First-round pick Haley Jones leads 5 Pac-12 women's basketball standouts selected in 2023 WNBA Draft
SAN FRANCISCO – Led by Stanford's Haley Jones, who was taken with the sixth overall pick by the Atlanta Dream, five Pac-12 women's basketball standouts were selected in the 2023 WNBA Draft, the fourth time in the past five years the Conference has had five student-athletes selected.
Following Jones, four from the Pac-12 were taken in the third round. USC's Kadi Sissoko went with the No. 29 overall selection to the Phoenix Mercury and teammate Okako Adika went one pick later to the New York Liberty at No. 30. The league had another pair of back-to-back selections at Nos. 33 and 34 when Arizona's Jade Loville went to the Seattle Storm and was followed by Stanford's Ashten Prechtel to the Connecticut Sun.
It's the 13th consecutive WNBA Draft to feature at least three selections from the Pac-12. The Conference has had multiple players taken in every College Draft dating back to 1997.
Jones is Stanford's 14th all-time, first-round selection and second No. 6 pick in a row following Lexie Hull to Indiana last season. One of the most versatile players in the nation, Jones finished her Stanford career with 1,535 points, 889 rebounds, 396 assists, 107 blocks and 90 steals, one of only six players in the country with those numbers since 1999-2000 (Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls State; Marissa Coleman, Maryland; Anna Freeman, Appalachian State; Maya Moore, UConn; Breanna Stewart, UConn).
Leading the Cardinal to the 2021 national championship, Jones was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a sophomore. She was a WBCA All-America selection as a junior, along with being named Pac-12 Player of the Year. Jones was part of three regular season Pac-12 championships, along with two Pac-12 Tournament titles and two trips to the Final Four.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) April 11, 2023
The selections of Sissoko and Adika in the third round are the first for USC since Temi Fagbenle went in the same round to Minnesota with the 35th overall pick in 2016. It's the first time the Trojans have had multiple picks since 2012, when Jacki Gemelos went 31st overall to the Lynx and Briana Gilbreath went 35th overall to the Washington Mystics. In their only seasons in the Conference, Sissoko was voted All-Pac-12 after averaging a team-high 15.4 points on 45.5 percent shooting and 6.2 points rebounds, while Adika earned All-Defensive honorable mention honors to go with her 7.3 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Loville, an All-Pac-12 performer at Arizona State in 2021-22, averaged 9.8 points per game in her lone season with the Wildcats last season. She is Arizona's third WNBA Draft pick over the past 10 years, joining Aari McDonald, the third overall pick, and Trinity Baptiste, No. 24 overall, in 2021.
Prechtel is Stanford's 30th WNBA Draft selection all-time and gives the Cardinal multiple picks for the first time since 2014, when Chiney Ogwumike went No. 1 overall to Connecticut and Mikaela Ruef went with the 31st pick to Seattle. The 6-foot-5 forward was the media's pick for Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year in 2020 and carried the Cardinal to the Final Four in 2021, coming off the bench to score 16 second-half points in the Elite Eight against Louisville. After not playing in the opening 20 minutes, she shot 6-for-6 from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc, added three rebounds, four assists and two blocks to help Stanford overcome 12-point halftime deficit and win, 78-63.
In 2022, the WNBA’s 26th season featured 20 Pac-12 alumnae on opening-day rosters and 10 former standouts from six Conference schools on six of the eight teams in the WNBA Playoffs.
|Player||School||Team||Round / Pick (Overall)|
|Haley Jones||Stanford||Atlanta Dream||1st / 6th|
|Kadi Sissoko||USC||Phoenix Mercury||3rd / 29th|
|Okako Adika||USC||New York Liberty||3rd / 30th|
|Jade Loville||Arizona||Seattle Storm||3rd / 33rd|
|Ashten Prechtel||Stanford||Connecticut Sun||3rd / 34th|