April 15, 2013
BERKELEY - Guard Layshia Clarendon became the highest-drafted California Golden Bear Monday when she was selected by the Indiana Fever with the ninth pick of the 2013 WNBA Draft.
Clarendon becomes the third Golden Bear to be drafted by the league, following in the footsteps of Ashley Walker (2009, 12th pick) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (2010, 30th pick). The Fever selected the combo guard just six months after winning the first WNBA Championship in franchise history with a 3-1 series victory over Minnesota.
"It's exciting (to play for Indiana)," Clarendon said. "I've always been a part of underdog teams and now I'm a defending champion by default. I'm excited to play with my fellow Pac-10/Pac-12 sisters (Briann) January and Jeannette Pohlen."
Training camp at Indiana will begin in the next few weeks with the first preseason game slated for Saturday, May 11. The Fever's season opener will be Friday, May 24.
Clarendon led the 2012-13 Golden Bears to their first 30-win season and first NCAA Final Four berth. An AP and WBCA All-America Honorable Mention selection as well as a First Team Senior CLASS Award All-American, Clarendon led California with 16.4 points per game and was a unanimous All-Pac-12 selection in addition to being named the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year. She became just the fourth Golden Bear to hit the 1,600-point mark in a career and finished her four seasons in Berkeley with 1,820 points.
"I think it helped a lot," Clarendon said of the team's Final Four run impacting her status. "The exposure (was amazing). We're a west coast team where we don't have many games on ESPN."
The third Golden Bear drafted in the league, Clarendon will become the eighth California player to sign a WNBA contract. Along with Walker and Gray-Lawson, Clarendon will join the ranks of Devanei Hampton, Trisha Stafford, Laura Baker, Teresa Palmisano and Milica Vukadinovic to sign WNBA contracts.