Two words: Clutch Queens.
The 2019 WNBA Draft took place in New York Wednesday night and the Dallas Wings basically won the thing.
Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame
With the 5th overall pick the Wings selected Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale and this is a grade A steal for many reasons.
As of last year, Ogunbowale is one of the most recognizable faces in the NCAA thanks to her consecutive buzzer-beaters that earned Notre Dame a second title. That riveting shot earned Ogunbowale more than just a championship. Her performance made for a thrilling Final Four and served as a lure for an audience and exposure— both of which the WNBA league needs more of.
Here’s a video for reference:
Ogunbowale averaged 22 points, 5 rebounds last season. She was Notre Dame’s career points leader and will be using her skills to fill the void of Wings guard (also Notre Dame alumna) Skylar Diggins-Smith who will likely be out most of the season due to her pregnancy.
Megan Gustafson, Iowa
The Wings picked up Iowa forward Megan Gustafson with the 17th overall pick. The AP Player of the Year was the nation’s scoring leader last season averaging 27.9 points per game and was one of only four NCAA female players to score 1,000 points in a single season.
At 6-foot-3, Gustafson will ideally be used to step up as post in place of Liz Cambage who is expected to be traded before the season begins. Like Cambage, Gustafson is a dominant player who will have the opportunity to assert herself and carry her college success over to the WNBA.
As far as profiles go, Gustafson is a humble, hard working superstar and who doesn’t love that in an athlete?
Kennedy Burke, UCLA
The Wings took on UCLA guard Kennedy Burke 22nd overall. Burke was UCLA’s second-leading scorer averaging 15 points per game.
“She’s one of those players that put up decent numbers, but really her value goes well beyond the stat sheet,” said Wings CEO Greg Bibb.
An additional powerful, versatile guard will come as a valuable asset this season. Smart move by Dallas.
Morgan Bertsch, UC Davis
With the 29th and their final pick, the Wings added the nation’s fourth leading scorer Morgan Bertsch. The 6-foot-4 forward won numerous awards during her college career including the Big West Player of the Year.
Bertsch received a single Division 1 scholarship offer to UC Davis where she is the all-time scoring leader for both women and men.
“Morgan Bertsch was a top five scorer in the NCAA this season,” Bibb stated. “She is a four-player with tremendous offensive skill and excellent range. Her length and size will translate well in the WNBA and I’m eager to see her compete in camp.”