It was a day of anticipation as the 2009 WNBA draft slowly worked its way through the 39 spots on April 9. It was the third round when the ex-Carbon High player, and University of Utah standout, Morgan Warburton saw her name come up on the screen.
"I was kinda in shock when I saw my name come up. It was something I had always worked for and to see it come true. I'm actually pretty relieved," she said shortly after the Thursday draft ended.
Warburton played for Carbon High and was part of the 2005 championship volleyball and basketball squads. She had played with her sisters Chelsey and Cassie as they had come up just short the year before. She was named the 3A USSHA athlete of the year that season.
She recently finished four years with the Lady Utes and was rewarded with two trips into the NCAA post season tournament. For her, making it to the NCAA elite eight round as a true freshman on that squad will remain one of the biggest highlights of her collegiate career. It helped to understand the pressures and how to play against really great competition.
One of her favorite players to be on the court with has been Leilani Mitchell. Mitchell was drafted 25th last year by the Mercury and then was traded to the Liberty and went on to have a stellar rookie year.
This year as a senior it has been Warburton's year to shine for the Utes. She was awarded the 2009 Mountain West Player of the Year. She was just named to the Women's Basketball Coaches All-American Team and garnered honorable mention to the APA All-American team.
Warburton scored in double figures in 66 consecutive games and that set a new MWC record. She was named to the MWC first team three straight years. Her 18.5 a game shooting ranked her in the top 30 in the nation. But it was her 90.4 percent average from the free throw line that had her sitting second in the nation that made the WNBA scouts sit up and take notice.
For now, getting drafted is no guarantee that she will make the WNBA, but it does open doors. Her agent feels like she has the potential of a great career either here or in the European league. Only 11 players can make the Monarchs and Warburton doesn't have a feel yet about the odds of making the cut.
If she went overseas to play, she thinks it would be great to join up with her sister Chelsey who is currently playing for the Dutch team called Pro-Lions. Chelsey recently posted a double-double to help her team win another big game. Morgan sees the chance to play in Europe as a big opportunity. She doesn't want it to pass her by if the timing is right.
She had a chance to watch this year's crop of Lady Dinos face Union in the state tournament. At 22, she said it made her feel a little weird and old as she watched the seniors on the team play, remembering when they were just trying to make the team as freshmen.
As the next few weeks unfold she will probably have to fall back into that new kid role as she heads to Sacramento to find out what's next on her horizon.