Good things came in threes at the 2016 WNBA draft April 14. UConn women’s basketball continued to rewrite history books as three Huskies were selected with the first three picks in the draft. Everybody’s All-World Everything Breanna Stewart was the first player taken by Seattle. If she were a man, Steward might be looking at a nine-figure contract, but she’s not. Hopefully she’ll earn seven figures as the face of woman’s basketball over the next decade.
Moriah Jefferson went second to San Antonio and Morgan Tuck third to Connecticut. This marked the first time in history one school provided the first three picks to any major sport, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The 2016 draft also represented the first time three former Washington-area prep stars were drafted in the first or second round. George Washington’s Jonquel Jones (Riverdale Baptist) was selected sixth overall by the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Sun paid a hefty price to obtain her rights in Connecticut later that night. The Sun gave up Chelsea Gray, the 15th and 23rd picks in the 2016 WNBA draft and the first round pick in the 2017 draft in exchange for Jones and the 17th pick in the 2016 draft. The 6-foot-6 Jones averaged 16.2 ppg and 14.6 rpg in spite of a shoulder injury that forced her miss 10 games. Jones joins UConn’s Tuck and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, who were selected third and fourth by the Sun.
James Madison guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Liberty) was the second player taken in the second round. Minnesota drafted her and traded Gwathmey’s rights to San Antonio. Noted for her defense, Gwathmey was the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and led the Dukes with 20.7 points per game.
Finally, Maryland’s Brene Moseley (Paint Branch) was selected by the Indiana Fever with the 21st pick overall 9th in 2nd round. The Indiana Fever went 20-14 overall in the 2015 season and advanced to the WNBA Finals. Former Terrapins Marissa Coleman and Lynetta Kizer currently play for the Fever.
Moseley led the Terrapins in assists with 5.9 per game and led the Big Ten with her assist/turnover ratio of 2.4. She averaged 11.6 points per game and was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Player of the Year.
Washington selected Kahleah Copper from Rutgers with the 7th pick. The first team All-Big Ten wing averaged 14.1 ppg and 5.8 rpg during her career. “Kahleah is one of the most improved and under-appreciated players in the country. She has improved each year at Rutgers. Her length and quickness have helped her become a very good defender,” GM/coach Mike Thibault said.