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WNBA Draft 2019 Recap – Picks, Panels, and New Uniforms for all

The 2019 WNBA Draft took place at the Nike Headquarters on 31st street in New York City.  Throughout the day there were many events going on, including a “Sport For Her” Panel that included WNBA Legends Sheryl Swoopes and Sue Bird, ESPN Reporter Holly Rowe, and New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse.  The pre-draft ceremonies didn’t stop there, as Nike and WNBA also had the unveiling of their new WNBA uniforms, as well as an Orange Carpet for all draftees attending.

Uniforms

The New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun had great drafts and great new uniforms.  There is a lot of new technology that went into the design of the jerseys themselves, and more thought into a sort of re-branding for each of these teams.

According to our wonderful Nike/WNBA rep Keri, who gave us a little sneak peak of the uniforms, the goal of Nike was to go bold with the color scheme.  Each team has a primary color jersey and a secondary color jersey.  There are no white uniforms.  In addition to that, Nike has returned the logo to the center of each uniform.  It’s a much cleaner look, rather than having sponsorships as the forefront of the uniform, a la English Premier League.

Probably the biggest change between the previous uniforms and these are the research and technology that was put into the uniforms.  The holes in the material are bigger in certain spots where scientists research where female athletes sweat the most.  It’s groundbreaking for leagues to start using this high level of science for peak performance.

 

Sport For Her Highlights

On how they started their careers

“I grew up on Long Island and my parents were the coaches of my sister’s basketball team.  She’s a little bit older than me so I was more of the halftime entertainment.  Every time there would be a timeout or a whistle I would run out onto the court and start shooting as many shots as I could.  It was fun and I just kept at it.” – Long Island native Sue Bird

“I’ve been competitive my entire life.  My sister is nine years older than me and my brother is one year older than me.  My sister played basketball in college (Tamika Nurse) and my brother is an ice hockey player (Darnell Nurse) so we come from a family of very successful athletes.  I actually played both soccer and basketball growing up.  I really enjoyed both and there weren’t many programs out there.  Canada doesn’t have the same opportunities at university as America does so I wound up coming to the States to play.” – Liberty guard Kia Nurse

On how athletes can help grow women’s sports

“Just keep knocking down doors.  I recently started working with the Denver Nuggets on basketball analysis.  It’s nice because I give a different perspective and have gotten some of the guys into the women’s game.  It’s funny because it’s only about six or seven of us but I’m the only female and sometimes I’ll get a call from one of the guys asking me if I know a certain player and I know they’re watching the game.  It’s all about just being yourself and not being afraid to knock down doors.” – Sue Bird

“Just play ball and get your friends to play ball as well.  Sometimes I see at LA Fitness or at any of the outdoor courts people playing basketball but it’s always guys.  Show them that girls can play too.  Don’t be afraid to go out there and show the boys what you can do.  I can tell one of my girls to come play with me and we can go two on two or three on three with some of the guys and it’s just fun to mix in and show them what we got.” – Kia Nurse

 

The Draft

There was a lot of local flavor in the draft.  Marina Mabrie, a New Jersey native, was selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Sparks.  Let’s take a look at each local team’s draft picks;

New York Liberty

Round 1, Pick 2 – Asia Durr – Guard – Lousville

Round 2, Pick 2 – Han Xu – Center – China

Round 3, Pick 2 – Megan Huff – Forward – Utah

The Liberty went three different positions in the WNBA draft.  Somehow, Jackie Young of Notre Dame was picked #1 overall by the Indiana Fever.  That left the Liberty free to take 2X All-American Asia Durr of Louisville, who was also a 2X Finalist for Player of the Year.  The Liberty took unknown Center Han Xu from China with their second round selection, and Megan Huff from Utah with their third round selection.

Xu has played internationally with China, is a lanky 6’9 Center and is the first person drafted by NBA Associates, an international program for both NBA and WNBA players.  As for Huff, she was a semi-finalist for the McClain Award, given to the NCAA’s top power forward.

Connecticut Sun

Round 1, Pick 9 – Kristine Anigwe – Center/Forward – Cal

Round 2, Pick 9 – Bridget Carleton – Guard – Iowa State

Round 3, Pick 9 – Regan Magarity – Forward – Virginia Tech

Luckily for the Sun, standout forward Kristine Anigwe was still available at nine.  Anigwe was taken and the rest was history.  Anigwe is a 4X All-America as well as a Finalist for the McClain Award.  Carleton was a standout at Iowa State and was the recipient of the Cheryl Miller Award, given to the best small forward in D-I NCAA Basketball.

Magarity is less of a household name but has plenty of accolades of her own.  She was a captain on a surprisingly good Virginia Tech team, all time leader for ACC and Virginia Tech in total rebounds, and also holds the VT record for double-doubles in a career.  Both the Sun and Liberty did a fantastic job drafting and hopefully these young ladies will have successful careers.

 

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