Tahnee Robinson made history Monday.

The Fort Washakie native and former Lander Valley High School standout was taken in the third round of the WNBA draft, earning her the distinction of being the first Wyoming-born player to be drafted during the 15-year history of the league.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Robinson said by phone from Reno, Nev. "I've been getting texts and phone calls from friends and family all day so it's been kind of overwhelming, but in a good way.

"This was always a dream of mine, but I didn't know if it would ever be a reality."

Last month, Robinson wrapped up an outstanding collegiate career by leading the University of Nevada to a 22-11 record and the Wolf Pack's first-ever postseason win. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 22.2 points per game and earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the second consecutive year.

Robinson was also one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, which is given annually to the nation's top amateur athlete.

Prior to Nevada, Robinson played two years at Sheridan College. In the 2008-09 season she led the nation in scoring (29.8 ppg) and was a first-team NJCAA All-America, while leading the Generals to the Region IX championship.

"Being drafted [by the WNBA] is quite an honor," Sheridan College coach Frank McCarthy said. "But if anyone deserves it, it's Tahnee. I've never had a player work as hard as she did."

Robinson was taken with the 31st pick by the Phoenix Mercury, who then traded her rights to the Connecticut Sun.

The process wrapped up a long, stressful day for Robinson.

"I was nervous all day," she said. "I was pretty much just stressing out so I just kept eating.

"But the Connecticut coach actually called my coach at Nevada and said not to worry. Then they called me about 20 minutes later and told me they had acquired my rights from Phoenix."

Connecticut, which finished 17-17 last season, also drafted Sydney Colson from national champion Texas A&M and Adrienne Johnson from perennial power Louisiana Tech.

It's doubtful that either Colson or Johnson went through as much hand-wringing as Robinson and her fans did Monday, however.

"I had [the WNBA draft board] up on my computer screen all day," Lander coach Spike Robinson, who coached Tahnee to a state championship in 2006, said. "I kept waiting for her name to come up. When it finally did I was jumping around my classroom.

"This is just amazing. I'm so happy for her and her family and the whole area."

Tahnee Robinson will head to Uncasville, Conn., to take part in the Sun's training camp beginning May 15. It will give her time to put what happened Monday in perspective.

"This is just the next step in a career-long process," she said. "I'm guessing it will take me a couple of days to take all this in.

"It's all kind of surreal."

Making history can have that kind of effect.



Contact sports reporter Jack Nowlin at (307) 266-0528 or jack.nowlin@trib.com. Follow him on Twitter @CASJackN

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