Poppens, Prins picked in second round of WNBA Draft


Photo: Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Seniors Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins watch the 2013 WNBA Draft with the rest of the ISU women’s basketball team on April 15, 2013, at the Sukup Basketball Complex in Ames.

Dylan Montz

ISU coach Bill Fennelly may have known the fates of Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins before either of them knew for themselves, but he was determined to keep it a secret for the time being.

Telling either player where they had been drafted would have felt too much like spoiling a Christmas present for Fennelly. For the third time in ISU women’s basketball history, the Cyclones heard two names called off its roster with April 15, 2013 being Poppens’ and Prins’ turn.

Both players were selected in the second round of the 2013 WNBA Draft with Poppens taken 18th overall by the Seattle Storm and Prins following her five picks later at No. 23 by the Connecticut Sun. They are the 11th and 12th ISU players selected in the WNBA draft in program history.

“It’s fantastic,” Fennelly said of having two ISU players selected in the draft. “I think what it says is the effort those kids have put in to be drafted as a professional player. Neither one of them probably thought that way.

“We have a lot of kids that have been drafted here, and most of them are the kind of kids that did it their way, worked really hard at it. It’s a great thing for them, and it’s a great opportunity.”

Poppens became the second-highest draft pick ever from Iowa State on April 15. 

Poppens was not a highly touted recruit coming out of Aplington-Parkersburg High School in Aplington, Iowa, but became just the 14th player in Big 12 history to score more than 1,000 points and grab at least 1,000 rebounds.

“I was really nervous just sitting there,” Poppens said of the anticipation. “I didn’t really know how I would react when my name showed up, but I was just excited.”

Prins, meanwhile, enjoyed her most prolific year for the Cyclones, averaging a career-best 12.3 points per game. Battling injuries throughout her time at Iowa State, Prins didn’t miss a game in 2012-13 and scored in double figures 20 times.

“Pop and I were talking quite a lot in [the team video room],” Prins said. “We were saying just getting drafted to any of these teams is really an honor and exciting, but it makes it definitely more exciting to know. I’m definitely going to be researching a lot more now that I know where I got drafted to.”

Fennelly said that although he had some ideas before draft night in talking with teams at the Final Four in New Orleans and otherwise, he felt confident that Seattle and Connecticut would be a strong possibility as to where Poppens and Prins would end up.

That’s not to say he wasn’t still a little nervous April 15 night.

“As it keeps going and you don’t see their names come up, it’s like when you watch the selection show. You think it’s going to happen, but until somebody says it and sees it, then you don’t know for sure,” Fennelly said. “Weird things happen, but we knew they were in good shape, and it kind of went the way we thought it would.”