• February 26, 2024

Charli Collier goes No. 1 overall to Dallas Wings

The Dallas Wings didn’t have to look far to find a new player to build around.

With number 1 in Thursday’s WNBA draft, the Wings chose Texas star Charli Collier, a 6-foot-5 striker / center who helped put women’s basketball back on the map in Austin.

Collier, who averaged 19 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 51.1% off the field for the Longhorns in the 2020-21 season, was a Honorable Mention from WBCA All-America, who helped run Texas as the number 6 Elite Eight of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. your The scoring average was the sixth best in Texas program historyand she was only the fourth Longhorn to averaged double-doubles over the course of a season – an feat she has done in each of the last two seasons.

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Texas striker Charli Collier led the Longhorns to the Elite Eight of the NCAA women's basketball tournament after a surprise from Maryland No. 2 on Sweet 16.

Within minutes of Collier’s pick, Dallas was back on track with the Wings becoming the first team in league history to pick the two best picks on the same draft.

The Wings selected Awak Kuier with their second choice, the first player from Finland to be drafted. Kuier, who was born in Cairo and emigrated to Finland with her family as a young child, drew comparisons with reigning Defensive Player of the Year and two-time MVP Candace Parker last season. The 19-year-old 6-foot-5 center is currently playing professionally for Virtus Eirene Ragusa in Italy.

“Needless to say, we are delighted with the results of the design for our organization,” said Greg Bibb, president and general manager of Wings. “Tonight we took another big step forward with the progress of our team. With Charli and Awak’s draft, we naturally have the two best players in the draft. “

Three picks later, the wings picked Chelsea Dungee, a 5-foot-11 guard from Arkansas, in 5th place. As the WBCA first-team All American, the dynamic goalscorer averaged 22.3 points per game for the Razorbacks this season.

Between the choices of the wings is the Atlanta Dream used the number 3 to select Arizona security guard Aari McDonaldwho became a household name with their standout play at the 2021 NCAA tournament that led the Wildcats to their first national championship game. Averaging 20.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and four assists per game in their senior season, McDonald was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Aari McDonald led the Arizona Wildcats to their first NCAA national championship game before falling by one point to Pac-12 rivals Stanford.

One bit of a surprise was that the Indiana Fever designed Kysre Gondrezick, a 5-foot-9 security guard from West Virginia, with the fourth choice. Gondrezick averaged 19.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds and was named a WBCA All-American.

Collier, the first Longhorn ever to be first selected in the WNBA draft, Kuier and Dungee will join a very young Dallas team where no player on the current roster has more than five years of WNBA experience. But head coach Vickie Johnson, a former New York Liberty star, has a lot of talent and the chance to really reshape the roster before the 2021 season kicks off on May 14.

The Wings had three of the top seven picks in last year’s WNBA draft, and used the selection to draw Oregon’s Satou Sabally in 2nd overall, Princeton’s Bella Alarie in 5th and Tyasha Harris of South Carolina in 7th.

Two years ago, Dallas picked # 5 overall Arike Ogunbowale, who nearly led Notre Dame to the 2019 national championship before the Fighting Irish lost a point to Baylor. Ogunbowale led the WNBA last season with 22.8 points per game.

Contributor: The Associated Press

2021 WNBA draft selection

First round

1. Dallas Wings (from New York Liberty): Charli Collier, F / C, Texas

2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier, C, Virtus Eirene RG (Italy)

3. Atlanta Dream: Owned by McDonald, G, Arizona

4. Indiana Fever: Kysre Gondrezick, G, West Virginia

5. Dallas Wings: (from Washington Mystics): Chelsea Dungee, G, Arkansas

6. New York Liberty (from Connecticut Sun): Michaela Onyenwere, F, UCLA

7. Los Angeles Sparks (from Dallas): Jasmine Walker, F, Alabama

8. Chicago Sky (from Phoenix Mercury): Shyla Heal, G, Townsville Fire (Australia)

9. Minnesota Lynx: Rennia Davis, G / F, Tennessee

10. Los Angeles Sparks: Stephanie Watts, G, Southern California

11. Seattle Storm: Aaliyah Wilson, G, Texas A&M (Wilson was then traded to Indiana)

12. Las Vegas Aces: Iliana Rupert, C, Tango Bourges Basket (France)

Second round

13. Dallas Wings (from New York): Dana Evans, G., Louisville

14. Las Vegas Aces (from Indiana): Destiny Slocum, G, Arkansas

15. Atlanta Dream: Raquel Carrera, C, Valencia Basket Club (Spain)

16. Chicago Sky (from Dallas): Natasha Mack, F, State of Oklahoma

17. New York Liberty (from Washington): Didi Richards, G., Baylor

18. Seattle Storm (from Connecticut): G Kiana Williams, Stanford

19. Indiana Fever (from Chicago): One of a kind Thompson, F, Auburn

20. Connecticut Sun (from Phoenix): DiJonai Carrington, G., Baylor

21. Connecticut Sun (of Minnesota): Micaela Kelly, G., Central Michigan

22. Los Angeles Sparks: Arella Guirantes, G., Rutgers

23. Seattle Storm: N’Dea Jones, F., Texas A & M.

24. Indiana Fever (from Las Vegas): Trinity Baptiste, F, Arizona

Third round

25. New York Freedom: Valerie Higgins, G, Pacific

26. Indiana Fever: Chelsey Perry, F, UT Martin

27. Atlanta Dream: Lindsey Pulliam, G., Northwestern

28. Los Angeles Sparks (from Dallas): Ivana Raca, F, Wake Forest

29. New York Liberty: (from Washington), Marine Fauthoux, G., Lyon Asvel Feminin (France)

30. Connecticut Sun: Aleah Goodman, G, State of Oregon

31. Indiana Fever (from Chicago): Florencia Chagas, G, USE Scotti Rosa Empoli (Italy)

32. Phoenix Mercury: Ciera Johnson, C, Texas A & M.

33. Indiana Fever (of Minnesota): Maya Caldwell, G, Georgia

34. Los Angeles Sparks: Aina Ayuso, G, Spain

35.Seattle Storm: Natalie Kucowski, F., Lafayette

36. Las Vegas Aces: Kionna Jeter, G, Towson

Jack

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