Dallas selects Texas’ Charli Collier as the first pick of the 2021 WNBA Draft; Finnish phenom Awak Kuier goes second

Charli Collier. Photo: Texas Athletics.

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.

Full Draft

First Round
Pick Team Player School/Country Position
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
Second Round
Pick Team Player School/Country Position
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
Third Round
Pick Team Player School/Country Position
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

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