April 29, 1998
SEACAUCUS, N.J. – Former University of Miami women’s basketballstandout Octavia Blue was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 15thoverall pick in the second round of the 1998 WNBA Draft. She is thefirst-ever UM women’s basketball player to be drafted by either of theprofessional women’s basketball leagues, WNBA or ABL.
“I’m so excited to be playing in this league,” said Blue.”I’ve dreamed about this for such a long time and now that it is a reality– It is so amazing. I can’t wait till I put on my new uniform andplay in the (Great Western) Forum.”
Blue, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection as a senior, ranked firston the Hurricanes and second in the conference with a 19.2 ppg average.She was also named a KODAK Honorable Mention All-American and picked tothe Women’s Basketball News All-America Third Team following her seniorseason. She was just the third player in school history to eclipse1,700 points and 600 rebounds in a career.
“She has a passion for the game,” said UM head coach Ferne Labati.”There is no telling how far she can go now that she is playing againstthe best players in the world. We’re all very proud and excited forher at the University of Miami.”
A starter in 107 of her total 109 games at Miami, Blue will bejoining stars Lisa Leslie, Zheng Haixia and Jamila Wideman on the Sparksroster and playing under first-year head coach Julie Rousseau. LosAngeles selected Allison Feaster of Harvard with the fifth pick in thefirst round.
Rounding out the Sparks second-ever draft were three-time All-PAC 10first-team selection and ‘92 UCLA graduate Rehema Stephens (third round)and 1991-92 Big West Tournament MVP and ’92 Cal-Santa Barbara graduateErica Kienast (fourth round).