BOULDER – University of Colorado senior Chucky Jeffery was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the 2013 WNBA draft Monday.
She was the 12th pick in the second round and the 24th pick overall.
“I’m truly excited to be a part of the Minnesota Lynx organization,” Jeffery said. “I can’t wait to meet everyone. I’ve always loved Seimone (Agustus); watching Maya Moore, and coming in with (first round pick and Nebraska point guard) Lindsey Moore, it’s going to be fun.
“I’m looking forward to learning everything from the veterans and elevate my game.”
Minnesota was the 2011 WNBA champion and runner up in 2012, finishing 27-7 and first in the Western Conference. The Lynx are coached by Cheryl Reeve.
Jeffery watched the draft on a snowy Colorado night with her Colorado teammates. Once she saw her name on the screen, she caught herself just staring at the television, while her fellow Buffaloes celebrated around her.
“My teammates were going crazy, I had already been a little nervous; it was getting rough,” Jeffery said. “But then the excitement...it’s unexplainable, but wonderful.”
Jeffery is the fifth player in team history to be selected in the WNBA Draft and second in the last three years. Former teammate Brittany Spears (2007-11) was a second round pick in 2011 (19th overall) by the Phoenix Mercury. Jeffery was one of the “excited teammates” when Spears’ name was called two years ago.
“The day I saw Brittany picked, I said ‘I wanted to be there’ and the work starts now,” Jeffery said.
Isabelle Fijalkowski (1994-95) was the second overall pick in the inaugural WNBA Elite Draft in 1997 by the Cleveland Rockers. Raegan Scott (1993-97) was also drafted in 1997, by the Utah Starzz in the regular WNBA Draft third round, 21st overall. Mandy Nightingale (1998-02) was selected by the Portland Fire in the third round, 37th overall pick, in 2002.
A 5-foot-10 guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., Jeffery led Colorado in scoring (13.7 ppg), assists (4.0 apg), rebounds (8.2 rpg) and steals (2.2 spg). She was prominent on the Pac-12 Conference leaderboard ranking fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3), fifth in steals and assists, sixth in overall rebounding and defensive rebounds (6.3 drpg), ninth in scoring and 13th in free-throw percentage (.706). She had 10 double-doubles, sixth in the Pac-12, eight of which came during league play.
Colorado head coach Linda Lappe cites Jeffery’s versatility was something that caught the eye of the Lynx organization.
“They like her ability to rebound from the guard position, that she’s a bigger point guard and can play the (off guard) and score the basket,” Lappe said.
One of the most dynamic players in Colorado history, Jeffery was an honorable mention All-American and a Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region nominee for the 2013 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team.
Lappe feels Jeffery’s overall athleticism and ability to get to the rim will serve her well at the next level. Plus, she’s got a great mind for what is happening out on the court.
“She has good understanding of the game,” Lappe said. “She had to do so much for us for three years, she’s done everything we’ve asked her to do.
“Chucky has worked hard to really improve herself as a basketball player and as a leader. I’m so happy for her, the Lynx is a great organization with a great fan base. She’ll learn a lot there; it’s a great situation for Chucky.”
Jeffery was named All-Pac-12 for the second-straight year by both the media and the coaches. She also earned Pac-12 All-Tournament honors and was an honorable mention to the coaches' All-Defensive team. Jeffery made national headlines in December, leading the Buffaloes to an upset win over then-No. 8 ranked and eventual national runner-up Louisville, earning espnW and U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week honors.
Jeffery is the only player in program history to record 1,600 points, 900 rebounds and 400 assists, ending her career sixth in scoring (1,644), fifth in rebounding (921) and fourth in assists (481).
She also ranks third in minutes played (3,965), fourth in steals (283) and steals average (2.3 spg), fifth in double-doubles (30), sixth in assists average (3.8 apg) and field-goals made (619), seventh in minutes average (31.7 mpg), ninth in rebound average (7.4 rpg), starts (108) and games played (125), 11th in free-throws made (331), 13th in blocks (71), 14th in scoring average (13.2 ppg) and 15th in 3-point field goals (75).
Colorado finished the 2012-13 season at 25-7 overall and fourth place in the Pac-12 at 13-5. The Buffaloes, who were ranked No. 19 in the final AP Top 25 poll, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in team history and first time since 2004.
“This has always been a dream, always in the back of my mind. This year I just focused on my season and continued to get better. The first year (2009-10) was an entire journey in itself, not what we had expected. But with Meagan and Brenna (Malcolm-Peck), we helped turn this program around, it’s remarkable to leave the program in a better situation than what we came in with.”