After etching her name into the annals of West Virginia basketball, Tynice Martin will get her shot at pro basketball with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
Despite being projected by many pundits as a second round pick, Martin fell to the Sparks in the third round — to the surprise of WVU coach Mike Carey.
“I thought she may go a little bit earlier. I really did,” Carey said. “But, you know, she has an opportunity and that’s all you can ask for.”
Despite her talent, the guard lost critical time in the preseason as well as the postseason, which, compounded with her injuries, likely caused her fall.
“I think those three months off at the start of the season hurt her,” he added. “Not being able to play postseason hurt her a little bit because she was just starting to get back her rhythm and shooting at that type of stuff.”
Playing time may be tough to come by for Martin in her rookie season. The Sparks will return two double-digit scorers in the backcourt in Chelsea Gray and Riquina Williams, while adding Kristi Toliver to the mix after signing her as a free agent. Plus, the squad posted a pair of All-Stars, with Gray making the squad alongside forward Nneka Ogwumike.
“I know the Sparks have a lot of veteran guards, but also, they wanted some young players to come in and work with those veteran guards,” Carey said. “Hopefully she’ll go there and does extremely well, but I know she’ll go there and give her best shot.”
Regardless of how her time with the Sparks turns out, Carey has a very optimistic outlook for the next chapter in his former star’s career.
“I think her best basketball’s ahead of her,” he said. “WNBA, overseas and that, so we’re very proud of her and we’re excited that she got drafted.”