January Selected by Connecticut Sun in WNBA Draft
April 13, 2017
CHICAGO – Jessica January took the next step in her basketball career when the DePaul senior was selected by the Connecticut Sun Thursday night in the third round of the WNBA Draft presented by State Farm.
January was drafted 28th overall at the event hosted by Samsung 837 in New York and televised by ESPN2 and ESPNU.
“I’m just so excited,” January said. “I was at State watching it on TV with my teammates Meri Bennett-Swanson and Meghan Waldron, Eli Cain of the men’s team and coach Doug Bruno. When my name flashed on the screen, Meri started screaming and coach Bruno stood up and shouted.
“I was getting a little nervous. I didn’t set any expectations and stayed away from looking into the WNBA teams in case I didn’t make it. It was a big sigh of relief when it happened.
“I still have to make the team by going through training camp and making the cuts. But I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to focus even more on my workouts now.”
The point guard from Richfield, Minn. becomes the 10th Blue Demon chosen in the WNBA Draft and first since Brittany Hrynko was picked in the second round by the Connecticut Sun in 2015 and then traded to the Atlanta Dream.
Associated Press National Player of the Year Kelsey Plum of Washington was the first overall pick and is headed to the San Antonio Stars.
January was voted BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s coaches heading into the 2016-17 season. She got off to a fast start as the Maggie Dixon Classic MVP and being named to the all-tournament team of the prestigious Gulf Coast Showcase in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Her best stretch of the season came in consecutive 25-point performances against Alabama-Birmingham (25 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals), Northwestern (25 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals) and Western Kentucky (25 points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals).
She was leading DePaul in scoring and among the NCAA leaders in assists when she suffered a broken finger during the Blue Demons’ BIG EAST opener at Georgetown.
After being sidelined for two months, the CoSIDA Academic All-American and WNBA Honorable Mention All-American returned with a flourish. In just her second game back, January filled out the stat sheet with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 79-70 victory over Georgetown. It was the second triple-double of her career and third in Blue Demon history.
Her comeback continued in helping DePaul advance to the BIG EAST tournament title game, and January was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team.
She finished strong in the final game of her career, finishing with 18 points and nine assists in a NCAA Second Round loss to host Mississippi State that went on to upset Connecticut in the Final Four before falling to South Carolina in the title game.
The multi-talented point guard finished the season averaging 15 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.
January will graduate from DePaul fourth all-time in career assists (554), tied for seventh in career steals (238), 10th all-time in field goals (568) and No. 17 in points with 1,530.
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