New York Picks Tennessee's Meighan Simmons In WNBA Draft

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The New York Liberty got the steal of the night at Mohegan Sun Arena, snagging Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, the 2014 Associated Press SEC Player of the Year, with the 26th overall selection of the WNBA Draft.

Simmons, who lasted until the second pick of the third round, continued Tennessee's rich history in the WNBA Draft, becoming the 38th player to join the league.
She also became the second Lady Vol of the Holly Warlick era to have her name called on draft night, following in the footsteps of last year's second-round pick, Kamiko Williams.

Just like 2013, when he took Williams with the 15th overall selection, Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer chose a Lady Vol to bolster his roster.  Now the newest UT player to join the squad will have her own mentor and personal tour guide in the Big Apple.

Simmons becomes the fifth Tennessee product to be drafted by the Liberty and the third in three seasons. Kelley Cain was taken by New York in 2012 (7th pick/1st Rd.) to start the trend.  Other Liberty selections include Loree Moore in 2005 (10th pick/1st Rd.) and Alberta Auguste (35th pick/3rd Rd.).

"All I could think while waiting for my name to be called was be patient, and God's got me," Simmons said of her wait to be chosen. "I've been put in a position to succeed, and now I just have to work 10 times harder to show that I'm just as good as anyone else.

"Just bringing a lot of energy, bringing the extra scoring ability with Cappie Pondexter, along with my former teammate Kamiko Williams," Simmons said of what she can bring to the Liberty. " I'm just really excited. I'm excited to see what God has planned and ready to see my purpose unfold."

In her final season as a Lady Vol, Simmons averaged 16.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per contest in helping lead the Lady Vols to a 29-6 record, SEC Tournament title and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. She was named 2014 SEC Player of the Year by Associated Press after earning it from the coaches the year before and was chosen All-SEC First Team by both AP and the league's coaches for the second season in a row.

Simmons shot 41.6% from the field, 36.0% from the three-point line and 83.2% from the free throw stripe. She scored 20 or more points on 10 occasions in 2013-14, 30 or more three times and has led Tennessee in scoring on 15 occasions. She finished fifth in career scoring at UT with 2,064 points.

"I am so proud of Meighan," Warlick said. "She was on the board longer than everyone expected, but she has an opportunity to show Coach Laimbeer what she can do and try to help that team win some ballgames.

"She has some gifts that can make her a very valuable player in the WNBA.  Obviously, she has the speed you don't find every day, and her intensity and scoring ability also will provide immediate benefits in New York. I'm anxious to see her go to work and show everyone what she's made of."

Last season, nine former Lady Vols were active in the league. That list included Tamika Catchings (Indiana), Alexis Hornbuckle (Phoenix), Glory Johnson (Tulsa), Kara Lawson (Connecticut), Candace Parker (Los Angeles), Ashley Robinson (Seattle), Michelle Snow (Washington), Shekinna Stricklen (Seattle) and Kamiko Williams (New York). Lawson has since moved on to Washington.

Grace Nets 9-0 Soccer Win

The Grace Academy Lady Golden Eagles kept themselves in a tie for first place in district 5-A/AA with a 9-0 win over Sweetwater High School Tuesday night. It took Grace Academy about 15 minutes to net its first goal, but then the goals came quickly. Kayla Bibbs and Maddie Ferrel led the way for Grace scoring two goals each while five other Lady Golden Eagles scored once.  ... (click for more)

Men’s Golf Will Play This Weekend In NAIA Fall Preview

Dalton State men’s golf will have a chance to see many of the top golf teams in the NAIA this weekend. The Sun Conference and the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 2014 NAIA Golf Fall Preview at LPGA International Course from Friday through Sunday. This weekend’s competition will feature 19 teams from 18 different schools. The 54-hole tournament ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. Since the person charged is a juvenile, the only information given was that he is a black male. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Mississippi Avenue. P olice initially said the suspect was described as ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the Department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets forth regular raises for ... (click for more)

Keep John Roberts, Commissioner Of Red Bank

It has been a week since the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association held their candidate forum at Red Bank Middle School. I was privileged to have been asked to moderate the affair. What follows is my interpretation of the current issues facing the citizens of Red Bank and, at the end, a summation of whom I feel should be elected and whom I will be voting for personally. First, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)