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UGA's Phillips, Tech's Montgomery embark on pro careers

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

ATHENS -- Porsha Phillips, a consensus first-team All-SEC performer for the Georgia Lady Bulldogs during the 2010-11 season, was drafted by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the third round of the WNBA Draft on Monday.

Phillips, a 6-foot-1, forward, was the No. 30 overall selection. She watched the show at her home in Stone Mountain, with her parents, James and Lue, and her brother Jamil. Her other brothers, professional baseball players Brandon and P.J., also were on the phone with the family.

"It's a dream come true," Phillips said. "I was just trying to be patient, have faith in God that I would be drafted and just wanted my name to show up. I was so excited. I actually got a call from (head coach) Dan Hughes before my name was announced on TV and he said 'Welcome to the Silver Stars.'

"I think I had a good college career, especially as a senior, and it was a lot of hard work," Phillips added. "I still think I have room to grow as a player and I'm excited about that challenge."

Phillips led the SEC in both rebounding and free throw percentage during the 2010-11 campaign. She also became the first Georgia player to average a double-double (10.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg) in nearly a quarter-century, since Katrina McClain did so in 1986-87 en route to winning National Player of the Year honors. Phillips grabbed 365 rebounds as a senior, the fifth-best effort in Lady Bulldog history.

"Playing basketball professionally is a goal Porsha worked very hard to achieve," Andy Landers said. "I'm happy and excited that she'll have the opportunity to play at the next level."

With Phillips' selection, 13 Lady Bulldogs have been chosen in the last 11 editions of the WNBA Draft, including eight first-rounders. Twenty-one Georgia players have gone on to play in the league since its inception in 1997, including six during the 2010 campaign. All told, 34 Lady Bulldogs have played professionally either in the U.S., Asia, Europe or South America.

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MONTGOMERY 'HONORED' BY SELECTION:

Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery was selected by the New York Liberty with the No. 10 overall pick in the first round of the 2011 WNBA Draft held Monday in Bristol, Conn.

Montgomery was the first ACC player to be drafted and is the highest Yellow Jacket to ever be drafted. She became the sixth Tech player to be selected in the WNBA Draft and the third in the last four years.

"It's an honor to be one of the top players selected in the WNBA Draft and to be drafted by the New York Liberty," Montgomery said. "I'm very excited to get to New York and work to help the Liberty compete for a championship."

Montgomery earned a slew of postseason honors this year as she was named State Farm Coaches' All-America Honorable Mention, the State of Georgia Women's College Player of the Year, Second Team All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive Team.

"We are very proud of Alex," head coach MaChelle Joseph said. "This is a very special day for our program. To have a player picked in the first round of the WNBA Draft has to be one of my proudest moments as a head coach. I know Alex will represent Georgia Tech and our program in a first class way."

Montgomery led the Yellow Jackets to a school record 24 wins, an NCAA Tournament berth, and helped Tech win only its third tournament game. This season she also helped the Jackets set a school record with a 13-game winning streak, and tied school records with 14 home wins and nine ACC victories.

Montgomery, along with classmate Deja Foster, will graduate Georgia Tech as the school's all-time winningest class with 91 career wins. Montgomery led Tech in points, 13.9 per game, and rebounds, 8.6 per contest, in her final season on The Flats, and was second on the team with 81 assists and 73 steals.

Montgomery finished her career sixth on the Georgia Tech all-time scoring list with 1,565 points, third in three-pointers made, 237, fourth in rebounds with 837, fifth in steals with 226 and tied for second in games played, 123. Her 237 career threes rank tied for ninth in Atlantic Coast Conference history.