April 15, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Kamiko Williams has traveled a long and winding road during her four-year basketball career at Tennessee. Good health, coupled with maturity displayed on and off the court as a senior, paved the way for her to fully showcase her talents and continue her hoops journey in the Big Apple.
The Lady Vol senior was chosen with the third pick in the second round of the 2013 WNBA Draft Monday night in Bristol, Conn. Williams was selected 15th overall by the New York Liberty. She will join another UT product, Kelley Cain, in the Big Apple and become the fifth Lady Vol to join that franchise.
With Williams' selection, she became the 44th Lady Vol to move on to the professional ranks, the 35th to join a WNBA franchise and the fifth UT player to be drafted in the past two seasons. Four Big Orange players were taken in the 2012 WNBA Draft, including first-round selections Shekinna Stricklen (2nd, Seattle), Glory Johnson (4th, Tulsa) and Kelley Cain (7th, New York). Vicki Baugh also was drafted, going in the third round (25th overall pick) to Tulsa.
"I am so proud of Kamiko and just excited about this opportunity for her," UT Head Coach Holly Warlick said. "She worked extremely hard and showed great maturity as a senior, and that effort helped lead to our team being successful and to her enjoying the best season of her career.
"On the other hand, I am disappointed for Taber that her name wasn't called Monday night. I thought she would be selected, but it just didn't happen. I am hopeful that an opportunity will arise in the coming days that will provide her an opportunity to show what she can do on the basketball court."
Williams and Spani provided outstanding leadership in 2012-13 for a youthful Lady Vol squad that was under the direction of the Spalding Maggie Dixon National Rookie Coach of the Year in Warlick. They led a team that was picked as low as 20th nationally by AP and as far back as fifth in the SEC preseason poll and helped it finish with a 27-8 record, winning UT's 17th all-time SEC regular-season championship and making the 26th Elite Eight appearance in school history.
Williams, a 5-11 guard from Clarksville, Tenn., averaged a career-best 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game in her final season in orange. She hit 50.5% from the field, including 32.6% from three-point land, and was good on 70% of her tries from the charity stripe. With 88 assists compared to only 44 turnovers as a senior, UT's most-secure ball-handler posted an impressive 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Williams made the All-Oklahoma City All-Regional Team, averaging 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.0 assists in two games. She also was named the AutoZone Player of the Week twice and AutoZone Player of the Game on four occasions.
While Williams scored in double figures a career-best 10 times in 2012-13, recording points-rebounds double-doubles on two occasions, she also enhanced her reputation as one of Tennessee's best defenders in her final season at Rocky Top.
"I am excited, but I have to stay focused and do what I do," Williams said. "I'm excited because the coaching staff seems awesome from the short phone conversation we've had, and I get to play with Kelley Cain again!"