The draft for players of Puerto Rican heritage was conducted by the league on Tuesday. Two drafts were conducted as new entrants and players who were not retained by their previous teams were picked. With the continued signing of strong non-Puerto Rican players and the infusion of local talent, the league should be an exciting one to follow starting in August.
As expected, the first big was Jennifer O’Neill. The dynamic guard, who spent last season focusing on a chance at the WNBA and establishing herself in Europe, will likely keep the balance of power with Carolina. The next three picks were also former Division I players. Manati added the premier post player available as Damika Martinez also spent part of last season in Europe. The top two rookies came off the board next as Aguada selected Tayra Melendez of Rhode Island and Carolina picked Ashley Perez of James Madison. Charlenny Frias, who has been playing in the Dominican Leagues was picked sixth as teams continued to make their selections from a pool of players that had tried out the previous day.
After the entry draft, teams got to pick from players who had played for other teams that were not retained by their previous teams. A total of fourteen players had their re-signing rights picked up by new clubs.
First Round: 1. Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky (Carolina), Damika Martinez, Iona (Manati), 3. Tayra Melendez, Rhode Island (Aguada), 4. Ashley Perez, James Madison (Carolina), 5. Danielle Powell Southern Connecticut State (Manati), 6. Charlenny Frias (Mayaguez), 7. Ashley Gomez, Adelphi (Carolina), 8. Paulette Addison, North Greenville (Lajas) [Read more…]