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Originally published April 11, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Page modified April 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM

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Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot is third pick in WNBA draft

Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot is "very surprised" to be selected by Chicago with the third overall pick in the WNBA draft.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot was selected by Chicago with the No. 3 overall pick in the WNBA draft Monday. She's the school's second player to be drafted and the highest selection from the state of Washington.

Attending the selections at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., Vandersloot told reporters she was "very surprised" to be selected so high. Last season, the Tulsa Shock selected teammate Vivian Frieson in the third round but she was cut before the season.

Vandersloot, who starred at Kentwood High School, led the Zags to their first Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. She's regarded as the best point guard out of college since Storm All-Star Sue Bird left Connecticut.

Vandersloot, who is 5 feet 8, won the 2011 Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in Division I, as Bird did in 2002. The Kent native led the nation in assists (10.2) for the second consecutive season and broke the NCAA season assist record with 367. She's the first NCAA Division I player, male or female, to amass career totals of 2,000 points and 1,000 assists.

UConn star Maya Moore was the No. 1 overall pick to Minnesota, as expected, and Liz Cambage, a 6-foot-8 Australian center, was the No. 2 pick to Tulsa.

Tacoma native Alex Montgomery of Georgia Tech was selected with the 10th overall pick, by New York. The former Lincoln High School star was the shock of the opening round, most not even having her as a possibility. Montgomery, a 6-foot-1 wing player, averaged 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds last season.

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com

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