Niece of ex-Cowboy receiver chosen 3rd overall

Updated: April 16, 2005, 5:52 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Mercury made the shot-blocking niece of former NFL great Michael Irvin their No. 1 pick, and the third choice overall, in the WNBA draft on Saturday.

Sandora Irvin, a 6-foot-3 All-America forward from TCU, broke the NCAA career and single-game records for blocked shots. Her 480 blocks shattered the old mark of 428 set by Genia Miller of Cal State-Fullerton in 1991.

She broke the single-game record block record in a triple-double performance of 20 points, 18 rebounds and 16 blocks against UAB. Irvin, the Lady Frogs' career scoring leader, averaged 19.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

"One of our major deficiencies last season was defending and rebounding the post, and Sandora will help address that," Mercury general manager Seth Sulka said. "When it came down to it, we went with a player we felt was going to be the best pro down the line, and we think Sandora will be an all-star in this league."

Angelina Williams, a 6-foot forward from Illinois, was chosen by Phoenix in the second round, the 18th choice overall. Williams averaged 17.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a senior.

In the third round, the Mercury picked 5-6 guard Jamie Carey of Texas. She averaged 12.2 points and 2.5 assists per game as a senior, and was an all-Big 12 selection the past two seasons.

Training camp begins April 25 for the Mercury, 17-17 a year ago. They open their season May 21 at home against Sacramento.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press