Fri, 07 May 2021

Wings pick Texas center Charli Collier No. 1 overall in WNBA draft

Field Level Media
16 Apr 2021, 10:05 GMT+10

The Dallas Wings selected Texas center Charli Collier with the first pick in the 2021 WNBA draft Thursday.

Collier averaged 19 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in her junior season. Texas upset two higher-seeded teams on its way to reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament; Collier put up 16 points and 11 rebounds in the Sweet 16 to help the Longhorns beat Maryland.

The 6-foot-5 native of Mont Belvieu, Texas, will stay in her home state to begin her professional career.

"My heart is racing right now because I worked so hard for this moment," Collier said in an interview on ESPN's telecast. "There's a lot of people that have a lot of things to say about me, but you can never question my work ethic. No matter (if you) hate me or love me, you still gotta respect me either way."

Dallas acquired the No. 1 pick from the New York Liberty in a three-way blockbuster trade in February.

On the clock again at No. 2, which was their original first-round pick, the Wings selected Finnish forward Awak Kuier. The 19-year-old Kuier has been playing professionally Italy, where she averaged 8.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season.

Dallas was the first team in WNBA history to own the top two overall draft picks of the same draft.

The Atlanta Dream chose NCAA tournament standout Aari McDonald with the third overall selection Thursday. The Arizona guard, who averaged 20.6 points and four assists in her senior season, helped lead the Wildcats to the national championship game and is the first Arizona player to be taking in the first round of the WNBA draft.

The draft is three rounds of 12 picks each. The WNBA regular season begins May 14.

--Field Level Media

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