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Clark, Reese headline list of 15 players invited to WNBA draft

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                LSU forward Angel Reese drives around Iowa forward Addison O’Grady on April 1.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

LSU forward Angel Reese drives around Iowa forward Addison O’Grady on April 1.

NEW YORK >> Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese headline a list of 15 college players who have been invited to the WNBA draft on Monday, the league announced today.

Clark, who is the career leading scorer in Division I men’s and women’s basketball, is expected to go first to the Indiana Fever. It’s the second consecutive year that the Fever have the top pick.

“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement now with having back-to-back picks,” Indiana GM Lin Dunn said. “And I think, you’ve seen a great deal of interest in ticket sales around this pick, and I think we’re all excited about adding another top pick to this young team. So is there a lot going on? Is there a lot of noise? Is there a lot of excitement? Absolutely.”

The Iowa star helped the NCAA Tournament have its highest ratings ever, including 18.9 million people tuning in for the championship game won by South Carolina over Clark’s team.

Reese helped LSU win the NCAA championship in 2023 and is expected to go somewhere in the first round.

Other players invited to attend the draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music include Stanford star Cameron Brink and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso. The 6-foot-7 center helped the Gamecocks complete the 10th undefeated season in NCAA Division I history. She earned Most Outstanding Player honors of the Final Four.

The other 11 invitees are Rickea Jackson of Tennessee; Aliyah Edwards and Nika Muhl of UConn; Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech; Charisma Osborne of UCLA; Celeste Taylor and Jacy Sheldon of Ohio State; Alissa Pili of Utah; Marquesha Davis of Mississippi; Dyaisha Fair of Syracuse; and Nyadiew Puoch of Australia.

The Los Angeles Sparks hold the second and fourth pick with Chicago selecting third. Dallas is fifth and Washington sixth.

Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas, Connecticut, New York and Atlanta close out the first round.

In all there are three rounds and 36 picks total.

“You know, the hardest part of this conversation every year is the reality that second and third-round picks have a really hard time making WNBA rosters,” ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said. “First-round picks that go late have a hard time making WNBA rosters. We talk about a league of 144. It’s not a league of 144. Many of these teams only carry 11 players and maybe by the end of the season they can carry a 12th.”

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