Trio of Aussies taken in WNBA Draft

ANOTHER crop of female basketballers have had their dreams realised, after the 2024 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft took place earlier today.

The opening pick of the draft was a foregone conclusion, with the Indiana Fever always set to take Caitlin Clark at pick one, after producing potentially the greatest collegiate career in the history of the sport. She looms as the new face of the WNBA and female basketball in general, with jerseys selling out in hours following her selection.

There was plenty of positives from an Australian standpoint, with three players taken in the draft, including two to the same team.

Having plied her trade in the WNBL for the championship-winning Southside Flyers, Nyadiew Puoch was selected with the 12th and final selection of the first round in the draft by the Atlanta Dream. With the ability to play both the four and the five, she will bring size and rebounding to the Dream, which she has demonstrated at both WNBL and NBL1 level for the Dandenong Ranges.

Joining her at the dream will be the highly-touted Isobel Borlase, who was taken with the 20th pick in the second round. Borlase has truly come into her own as the number-one option for the Adelaide Lightning, and recently made her debut with the Australian Opals at international level.

The third and final Aussie selected in the WNBA draft was Jazmin Shelley, who was picked up by the Phoenix Mercury with the 29th pick. Despite not being the tallest player on the court, Shelley demonstrated a strong scoring ability at college level, averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game as a member of the Nebraska Huskies.

The WNBA regular season starts on May 14.

WNBA Draft

Round 1

  1. Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, G, Iowa
  2. Los Angeles Sparks: Cameron Brink, F, Stanford 
  3. Chicago Sky (via Phoenix Mercury): Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina
  4. Los Angels Sparks (via Seattle Storm): Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee
  5. Dallas Wings (via Chicago Sky): Jacy Sheldon, G, Ohio State
  6. Washington Mystics: Aaliyah Edwards, F, UConn
  7. Chicago Sky (via Minnesota Lynx): Angel Reese, F, LSU
  8. Minnesota Lynx (via Atlanta Dream): Alissa Pili, F, Utah
  9. Dallas Wings: Carla Leite, G, France
  10. Connecticut Sun: Leïla Lacan, G, France
  11. New York Liberty: Marquesha Davis, G, Ole Miss
  12. Atlanta Dream (via Las Vegas Aces): Nyadiew Puoch, F, Austrailia

Round 2

  1. Chicago Sky (via Phoenix Mercury): Brynna Maxwell, G, Gonzaga
  2. Seattle Storm: Nika Mühl, G, UConn
  3. Indiana Fever: Celeste Taylor, G, Ohio State
  4. Las Vegas Aces (via Los Angeles Sparks): Dyaisha Fair, G, Syracuse
  5. New York Liberty (via Chicago Sky): Esmery Martinez, F, Arizona
  6. Las Vegas Aces (via Washington Mystics): Kate Martin, G, Iowa
  7. Connecticut Sun (via Minnesota Lynx): Taiyanna Jackson, C, Kansas
  8. Atlanta Dream: Isobel Borlase, G, Australia 
  9. Washington Mystics (via Dallas Wings): Kaylynne Truong, G, Gonzaga 
  10. Connecticut Sun: Helena Pueyo, G, Arizona 
  11. New York Liberty: Jessika Carter, C, Mississippi State
  12. Las Vegas Aces: Elizabeth Kitley, C, Virginia Tech

Round 3

  1. Phoenix Mercury: Charisma Osborne, G, UCLA
  2. Seattle Storm: Mackenzie Holmes, F, Indiana
  3. Indiana Fever: Leilani Correa, G, Florida
  4. Los Angeles Sparks: Mackenzie Forbes, F, USC
  5. Phoenix Mercury (via Chicago Sky): Jaz Shelley, G, Nebraska 
  6. Washington Mystics: Nastja Claessens, G, Belgium
  7. Minnesota Lynx: Kiki Jefferson, G, Louisville 
  8. Atlanta Dream: Matilde Villa, G, Italy
  9. Dallas Wings: Ashley Owusu, G, Penn State
  10. Connecticut Sun: Abbey Hsu, G, Columbia 
  11. New York Liberty: Kaitlyn Davis, F, USC
  12. Las Vegas Aces: Angel Jackson, C, Jackson State

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