Millan of UMaine considers WNBA opportunity with imminent professional basketball career

Blanca Millan looks forward to the WNBA Draft next Thursday night.

The University of Maine senior goaltender, who this season became the first player to be named East America’s player of the year and defensive player of the year twice in the same season , is one of 57 college players who entered the draft pool.

Europeans who have not played college basketball in the United States are also included in the pool.

The draft will take place over three rounds with a total of 36 players selected by the 12 teams.

Millan is excited about the possibility of being drafted but knows the odds are stacked against her.

“There are so many great players,” said Millan.

“But we’ll see what happens.”

Millan hired an agent who has been in contact with some WNBA teams.

Even though she isn’t drafted, she’s hoping to give it a try with a WNBA team. If nothing happens, Millan will look to pursue a professional career abroad.

“I’m going to talk to my agent and decide what is my best option,” she said.

UMaine head coach Amy Vachon said she wasn’t sure if Millan would get a glimpse of a WNBA team, but knew it wasn’t her only option.

“She will play professional basketball. There’s no question about it, ”Vachon said.

Vachon’s former UMaine teammate Cindy Blodgett played from 1998 to 2001 in the WNBA, which began playing in 1997.

Blodgett has appeared in 65 games for Cleveland and Sacramento after being a first-round pick (6th overall).

“Blanca works very hard and has very high goals. What makes her unique is that she plays both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, and that will help her a lot, ”said Vachon.

“Blanca challenges herself. She is ready to take on any challenge, ”said Vachon. “She gets better every year.”

The 6-foot-1 Spaniard concluded her UMaine career as the school’s fifth scorer with 1,974 points. She is second with 324 interceptions and third with 216 3-point field goals.

Millan ended his career with his best season, averaging 21.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.3 assists per game. It ranked 15th nationally among 336 schools for points and flights.

She spent an hour and a half a day, six days a week, preparing for her professional career.

“I worked on improving my individual basketball skills and I lifted [weights]. I want to be in the best shape possible in case I get a chance.

Millan says playing professional basketball has been a dream of her since she was little, and her five years at UMaine have prepared her well.

“I really enjoyed my stay here. It has been great for me. I grew up as a player and as a person, ”said Millan. “My coaches and teammates pushed me to become better every day. And I made lifelong friends.

Millan is grateful to the UMaine sports and medical training team for helping her rehabilitate her right knee after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in Game 6 of the 2019-20 season and undergoing surgery. surgical.

She received a waiver for medical difficulties, then returned for a fifth year.

This season did not end the way she and her teammates wanted, with a 64-60 loss in the America East Championship game. UMaine, who won their third regular season conference title in four years, was 17-3.

The Black Bears also won two league titles and won trips to the NCAA tournament during Millan’s career.

“I was happy to be able to play another year with my teammates. Winning three regular season championships and two tournament championships is not easy, ”she said. “It was a very special class.

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