A&M Commerce star selected in WNBA draft

“Give it to Jordan.”

That was the game plan Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball coach Denny Downing used throughout Britney Jordan’s three-year career with the Lions.

The plan paid dividends for both A&M-Commerce and Jordan, as the senior became the first women’s basketball player in program history to be selected into the WNBA as the Los Angeles Sparks picked her 35th overall on Thursday in the league draft.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Jordan. “I had a great chapter at A&M-Commerce. This is the beginning of a new chapter.”

“I don’t know if I have enough words to say,” said Downing. “Obviously I’m so happy for Britney and the commitment she made to the program.”

Jordan is just the second player in Lone Star Conference history to be selected in the WNBA Draft after Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Crystal Robinson was chosen by the New York Liberty in 1999.

Family, friends and coaches gathered to support Jordan at a draft watch party, and the room burst into cheers and hugs as the All-American was selected in the third round.

“I truly can’t say enough about the support I’ve had at A&M-Commerce,” said Jordan. “Two of the most supportive, outside of the coaching staff, are my dad and my loved ones and I can only thank them."

“It was just a neat deal,” said Downing.

The Peoria, Ill., native was on a mission from the opening tip of her senior year with a 30-point effort against Southern Arkansas. She totaled 18 games of at least 30 points.

She went on to pour in a career-high 53 points against Abilene Christian on Jan. 3 and posted three games in the 40s on her way to averaging 31.3 points per game, which is a conference and program record.

Jordan accumulated 909 points in 2008-09, which is another LSC and A&M-Commerce mark, and totaled 2,105 points during her tenure with the Lions.

During the season, she was tabbed LSC North Division Player of the week on five occasions and named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II Player of the Month in January.

Prior to the conference tournament, Jordan garnered LSC North Division Player of the Year honors as well as a selection onto the LSC North Division First-Team for the third straight season.

Jordan was also named a Daktronics Division II Women’s Basketball First-Team All-American and a 2009 Division II State Farm Coaches’ Honorable Mention All-American.

She led A&M-Commerce to an 18-11 overall record that featured an LSC tournament first round victory over Abilene Christian in which Jordan dished to forward Nola Taylor for the game-winning layup with 3.5 seconds remaining.

The play was just an example of what Jordan is capable of as she closed the year averaging 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

When the season concluded, her resume featured 21 program records and four conference marks.

“I think one of the things that made a difference is her ability to score as a guard,” said Downing. “I think what’s really exciting is who took her…we’re talking about one of the premier teams in the WNBA.”

The Sparks have won two WNBA Championships and feature a roster of all-star caliber players, including Candace Parker, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson.

And while Jordan will be entering the league soon, she will take care of her academics before her departure.

“Not only did I get drafted, but I will complete my degree in four years,” said Jordan.

The WNBA, which began with its inaugural season in 1997, is comprised of 13 teams from around the United States. Each team plays 34 games with the regular season spanning from June to September.

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