Image via For The Soule

Priscilla Solorio, Writer

The WNBA draft is a yearly event where WNBA teams select players from a talent pool of women’s basketball players who are already professional basketball players or previously were college basketball players. The first WNBA draft was held in 1997 and is now held every year in April. To be eligible for the draft, you must be 22 years old or you must be turning 22 within the year of the draft, have already graduated, or plan to graduate within 3 months of the draft from a four-year university. Although these are the rules that have been in place since 2014 for U.S. athletes, the rules are not the same for international athletes. The main requirement for international athletes is to be turning 20 the year of the draft. The event consists of 3 rounds each with 12 picks each and a total of 36 athletes to be drafted, which is sad as likely that not all 36 picks will actually be playing in the WNBA. This year the draft was held on Monday, April 11th, 2022 at 7:00 pm in person at Spring Studios in New York.

The draft picks are ranked by talent and skill. This year, the top five picks were Rhyne Howard 6´2 SG from Kentucky. Howards shooting, passing, and ball-handling as the best in the draft, keeping her as the round 1 No. 1 pick. Howard was selected by Atlanta dream who traded their No.3 pick for No. 1 with Washington Mystics. The second first-round pick NaLyssa Smith, a 6´2 FG from Baylor, was selected by Indiana Fever. Pick 3 was Shakira Austin 6´5 C, who was traded by Atlanta to the Washington Mystics mainly used for her shooting, rebounding, and shot-blocking. The 4th pick was Emily Engstler a 6´1 PF from Louisville for her defense and her solid 3-point shooting skills as a 4. The last of the top 5 picks was Nyara Sabally a 6´5 C from The University of Oregon, Sabally is a very versatile player selected by The New York Liberty.

This year after seeing the draft many people have lots of hope for Indiana Fever as they had 7 picks out of the 36, four of which being first-round picks, and them not having made playoffs since 2016 people believe this draft was Indianas chance to rebuild their franchise. Although having a large rookie class may be a small disadvantage they will have, it still seems it’s all going up from here for Indiana.

Chicago Sky with zero draft picks this year seems to be working hard to defend their title working hard in the off-season re-signing many layers from the championship team, Belgium professional basketball players Emma Meesseman, and Julie Allemand, and trading their seventh pick to Indiana.

Pre-season started on April 23rd and the full season ends on August 14th where we will see how the new rosters play out for each team and what teams go to playoffs this year.