It came as no surprise when the Dallas Wings selected Charli Collier with the first pick of the 2021 WNBA Draft.
“Dream come true,” Collier said moments after being selected. “It was just amazing to know that your hard work pays off no matter what you do.”
Collier, a 6-5 guard, just finished her junior year at Texas.
The Dallas Wings – the first team to have both the first and second picks in draft history – then chose Awak Kuier, making Kuier the first player from Finland selected in the WNBA draft.
With the No. 3 overall pick, the Atlanta Dream chose Aari McDonald, who made a name for herself by leading Arizona to a second-place finish at the 2021 NCAA tournament earlier this month.
The first surprise of the night came when the Indiana Fever chose West Virginia’s Kysre Gondrezick with the No. 4 overall pick.
That moment when you get drafted to the WNBA as the No. 4 pick 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 16, 2021
Michaela Onyenwere, who was chosen by the New York Liberty with the No. 6 pick, won the unofficial award for best family reaction:
Michaela Onyenwere's grandma stole the show 💃🥰 pic.twitter.com/Jh4GAvgsKc
— ESPN (@espn) April 15, 2021
The first round was highlighted by three international picks. Following Kuier’s selection, Chicago chose Shyla Heal (Australia) and Las Vegas picked Iliana Rupert (France).
Many expected Louisville’s Dana Evans to be a round one pick, but the two-time ACC player of the year ended up being the Wings’ first pick of round two.
“I’m just really excited to finally hear my name,” Evans told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “I’m gonna use it as motivation because I didn’t expect to hear it this far.”
Natasha Mack – picked by the Chicago Sky as the 16th overall – expressed a similar sentiment: “I need to prove I should that I should have been the first round.”
2021 WNBA Draft – Round 1 Picks:
1. Dallas: Charli Collier
2. Dallas: Awak Kuier
3. Atlanta: Aari McDonald
4. Indiana: Kysre Gondrezick
5. Dallas: Chelsea Dungee
6. New York: Michaela Onyenwere
7. Los Angeles: Jasmine Walker
8. Chicago: Shyla Heal
9. Minnesota: Rennia Davis
10. Los Angeles: Stephanie Watts
11. Seattle: Aaliyah Wilson
12. Las Vegas: Iliana Rupert
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