Several Missouri women’s basketball players and coaches gathered in the team locker room this week to watch the WNBA Draft on ESPNU.
“We had a little party,” Tigers senior Bri Kulas said.
The party was in her honor.
Kulas, a Shawnee Mission North graduate who started her college career at Kansas State and also played at Johnson County Community College, was drafted in the third round, No. 28 overall, by the San Antonio Stars. She is the seventh Missouri player drafted into the WNBA.
“We were sitting around and weren’t really paying attention to the TV, because by that time they weren’t really calling out the names,” Kulas said. “They were just popping up on the screen. I happened to look up and saw it and went, ‘Oh, shoot.’ Then everybody started screaming and jumped on me and stuff.”
Kulas averaged 18.3 points last season and was selected first-team All-Southeastern Conference, but she never considered herself a lock for the draft.
“I was not 100 percent sure at all,” Kulas said. “I kind of had an idea that maybe, possibly I would be drafted, but I didn’t expect anything. … It’s something I’ve always dreamt of, but I never really thought my name would be coming up on the screen like that one day. My hard work and the dedication I’ve put into the game has paid off.”
Kulas, who heads to San Antonio for preseason camp April 25, has come a long way from the start of her basketball career at the Shawnee YMCA.
“I remember when I was little playing at the YMCA, I used to play with a team full of boys and I was the only girl on the team,” Kulas said.
Kulas said her confidence was shattered after her freshman season at Kansas State, but she rebuilt herself and regained her confidence at Johnson County before going on to score 1,008 points in 63 games over the last two seasons at Missouri.
Next stop: south central Texas.
“I’ve been to San Antonio on vacation once when I was younger, but I’m just thankful for the opportunity that they’ve given me,” Kulas said. “I would have been happy to go anywhere, but I’m going to do everything to possible to make the most of this chance.”