UConn senior Katie Lou Samuelson was selected fourth overall in the 23rd WNBA draft, held Wednesday night at the Nike headquarters in New York City. This was significantly higher than she was projected to be picked, as Mechelle Voepel from ESPNW had projected Samuelson to be the ninth overall pick.
As the fourth pick, Samuelson will head to the Chicago Sky who have a new head coach this season in James Wade. Wade was an assistant coach for the Minnesota Lynx from 2017-18, which included the teams fourth and most recent WNBA championship win.
Samuelson will join former UConn women’s basketball standout Gabby Williams in Chicago. The Sky selected Williams as the fourth overall pick last season. Samuelson will surely be a player Chicago will embrace. The Sky have one of the best point guards in the league in Courtney Vandersloot as well as a three-point-scoring machine in Allie Quigley. Adding another consistent point scorer in Samuelson could help the Chicago achieve a post-season berth this season.
UConn’s Napheesa Collier was selected sixth overall in the draft and will head to Minnesota to join the Lynx. Collier will help to fill some gaps for the Lynx that they have not had to fill for some years: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Whalen retired last season and is now the head coach of women’s basketball at Minnesota, and superstar Maya Moore announced that she will be taking this upcoming WNBA season off.
Collier is an all-around intelligent player who brings with her the kind of work ethic that head coach Cheryl Reeve loves. She is also the Lynx’s first top 10 pick since 2012.
The No. 1 overall pick in the draft was Notre Dame’s Jackie Young, who announced earlier in the week that she would be forgoing her senior year to declare early. The last junior to be drafted No. 1 overall was Jewell Loyd, also from Notre Dame, who has made a significant mark in the league and already has a championship with Seattle.
Young will head to Las Vegas, a team that has had the No. 1 overall pick for three straight season, and will bring a tough defensive presence and scoring ability to their roster.
The New York Liberty struggled this past season but will hope to turn that around with the addition of Asia Durr who they drafted with their second-overall pick.
Durr’s ability to create her own shot and her work ethic will mesh well with the Liberty, and it will be especially exciting to see how she and the great Tina Charles play together.
This year’s draft class was one of the deepest in quite a few years. There were so many players who were well-rounded and could immediately impact teams. The most interesting ones to watch will definitely be Collier in Minnesota and Durr in New York. Those players are ones with the work ethic, talent and honestly just luck to land themselves on a team where they will be put to use right away.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.