INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fever went big in the WNBA Draft Monday night, taking advantage of their four first-round picks and seven draft picks overall.
With the #2 pick in the first round, the Fever took Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith who was a first-team All-American in her final two years in Waco and won a national championship with the Bears her freshman year.
The Fever added Emily Engstler of Louisville, Lexie Hull of Stanford, and Queen Egbo of Baylor as well in the first round.
Then, in the later rounds, interim general manager Lin Dunn, the former coach of the Fever, took a familiar name to many in the state of Indiana. The Fever drafted Ali Patberg of Indiana, the 2015 Miss Indiana Basketball out of Columbus North.
Patberg helped the Hoosiers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances these last two seasons, which included a trip to the Elite Eight in 2021, the Hoosiers’ deepest run into the tournament in program history.
The Fever also added Destanni Henderson of South Carolina and Ameysha Williams-Holiday of Jackson State.
“It went great,” Dunn said of the draft. “I can’t even tell you how happy we are with the way they fell. I’ve already had several people text me trying to trade for my picks. That’s how you know you did well when someone wants to trade for your picks.”
Dunn described each player they drafted as a “winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
The Fever are hoping for some new life in their brand new team after winning just six games all of last season, finishing last in the WNBA.