The WNBA Draft is an annual draft held by the WNBA through which WNBA teams can select new players from a talent pool of college and professional women's basketball players. The first WNBA Draft was held in 1997.
The WNBA "requires players to be at least 22, to have completed their college eligibility, to have graduated from a four-year college or to be four years removed from high school".Since the WNBA draft is currently held in April, before most U.S. colleges and universities have ended their academic years, the league considers anyone scheduled to graduate in the 3 months after the draft to be a "graduate" for draft purposes. The current rules for draft eligibility have been in place since at least 2014.
The specifics of this rule differ in several ways from those used by the NBA for its draft.
For the 2021 draft only, the league and its players union, the Women's National Basketball Players Association, agreed to modified eligibility rules due to changes brought on by COVID-19. The most significant change is that all age-eligible college players who wished to enter that draft had to opt in. Because the NCAA ruled that the 2020–21 season would not count against the eligibility of any basketball player, everyone who played in that season, regardless of class, had remaining athletic eligibility at the time of the draft. Players who wished to enter the 2021 draft had to renounce college eligibility and notify the WNBA offices by email no later than April 1 of that year. Players involved in the 2021 Final Four had 48 hours after the completion of their final game, instead of the normal 24, to notify the league of their intent to enter the draft.
The 1997 WNBA draft was divided into three parts. The first part was the initial allocation of 16 players into individual teams. Players such as Cynthia Cooper and Michelle Timms were assigned to different teams. The second part was the WNBA Elite draft, which was composed of professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues. The last part would be the 4 rounds of the regular draft.
The next three seasons to follow 1998, 1999 and 2000 would all have expansion drafts. There would not be another expansion draft until the 2006 season.
All seasons before 2002 had 4 rounds. Since 2003, all drafts are 3 rounds.
In 2003 and 2004, there were dispersal drafts due to the folding of the Cleveland Rockers, Miami Sol and Portland Fire. The players from Rockers, Sol and Fire were reallocated to existing teams. There were also dispersal drafts in 2007 with the folding of the Charlotte Sting, 2009 with the shuttering of the Houston Comets, and in 2010 when the Maloofs cast off the Sacramento Monarchs to focus their resources on the Kings franchise in the NBA.
There are no restrictions on what part of the world the players come from (though under varying rules, international players have been subject to tighter age restrictions within the draft than college players). However, college sports governing bodies, most notably the NCAA, prohibit players from competing in professional leagues simultaneously with their college eligibility. Once the player has joined the WNBA, she is eligible to participate in overseas leagues during the WNBA offseason (many WNBA players play in Europe, Australia, or more recently China).
Dena Head is the oldest No. 1 draft pick (she was 27 years old), having graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1992 and the first player ever drafted to the WNBA. Lauren Jackson is the youngest No. 1 draft pick, being drafted at the age of 19. As of 2012, six first picks have gone on to win WNBA Championships, with 12 rings among them. In the seventeen seasons that the WNBA has been in existence, eight No. 1 draft picks have helped lead their teams to a playoff berth in their rookie year.
|1997 Elite||Dena Head||United States||Tennessee||Utah Starzz|
|1997||Tina Thompson||United States||USC||Houston Comets|
|1998||Margo Dydek||Poland||Wychowania Fizycznego (Poland)||Utah Starzz|
|1999||Chamique Holdsclaw||United States||Tennessee||Washington Mystics|
|2000||Ann Wauters||Belgium||Valenciennes (France)||Cleveland Rockers|
|2001||Lauren Jackson||Australia||Canberra Capitals (Australia)||Seattle Storm|
|2002||Sue Bird||United States||UConn||Seattle Storm|
|2003||LaToya Thomas||United States||Mississippi State||Cleveland Rockers|
|2004||Diana Taurasi||United States||UConn||Phoenix Mercury|
|2005||Janel McCarville||United States||Minnesota||Charlotte Sting|
|2006||Seimone Augustus||United States||LSU||Minnesota Lynx|
|2007||Lindsey Harding||United States||Duke||Phoenix Mercury (traded to Minn.)|
|2008||Candace Parker||United States||Tennessee||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2009||Angel McCoughtry||United States||Louisville||Atlanta Dream|
|2010||Tina Charles||United States||UConn||Connecticut Sun|
|2011||Maya Moore||United States||UConn||Minnesota Lynx|
|2012||Nneka Ogwumike||United States||Stanford||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2013||Brittney Griner||United States||Baylor||Phoenix Mercury|
|2014||Chiney Ogwumike||United States||Stanford||Connecticut Sun|
|2015||Jewell Loyd||United States||Notre Dame||Seattle Storm|
|2016||Breanna Stewart||United States||UConn||Seattle Storm|
|2017||Kelsey Plum||United States||Washington||San Antonio Stars|
|2018||A'ja Wilson||United States||South Carolina||Las Vegas Aces|
|2019||Jackie Young||United States||Notre Dame||Las Vegas Aces|
|2020||Sabrina Ionescu||United States||Oregon||New York Liberty|
|2021||Charli Collier||United States||Texas||New York Liberty (traded to Dallas via Seattle)|
|2022||Rhyne Howard||United States||Kentucky||Atlanta Dream|
The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 22, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from May to September, with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October.
The center (C), or the centre, also known as the five, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is typically close to 7 feet (2.13 m) tall. They traditionally play close to the basket in the low post.
A Rookie of the Year award is given by a number of sports leagues to the top-performing athlete in his or her first season within the league. Athletes competing for the first time in any given league are also known as "rookies".
In United States colleges, top-tier basketball is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Each of these various organizations are subdivided into one to three divisions, based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes.
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Allison Sharlene Feaster-Strong is a retired American professional basketball player. Feaster-Strong played in the Women's National Basketball Association from 1998 through 2008, for the Los Angeles Sparks, Charlotte Sting, and Indiana Fever. She played professionally in Europe from 1998 through 2016 for teams in Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy. She retired from professional basketball on August 8, 2016.
The NBA high school draftees are players who have been drafted to the National Basketball Association (NBA) straight out of high school. The process of jumping directly from high school to the professional level is also known as going prep-to-pro. Since 2006, the practice of drafting high school players has been prohibited by the new collective bargaining agreement, which requires that players who enter the draft be 19 years of age or older and at least one year removed from high school.
The NBA draft is a major annual event in which the 30 franchises in the National Basketball Association select new players for their teams. Eligibility rules for prospective players have changed several times during the history of the league. No player may sign with the NBA until they are 19 years or older. Players who have played at least one year of college basketball are eligible for the NBA draft; this has been colloquially called the one-and-done rule, with such players called "one-and-done players".
The 2012 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2012, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft marked the first time that the first two players selected were from the same school. It also set a record of having six players from one school (Kentucky) being selected in the two rounds of the draft and was the first draft to have the first three selections be college freshmen all from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference. Not only that, but it also featured the oldest player to ever get selected in an NBA draft, with Bernard James being 27 years old at the time of the draft. Of the players drafted, 30 are forwards, 21 are guards, and 9 are centers.
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