Shakena Richardson is on her way to the WNBA.
The Dallas Wings named the Seton Hall women’s basketball guard the 30th pick in the third round of the 2016 draft Thursday night. With the selection, Richardson becomes the first player in SHU women’s history to be drafted.
Richardson found out about the big news while in the company of loved ones.
“I was at home. I was watching (the draft) and I was surrounded by my family,” Richardson said. “I was overwhelmed with joy; I hugged my parents. It’s great to cap off this journey this way.”
After playing two years at Rutgers and one at Florida State, Richardson came to Seton Hall as a transfer graduate student in 2015-16. She was inserted immediately into the starting lineup and quickly became the primary ball handler.
In her new role as a Pirate, Richardson led the team in assists (5.6) and steals (1.5) per game. Often feeding the team’s shooters or finding cutters to the rim, Richardson posted 175 assists on the season, 108 more than the next highest player, Aleesha Powell.
Richardson also finished the year averaging 12.4 points per game, good for third-best on the team. Her ability to drive and finish at the rim combined with her passing and defensive acumen all played a pivotal role in the team’s 23-9 record and return to the NCAA Tournament.
Now Richardson gets to bring that talent to Dallas.
She tweeted her initial reaction to getting drafted.
The emotions are flooding I'm so thankful and blessed thank you @SHUWBB for allowing me to be myself and thank you Dallas Wings opportunity
— Shakena Richardson (@Kena_24) April 15, 2016
The program’s point leader in Tabatha Richardson-Smith was expected to be drafted by many, but was not chosen Thursday night.
Richardson will have her first chance to make her WNBA debut when the Dallas Wings kick the 2016 season off against the Indiana Fever on May 14. She said she is ready for the opportunity.
“I’m excited to play at that level and do whatever it takes. I’m a sponge, ready to take it all in.”
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @eswint22.