Dallas selects Texas’ Charli Collier as the first pick of the 2021 WNBA Draft; Finnish phenom Awak Kuier goes second
Charli Collier, a 6-5 forward-center from Texas, is the first overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Selected by the Dallas Wings, Collier enters the pros after a stellar career for the Longhorns where she was a two-time All-American who averaged 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in her senior campaign. She is only the second Big 12 player to be a No. 1 overall pick, following the footsteps of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (2013, Baylor).
Dallas, a team with a bounty of four selections, also had two other first-round picks and a second-rounder. The Wings chose phenom, 19-year-old Awak Kuier, a 6-3 center who is a member of the Finland National Team and the first-ever Finnish player in the league. She is also the seventh player in draft history to be picked in the top five without an NCAA background. The others: Lauren Jackson, Liz Cambage, Ann Wauters, Cintia dos Santos, Eva Nemcova, and the late Margo Dydek. Kuier plays overseas in Italy on the same team as Wings forward Isabelle Harrison where she averages 8.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Dallas also chose Chelsea Dungee from Arkansas with the fifth pick and Dana Evans from Louisville with the 13th overall pick.
The rest of the first round:
- The Atlanta Dream chose Pac-12 Player of the Year, Arizona’s Aari McDonald as the third pick. McDonald, a dynamic point guard, helped lead her Wildcats to the national championship game this season.
- The Indiana Fever selected All-Big 12 Team member Kysre Gondrezick out of West Virginia as the fourth pick.
- Dungee, a talented shooting guard, and first-team All-American, was Dallas’ third selection and the fifth overall pick.
- The New York Liberty added a two-time All-American in the sixth pick, UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere.
- The Los Angeles Sparks had the seventh and 10th picks, choosing Alabama forward Jasmine Walker and North Carolina guard Stephanie Watts. Walker is a two-time All-SEC selection. In her last two seasons, Watts led UNC in assists, steals, and blocks.
- The Chicago Sky selected 19-year-old guard Shyla Heal, the daughter of Australian basketball great Shane Heal, as the eighth overall pick. The younger Heal plays in Australia’s WNBL for the Townsville Fire and averaged 16.7 points per game this past season.
- With the ninth overall pick, the Minnesota Lynx selected guard-forward Rennia Davis from Tennessee. Davis is a two-time All-SEC first-team selection.
- The Seattle Storm used its only first-round pick on Texas A&M guard Aaliyah Wilson. The Storm promptly traded the 11th pick’s draft rights to the Indiana Fever for third-year guard Kennedy Burke.
- With the last pick of the first round, the Las Vegas Aces added forward Iliana Rupert of France. Rupert plays for EuroLeague team Bourges Basket and is a member of the French national team.
|1||Dallas Wings||Charli Collier||Texas||F/C|
|2||Dallas Wings||Awak Kuier||Finland||C|
|3||Atlanta Dream||Aari McDonald||Arizona||G|
|4||Indiana Fever||Kysre Gondrezick||West Virginia||G|
|5||Dallas Wings||Chelsea Dungee||Arkansas||G|
|6||New York Liberty||Michaela Onyenwere||UCLA||F|
|7||Los Angeles Sparks||Jasmine Walker||Alabama||F|
|8||Chicago Sky||Shyla Heal||Australia||G|
|9||Minnesota Lynx||Rennia Davis||Tennessee||G/F|
|10||Los Angeles Sparks||Stephanie Watts||North Carolina||G|
|11*||Seattle Storm||Aaliyah Wilson||Texas A&M||G|
|12||Las Vegas Aces||Iliana Rupert||France||F|
|13||Dallas Wings||Dana Evans||Louisville||G|
|14||Las Vegas Aces||Destiny Slocum||Arkansas||G|
|15||Atlanta Dream||Raquel Carrera||Spain||C|
|16||Chicago Sky||Natasha Mack||Oklahoma State||F|
|17||New York Liberty||DiDi Richards||Baylor||G|
|18||Seattle Storm||Kiana Williams||Stanford||G|
|19||Indiana Fever||Unique Thompson||Auburn||F|
|20||Connecticut Sun||DiJonai Carrington||Baylor||G|
|21||Connecticut Sun||Micaela Kelly||Central Michigan||G|
|22||Los Angeles Sparks||Arella Guirantes||Rutgers||G|
|23||Seattle Storm||N’dea Jones||Texas A&M||F|
|24||Indiana Fever||Trinity Baptiste||Arizona||F|
|25||New York Liberty||Valerie Higgins||Pacific||G|
|26||Indiana Fever||Chelsey Perry||UT Martin||G|
|27||Atlanta Dream||Lindsey Pulliam||Northwestern||G|
|28||Los Angeles Sparks||Ivana Raca||Wake Forest||F|
|29||New York Liberty||Marine Fauthoux||France||G|
|30||Connecticut Sun||Aleah Goodman||Oregon State||G|
|31||Indiana Fever||Florencia Chagas||Argentina||G|
|32||Phoenix Mercury||Ciera Johnson||Texas A&M||C|
|33||Indiana Fever||Maya Caldwell||Georgia||G|
|34||Los Angeles Sparks||Aina Ayuso||Spain||G|
|35||Seattle Storm||Natalie Kucowski||Lafayette||F|
|36||Las Vegas Aces||Kionna Jeter||Towson||G|
*Traded to Indiana for Kennedy Burke