and Carter is an outstanding choice by Chicago. It's been a great five-year run for us and I know we will continue to have more of the same in years to come."
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