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Injuries influence Game Time League draft

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | JUNE 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa's sophomore-to-be Sam Logic was the Game Time League's first draft pick on Thursday night, selected by head coach Brendan Unkrich.

But that was a no-brainer.

Morgan Johnson was the only other player in the draft with skills close to Logic's, Unkrich said, and Johnson is injured.

"With the injuries to some of the other players, [Logic is] the most definite player in this league," Unkrich said. "She's just a dynamic player… I saw her play twice last year, and both Iowa games that I saw her in, she was the best player on the court. It was an easy decision."

The decisions got harder from there.

Head coach and league Commissioner Randy Larson chose Johnson, who is still recovering from knee injuries, as the No. 3 pick in the first round. Then he selected Theirra Taylor in the second round, who is also still recuperating from her third torn ACL in her career.

Both Johnson and Taylor will have to sit out of the first game on June 20 and then have restrictions from there. The women will play 10 minutes their first game and gradually increase their playing time in five-minute increments from there.

Head coach Joe Johnston chose Iowa's Melissa Dixon in the second round — one pick after Taylor — and Larson immediately regretted his decision, realizing he drafted two great players, but can't use either in a full workload.

"It's not really a mistake because the player I took instead, Theirra Taylor, is a very good player," Larson said. "Theirra Taylor is as talented a player as there is in the draft, and she's biting at the bit to play because she's missed so many games. Any woman that will come back after three ACLs, and wants to play in a summer league even though she's still not totally cleared to play? I love that attitude."

Each coach is only allowed two athletes each from Iowa and Northern Iowa.

Head coach Mike Stoemer made out with seven Division-1 level players.

Stoemer selected Iowa's Trisha Nesbitt as the fourth and final pick of the first round. Then he followed that up by drafting all three incoming Hawkeye recruits — Kali Peschel, Kayla Timmerman, and Kathryn Thomas — in rounds two, three, and five.

"I thought [Peschel] was the best incoming Iowa player," Stoemer said. "I thought last year Samantha [Logic] was the best incoming, and I took her. I like playing with some of the younger ones and seeing them. I feel real fortunate with who I got."

Stoemer picked Northern Iowa's Brooke Brown in the fourth round and Amber Sorenson in the seventh. He made out with Shantel Lehman in the sixth, a post player from Kirkwood who will transfer to Wayne State on full scholarship next season.

Stoemer also picked the youngest player to appear in the Game Time League this season: Fifteen-year-old Courtney Joens, who will start her freshman year at City High in the fall.

Joens is the daughter of Brian Joens, the former Regina High women's basketball coach.

Joens is the youngest player in the draft by three years, but despite her age, Stoemer said he "felt real comfortable" with the final selection of the night.

On the biography sheet of all the possible draftees, Joens was listed last, her bio reading: "Will be good soon, maybe not yet."

The league as a whole has faith in the youngster's development.

"Any high-school player who's interested in doing it, I give her a lot of credit," Larson said. "We try to get them in, even maybe before they're quite ready because I want to be respect to their wanting to do it."


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