Cooper Tabbed With First Pick Of 2nd Round

By Jeff Rapp, April 14th, 2017

Ohio State’s lone outgoing senior, Shayla Cooper, ended her career with a strong late-season showing including some highlight moments in the postseason.

A power forward who is capable of hitting from the outside, Cooper apparently caught the eye of professional scouts with her tenacity, hustle and improved skill set.

On Thursday night, Cooper, a native of Norcross, Ga., was the first pick of the second round of the WNBA Draft, held in New York City. The Connecticut Sun tabbed her with with the pick, making Cooper the 13th Buckeye to be selected in the WNBA Draft.

Last year, former Ohio State guard Ameryst Alston becoming WNBA property when she was taken 24th overall. Cooper was the 13th player in this year’s draft.

A fan favorite for her high-energy playing style, Cooper played in 92 games in her career and 90 as a Buckeye. She was the 33rd player in OSU history to record 1,000 career points and finished with 1,070.

Cooper had 26 career double-doubles as a Buckeye and held career averages of 11.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The two-time second team All-Big Ten performer transferred to Ohio State after playing the first two games of the 2013-14 season at Georgetown.

Cooper is set to graduate this May with a degree in communications.

The first pick of the draft was high-scoring guard Kelsey Plum of the University Washington, who is now a member of the San Antonio Stars.

Several other first-rounders were familiar names to Ohio State fans. Kentucky forward Evelyn Akhator went third overall to Dallas, followed by the following Big Ten stars: Northwestern forward Nia Coffey (fifth to San Antonio), Maryland guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (sixth to Washington), Maryland center Brionna Jones (eighth to Connecticut) and Michigan State guard Tori Jankowska (ninth to Chicago).

Selected right after Cooper at pick No. 12 was Notre Dame guard Lindsay Allen, who, like Akhator, faced the Buckeyes in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.