Which top player currently on the Portland Fire was not chosen until the third round of the WNBA draft in 1999?
Today, Ukari Figgs is considered one of the best young players in the WNBA. But her talent was definitely underestimated coming out of college.
A guard on the 1999 Purdue team that won the NCAA Division I championship, her play was overshadowed by Stephanie White-McCarty, a Kodak all-American and runner-up for national player of the year (McCarty averaged 17 minutes per game and 5.6 points per game for Indiana last year; she is taking this season off to recover from three offseason surgeries). Los Angeles picked Figgs in the third round and saw her as a back-up player.
Just one year later, Figgs was starting for the Sparks, and in her third year, she helped LA win its first WNBA championship. Traded in the preseason to Portland, Figgs is now helping the Fire up its winning percentage--the team is on a six-game winning streak.
Figgs currently ranks first in the WNBA in free-throw percentage (.955) and leads her team in points per game, assists per game, and minutes played. Last season, she finished up ranked second in the league in three point field goal percentage and sixth in three point field goals made.
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