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Beginners Guide: Following the WNBA Draft for New Women’s Basketball Fans

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The current era of women’s basketball is shaping up to be incredibly thrilling, with the recent success of NCAA March Madness drawing in millions of viewers and showcasing incredible athletes like Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers, and Angel Reese. The 2024 women’s national championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and South Carolina Gamecocks broke records with 18.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history. The WNBA draft, set to take place on April 15, is the next exciting event on the horizon, featuring some of the most highly anticipated college stars.

The WNBA draft will be held on Monday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn. Fans will be allowed to attend the draft in person for the first time since 2016, promising an exhilarating atmosphere. The draft serves the purpose of allowing WNBA teams to select new players to bolster their rosters and bring parity to the league. The draft process involves a lottery and ranking system that favors teams with lower performance records, giving them a chance to secure top new talent.

All 12 teams in the WNBA will participate in the draft, with each team making 12 picks across three rounds. The draft order is determined based on team performance from the previous season, with the worst teams selecting first. The first four picks in the first round are determined by a draft lottery among the teams that did not make the playoffs the previous year. Eligible players for the draft include college seniors, NCAA players who turn 22 and renounce their NCAA eligibility, and international players who turn 20 in the draft year.

While the exact size of the athlete pool for the draft has not been announced, 89 players have already renounced their college eligibility to become draft candidates. Notable athletes in the draft pool include Caitlin Clark, Aaliyah Edwards, and Kamilla Cardoso. In the end, only 36 athletes will be selected in the draft. The Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, and Chicago Sky have the first picks in the draft this year, with Caitlin Clark being widely predicted as the top pick due to her impressive collegiate career stats. As the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and highest-earning NCAA women’s basketball player, Clark is a standout favorite for the coveted top spot in the draft.

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