On Wednesday afternoon Marscilla Packer became the fourth Ohio State women’s basketball player to be selected in the WNBA draft in the past three years.
The defending league champion Phoenix Mercury snapped up the 5-9 guard in the third round with the 41st overall pick.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Packer said through a university release. “It’s going to take a while before it sinks in. I’m going to a great team in the Phoenix Mercury, the defending WNBA champs, and I know I’ll have my work cut out for me.”
Known throughout her career as a deadeye three-point shooter, Packer finished second all-time at Ohio State with 236 treys.
As a senior, she made a career-high 80 from beyond the arc and her 2.6 treys per game led the Big Ten.
She was a second-team All-Big Ten selection and averaged 15.1 points per game as a senior. Her scoring average was a career high, as were her 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds per contest.
Her four-year career included four Big Ten championships and more overall victories (109) than any other four-year period in school history.
She is the fifth Buckeye to be drafted by a WNBA team since Jim Foster took over as head coach of the Buckeyes prior to the 2002-03 season.
Earlier in the year, he told reporters what sorts of things the former McDonald’s All-American needed to do to become a successful player at the professional level.
“I think she can be a little diverse and the more diverse she is the more opportunities she’s going to have,” he said. “If you’re just a shooter there’s people that are going to compete with that every year, but if you’re a shooter that can guard some people, if you’re the best post feeder on the team, if you’re a shooter that doesn’t turn the ball over, then you’re more than a shooter.”
On draft day, Packer thanked her Pickerington, Ohio, high school coach Dave Butcher, her family, teammates and Foster for their support along the way to this point.
“Now is when the real work begins,” Packer said. “There are a lot of great players in the WNBA and you have to work hard everyday or it can be taken away from you just as quickly.”
One year ago, Ohio State center Jessica Davenport was selected by the San Antonio Silver Spurs with the second overall pick in the draft, and guard Brandie Hoskins went No. 33 overall to the Seattle Storm. Davenport was traded later on draft day to the New York Liberty.
In 2006, forward Debbie Merrill went to the Connecticut Sun in the second round with the No. 28 overall pick.