After an exciting and historic playoff season, several of the NCAA’s top players entered the draft. Teams made their selections, naming final four players, All-Americans and top scorers as their next best additions. Players who competed fearlessly and vigorously in the playoffs are now teammates, claiming that, together, they’ll be unstoppable. Other players are leaving their homes across the globe to join the WNBA. Hosted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the 2024 WNBA Draft garnered a new level of excitement.

While some team members’ playing made them household names, here’s our list of who to know from the WNBA Draft. 

The WNBA Draft Takes Clark First and Reese Second

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Chosen as the No.1 WNBA Draft Pick was Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. The well-known and well-celebrated guard set the NCAA all-time scoring mark securing her selection by the Indiana Fever. Clark is not only known for her 3-point shot, she also contributed to the increased attention around women’s basketball. She’ll increase fandom in Indiana, enrich and be molded by their team of women’s basketball greats. LSU’s Angel Reese, The Bayou Barbie, found herself in a duel with Clark after the 2022-2023 season. To signify winning the playoffs, Clark waved her hand in the air and pointed towards her ring finger. After Reese led her team to victory that season, Reese was considered bit too outspoken when she returned the gesture.

However, as we know, men’s sports thrive on bold confidence which Reese embodies in her game. Selected seventh by the Chicago Sky, she’ll join the overall third pick of the WNBA Draft, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso. Cardoso was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player and is confident that no one will attain more rebounds than she and Reese. 

The Los Angeles Sparks Take Two and Two of UCONN’s Secure Spots

Selected third by the Los Angeles Sparks was Stanford’s Cameron Brink. She was awarded the title of PAC 12 Player of the Year and will be joined by Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson. Brink was also named the “best two-way player in the draft” by American comedian and SNL host Michael Che. Che hosted Caitlin Clark for a roast where Che made the statement about Brink’s game. Joining Brink is Rickea Jackson who was one of only five SEC players to average 20 points and per game for several seasons. Jackson was the Sparks’ fourth overall pick. Two more players from NCAA’s Women’s Basketball will join professional teams and, this time, from the same collegiate team. UCONN’s Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl were selected sixth and fourteenth.

Edwards, a two-time All-American was selected by the Washington Mystics whereas Mühl was selected (second in the second round, 14th overall) by the Seattle Storm. Edwards averaged over 17 points per game and 1 block per game proving to be beneficial offensively and defensively with room to grow. Mühl turned heads in the playoffs while strongly defending Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. She averaged over 22 points per game and more than 2 steals. She follows in second place, after Clark, with the most three pointers shot and secured this past season. 

These Players Made History

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Picked eighth by the Minnesota Lynx, Utah’s Alissa Pili was considered un-guardable in the playoffs, getting past two of South Carolina’s defenders and scoring 37 points on her own. She’s exciting to watch and a major addition to the Lynx team. Also making history are Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair and HBCU Jackson State’s Angel Jackson. Fair, chosen fourth in the second round (overall 16th pick), is the third all-time leading scorer in collegiate women’s basketball history. Similarly, Jackson became the second draft pick, in 20 years, to attend and graduate from a historically black college or university. Each of these athletes, as well as those finishing up their college years, have all contributed to an increased interest in women’s collegiate and professional sports.

Caitlin Clark, who is being heralded as the main player on that particular note, is among incredible company in collegiate alumni, and now, professional women’s basketball. Excited about their contributions and arrivals to the league, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert also spoke to their plan of expanding. They’ve set a goal of getting 16 teams over the next few years, but have not provided a concrete timeline. With expansion, comes the need for increased funds and resources, but where is the WNBA when it comes to those points? It’s been reported that the league does provide private travel for all playoffs and back-to-back games. However, for regular games, players will be flying commercially. As this differs from that of NBA players, funding still proves to be an issue.

The top four picks of the WNBA will join the “rookie wage scale” which sets a base salary of close to $80,000 per year. Teams are already adjusting to ticket sellouts, 800 in 24 hours. It is hoped that these disparities will be rectified by new names and renewed anticipation within the league. We wish all of the draft picks and collegiate women’s basketball participants best of luck in their continued careers.