All-female WSU Athletics Hall of Fame class, Washington’s impact on 2022 NBA Draft
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports editor
June 27, 2022
Hello, and welcome to the Wazzu Weekly roundup of Washington State sports news.
This is a collection of the week’s top stories and articles from your dedicated Daily Evergreen Sports Section and links to more WSU-related news.
All-female WSU Athletics Hall of Fame class announced
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and to honor eight incredible women and one women’s team, WSU Athletics announced an all-female 2022 hall of fame class.
The inductees will include current WSU School of Nursing professor and tennis all-time singles win leader Eka Burduli, three-time team volleyball team MVP LaToya Harris and the 1991 Women’s basketball team that made the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. They will each enter the hall of fame during an induction ceremony on Sept. 16 at Beasley Coliseum.
NBA Draft recap
While no Cougs were selected, the state of Washington did impress with five players with significant ties to the state being drafted.
Seattle-native and O’Dea High School alum Palo Banchero was drafted No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic after a remarkable freshman year at Duke. Banchero wore a purple suit to draft day, a tribute to his Seattle roots and parents who both attended University of Washington.
Two Gonzaga players were drafted: Chet Holmgren No. 2 overall by the OKC Thunder and Andrew Nembhard first off the board in the second round, No. 31 overall by the Indiana Pacers.
Yakima native MarJon Beauchamp was selected 14th overall in Thursday’s draft by the Milwalkue Bucks. Beauchamp blazed his own trail to the NBA, as he attended three high schools in Seattle and a prep school in Arizona before almost quitting basketball in early 2021, according to the Yakima Herald.
After high school, he returned home to play for Yakima Valley College. He averaged 30.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game during his 12-game season and then found his way to the NBA G Leauge’s Ignite, where he put up 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 53.5% through 21 games.
It was not until his success in the G League that he found himself as a projected first-round pick. Beauchamp is the first Yakima native since former Coug Ted Wierman in 1969 to be drafted by an NBA team.
Tari Eason was drafted No. 17 overall by the Houston Rockets. The Seattle-native split his high school career between Garfield and Federal Way High Schools, receiving guidance from former Portland Trailblazer, Brandon Roy, who was his coach at Garfield.
Read more about the 2022 NBA Draft from Evergreen writer Trevor Junt, here.
Coug Baseball players in summer ball and minor leagues
WSU has a number of players playing summer college ball with various teams in the West Coast League. They also have two prominent alumni of the program competing in the minor leagues. Kyle Manzardo and Zane Mills Read more about how our Cougs of summer from Evergreen writer, Jake Hull here.
Two WSU baseball players transfer
Kodie Kolden and Jake Meyer entered the transfer portal. Both departures were expected as they were each honored at WSU baseball’s senior night.
New assistant coach
Jake Valentine joins WSU baseball’s staff as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after previously coaching at University of Portland for seven seasons.
Revisit two of WSU baseball’s best games of the session. Their 8-7 comeback win against Oregon and their 2-0 pitching gem against Arizona State.
Track and Field
Nine current and former WSU track and field athletes competed at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. for the U.S. Track and Field Championships. The top three finishers in each event will represent Team USA at the World Athletics Championships next month which will also occur at Hayward Field.
The nine current and former Cougs include CJ Allen (400-meter hurdles), Nick Johnson (110-meter hurdles), Sam Brixey (110-meter hurdles), Colton Johnsen (Steeplechase), Paul Ryan (1500-meter run), Zach Stallings (1500-meter run), Brock Eager (hammer throw), Caroline Austin (Steeplechase) and Kiana Davis (Triple Jump).
CJ Allen finished fourth in the 400m hurdles with a 48.17 second personal record. His time was the seventh-best in the world this season. Allen is the first alternate for Team USA in next month’s World Athletics Championships.
WSU Men’s basketball hired former Saint Mary’s assistant coach Wayne Hunter after former assistant coach Derrick Phelps decided to move closer to family. Hunter was briefly a part of Kyle Smith’s staff as recruiting coordinator.
Phelps has worked on Smith’s staff for six years, first at San Francisco in 2016-19 and followed Smith to the Palouse in 2019.
Efe Abogidi signed with Ignite of the NBA G League. Ignite is the only G League team not directly associated with an NBA franchise and instead focuses on developing players for the NBA Draft. Three Ignite players were drafted by NBA franchises on Thursday. Abogidi averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 50% from the field during his two seasons at WSU. Abogidi will report to Walnut Creek, Calif. later this year to prepare for the G League season.
Klay Thompson let his Coug out during the Golden State Warriors NBA Championship parade, losing his hat, balance and almost losing his ring. His personality was brighter than any of his misfortunes and was easily a highlight of the parade.
WSU football hosted several teams and dozens of players this past weekend for their annual camp. Among the group was Kade Millard, son of WSU football great Keith Millard.
WSU football head coach Jake Dickert took his leadership council out to eat this week.
Former Coug Sydney Pulver made her professional debut June 19 for the San Diego Wave FC.
Krystal Leger-Walker and Colten Johnsen each received Tom Hansen Medals in honor of their exceptional academic and athletic contributions.
Leger-Walker graduated from WSU with an undergraduate degree in finance and management having made the winter conference honor roll twice (2021, 2022) and led WSU Women’s basketball to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in program history.
Johnsen holds a 4.0 GPA as an MBA candidate and holds a WSU undergraduate degree in marketing. He was a walk-on to the track and field team and now is ranked in the top 10 in five events as one of the most accomplished distance runners in program history, most recently earning All-American status at the 2022 NCAA Championships.
That is all for today. Thank you for reading and Go Cougs!