Tonight begins the prelude to the 2021 WNBA season! 25 years of excellence, grit, grind, sweat, tears, and so much more. The NCAA Women’s Championship tournament gave us a test of some of the women of the future and none disappointed. The tourney brought out major spikes in ratings and social media followings and gave rise to some that maybe were not on your radar.
Someone that was on everyone’s radar was the Dallas Wing first overall pick: Charli Collier. The 6 ft 5 in shifty Center averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting over 50% from the field for the Texas Longhorns. Collier is the first Longhorn to be drafted with the WNBA’s first pick and the second from the Big 12. Kevin Durant stamped Charli the #1 pick and showed a lot of love for his fellow Texas Longhorn. Bringing rebounding and excellent face up skills, Charli will make it even harder to contain the Dallas offense that already includes Ty Harris, current scoring champion Arike Ogunbowale, and Satou Sabally.
If that wasn’t enough, Dallas had the #2 pick and selected Awak Kuier from Finland. Kuier also made history tonight and become the first woman from Finland to be drafted into the league. At only 19, Awak has a high ceiling but with her athleticism and ability to spread the floor, she will be a force from Day 1. If you haven’t watched her play, you are missing out. She has brought the ball down with both one hands and two hands and will only continue to get better and better as the season progresses.
The Wings also added more depth to the backcourt with SG Chelsea Dungee and PG Dana Evans. Both are scoring machines. Dungee is not afraid of putting her head down and getting a bucket. Getting to the foul line is her specialty and this could spread the floor to give Ogunbowale some room to do her magic. Evans has elite speed with the ball and has stamped herself as someone you want with the ball in clutch moments. Evans also possesses a nice shooting range and with Dallas being a high volume 3-point shooting team, she will feel right at home.
With not many roster spots available, these new members of the W have a lot to prove, but all of these women have a grit that is needed to make it in this league. Training camps start around April 25, and the 25th WNBA season starts May 14. We can all agree that training camp will be quite interesting to say the least.