Thedidn’t have to look far to find a new player to build around. With the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s , the Wings selected Texas star Charli Collier, a 6-foot-5 forward/center who helped put women’s basketball back on the map in Austin.
Collier, who averaged 19 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 51.1% from the field for the Longhorns in the 2020-21 season, was a WBCA All-America honorable mention who helped lead No. 6 seed Texas to the Elite Eight of thebasketball tournament.
Her scoring average was the sixth-best in Texas program history, and she was only the fourth Longhorn to average a double-double throughout a season — a feat she accomplished in each of the last two seasons. Within minutes of Collier’s selection, Dallas was back on the clock, as the Wings became the first team in league history with the top two picks in the same draft.
The Wings used their second pick to select Awak Kuier, the first. Kuier, born in Cairo and emigrated to Finland with her family as a small child, has drawn comparisons to reigning Defensive Player of the Year and two-time MVP Candace Parker over the past season. The 6-foot-5, 19-year-old center plays professionally for Virtus Eirene Ragusa in Italy.
Three picks later, the Wings selected Chelsea Dungee, a 5-foot-11 guard out of Arkansas, at No. 5. A WBCA first-team All-American, the dynamic scorer averaged 22.3this season for the Razorbacks. The used the No. 3 pick to select Arizona guard Aari McDonald, who became a household Tournament in between the Wings’ selections. She led the Wildcats to their first-ever national championship game. Averaging 20.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and four assists per game her senior season, McDonald was named the of the Year and co-Defensive Player.
In a bit of a surprise, the Indiana Fever drafted Kysre Gondrezick, a 5-foot-9 guard from, with the fourth pick. Gondrezick averaged 19.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.9 rebounds and was chosen as a WBCA honorable mention All-American. Collier, the first Longhorn ever selected first overall in the WNBA draft, Kuier, and Dungee will join a very young Dallas having more than five years of WNBA experience. But head coach Vickie Johnson, a former New York Liberty star, has a lot of talent to work with and a chance to reshape the roster before the 2021 off on May 14.
The Wings had three top-sevenWNBA draft. They used the selections to draft Oregon’s Satou Sabally at No. 2 overall, Princeton’s Bella Alarie at No. 5, and Tyasha Harris at No. 7. With the No. 5 overall pick, Dallas selected Arike Ogunbowale, who nearly led to the 2019 national championship before the Fighting Irish lost by one point to Baylor. Ogunbowale led the WNBA in scoring .
2021 WNBA draft selections
1. Dallas Wings (from New York Liberty): Charli Collier, F/C, Texas
2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier, C, Virtus Eirene RG (Italy)
3. Atlanta Dream: Aari McDonald, G, Arizona
4. Indiana Fever: Kysre Gondrezick, G, West Virginia
5. Dallas Wings: (from Washington Mystics): Chelsea Dungee, G, Arkansas
6. New York Liberty (from Connecticut Sun): Michaela Onyenwere, F, UCLA
7. Los Angeles Sparks (from Dallas): Jasmine Walker, F, Alabama
8. Chicago Sky (from Phoenix Mercury): Shyla Heal, G, Townsville Fire (Australia)
9. Minnesota Lynx: Rennia Davis, G/F, Tennessee
10. Los Angeles Sparks: Stephanie Watts, G, Southern California
11. Seattle Storm: Aaliyah Wilson, G, Texas A&M (Wilson was then traded to Indiana)
12. Las Vegas Aces: Iliana Rupert, C, Tango Bourges Basket (France)