April 20, 2001
SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Three senior members of the 2001 Notre Dame NCAA national champion women's basketball team were selected in each of the first three rounds of the Women's National Basketball Association draft on Friday. Ruth Riley, Niele Ivey and Kelley would join current Irish assistant coach and 1992 Notre Dame graduate Coquese Washington (Houston Comets) and 1997 graduates Beth (Morgan) Cunningham (Washington Mystics) and Katryna Gaither (Utah Starzz) in the WNBA.
Two-time All-America center and national and BIG EAST player-of-the-year Riley went in the first round and with the fifth pick overall to the Miami Sol. Fifth-year All-America point guard Ivey was the third player taken in the second when the Indiana Fever selected her with the 19th selection overall. Senior forward and BIG EAST most improved player Siemon went in the final selection of the third round and 48th pick overall to the Los Angeles Sparks.
Notre Dame was one of five schools to have three players drafted. The Irish were three of 11 BIG EAST Conference players drafted in the four-round, 64-player draft, as the BIG EAST was the best represented conference in the draft. Other BIG EAST players drafted were Connecticut's Svetlana Abrosimova, Kelly Schumacher and Shea Ralph, Georgetown's Katie Smrcka-Duffy, Rutgers Tasha Pointer and Tammy Sutton-Brown, Syracuse's Beth Record and Virginia Tech's Tere Williams.