Her size, unorthodox three-point style and leadership could help Washington’s all-time rebounding leader. She is projected to go anywhere from the top half of the first round to the bottom of the second round.
The WNBA coaches and scouts are taking a long look at Chantel Osahor and trying to understand what Washington Huskies fans have known for years: She’s not your average basketball player.
They’re trying to figure out how the All-American center led the nation with a 15.3 rebounding average considering she’s likely three inches shorter than the 6-foot-2 that she’s listed.
“You know, she’s probably, if we’re all honest now, she’s probably 5-11 to 6-foot,” Los Angeles Sparks coach Brian Agler said. “But she has tremendous, quick hands and she’s got great strength. And she has tremendous instincts for the game.”
The WNBA people want to know if Osahor’s unorthodox three-point shot will be as effective in the pros where the arc is 22 feet, 1¾ inches and about 2 feet further than college.
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She shot 35.6 percent on threes during her four-year UW career and was efficient (46.5 percent) from the floor.
Her ability to stand flat-footed beyond the arc and flick shots that look like they’re fired out of a cannon is what separates her from the other post players in the draft.
“Her uncanny ability to hit the three-point shot is what’s probably going to give her a legitimate shot of making a team,” Agler said.
In what’s considered a guard-heavy draft that’s devoid of an abundance of superstar talent, South Carolina’s Ailana Coates and Maryland’s Brionna Jones are the only post players who are locks to be selected in the first round.
Meanwhile, Osahor’s size, scoring ability and versatility as a playmaker make her perhaps the most intriguing draft prospect considering her boom or bust potential.
Some mock drafts project she’ll land in the top half of the first round whereas others have her falling to the bottom of the second round.
Osahor has drawn comparisons to Courtney Paris, a 6-4, 250-pound third-year center who plays for the Dallas Wings. Danielle Adams, a 6-1, 239-pound center, is a similar-sized player who spent four years (2011-15) in the WNBA before playing overseas last season.
“I’ve loved her game,” WNBA analyst Rebecca Lobo said about Osahor. “The question with her is her health (and) her ability to play the schedule that they play in the WNBA with back-to-backs and four games in six days or whatever it can be.
“She’ll definitely be in a training camp. I think she’ll go in the second round and I think she’ll have a chance to really show coaches what she can do.”
Playing in the WNBA wasn’t always the plan for Osahor, a Phoenix native who started just five games during her first two seasons at Washington.
Whenever she’s done playing, Osahor…