New York, NY — It’s draft day in New York City. Prospects like University of South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell, and Turkey native Diamond DeShields along with a few others are getting their hair and makeup professionally done for perhaps the most life changing day they will ever experience. The nervous tension in the Nike New York Headquarters could be felt by all as the 2018 WNBA draft began.
It was no surprise to basketball fans all over that A’ja Wilson was selected as the number one draft pick overall. She was lost for words to be selected by the Las Vegas Aces. Today was all about her. Her fun energy set the tone for the other draft picks to come. Second overall went to Kelsey Mitchell, she will be pursuing her WNBA career in Indiana with the Fever. Kelsey and A’ja are good friends that joked with each other during their short breaks from the lights and cameras.
Chicago Sky had third and fourth pick, selecting DeShields and UConn’s Gabby Williams. Fifth overall went to UCLA alum, Jordin Canada who will be playing for the Seattle Storm. Another UConn star, Azura Stevens, was selected by the Dallas Wings, making her the sixth pick in Round 1.
As the first round comes to its last few slots we see University of Texas player, Ariel Atkins get chosen seventh by the Washington Mystics. While eighth overall goes to Victoria Vivians who is an alumni of Mississippi State, she will be playing for Indiana Fever soon. The Connecticut Sun chose Lexi Brown of Duke University as the ninth prospect.
Kia Nurse of UConn’s family had been through a draft in the past, but it wasn’t women’s basketball. Kia’s older brother, Darnell of the Edmonton Oilers was there supporting her as she took tenth in the first round. Kia was drafted by the New York Liberty. The last two draft picks of the night unfortunately could not make it to the big night but russian player Maria Vadeeva took eleventh overall with the Los Angeles Sparks while Maria Gulich of Oregon State came in twelfth, with a future playing for the Phoenix Mercury.