Apr 152012
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Only one player has ever been drafted out of CSU to the WNBA: Becky Hammon in 1999. Kim Mestdagh could become the second on Monday.

Mestdagh has been preparing for a professional basketball career since her senior season ended in March.

“I took a week off then started training for the (2012 Final Four) combine, and I’ve been in touch with agencies since then,” she said.

Mestdagh signed with the For Players agency on April 10. They have been putting highlight film together for her and primarily promoting her overseas, focusing on Spain.

“You’ve gotta be realistic,” Mestdagh said. “If something comes out of the draft I’d be more than happy, but my main focus is next season overseas.”

Mestdagh hails from Ieper, Belgium, so the move wouldn’t be as drastic as it would for most athletes looking to make the jump.

“She’s content to move back home and be close with her family,” CSU coach Kristen Holt said.

With only 12 teams in the WNBA and 11 players per team, the odds for any player making a roster are long.

“I think she’s selling herself short by saying she’s being realistic,” former WNBA draft pick and current ESPN analyst Abby Waner said. “She affects the game in a number of ways. I would not be surprised if Kim gets invited to a training camp.”

Waner said that Mestdagh’s strengths entering the draft are her shooting, size and defense.

“A truly effective guard has to be able to score, to keep defenses honest,” she said. “(Kim) won’t be a liability on the court.”

Mestdagh finished her career at CSU with 1,676 points, 232 steals and 290 3-pointers made at CSU, ranking fourth, second and second respectively on the university’s all time list.

The one thing Mestdagh could still improve on, according to Waner, is her quickness.

Regardless of whether she plays in the WNBA or in Europe, Mestdagh will be fulfilling a dream.

“She talked at a pretty young age about wanting to (play professionally),” Holt said. “She has exceeded where I thought she would be.”

Mestdagh talked about playing professionally even during her freshman year, and now the moment has arrived.

“I always had the thought in the back of my head,” Mestdagh said. “I knew one way or another I’d keep playing basketball.”

Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

What: WNBA Draft
When: Noon
Where: Bristol, Conn.
Watch: ESPN2

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