Out of the names on the list of players who declared for the 2023 WNBA draft, two were from HBCUs, according to HBCU Gameday author Domonique Whitehurst: Alabama State guard Ayana Emmanuel and North Carolina A&T center Jazmin Harris.
Jackson State center Ameshya Williams-Holliday became just the sixth player from an HBCU to be drafted into the WNBA when she was selected by the Indiana Fever in 2022, continued Whitehurst.
Ayana Emmanuel scored 16.8 points and grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game for a Lady Hornets squad that went 16-15 and took a 12-6 record against conference opponents. Alabama State went to the second round of the SWAC Championship Tournament before losing to the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, 71-66. Emmanuel led the Hornets with 27 points as she knocked down seven of her 15 field goals and all 11 of her free throw attempts.
Jazmin Harris, a senior out of McLeansville, North Carolina, averaged 13.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for a North Carolina A&T team that went 18-12 overall and 12-6 against conference opponents in the 2022-23 season. They went to the first round of the CAA Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament before falling to Hofstra University in a 66-59 loss. Led by guards Sorelle Ineza and Brandy Thomas, Hofstra hit 10 of its 16 3-point shots.
“I did not see that coming,” said A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson about Hofstra’s 3-point shooting. “But this is Division I basketball, and when you allow them to have the type of shots, we allowed, some drives and kicks, some inside-outs and some threes. Anybody at this level can knock them down.”
The list of players who have declared for the 2023 WNBA Draft, not including those still in the Final Four, was released on Tuesday. Among some of the names were Indiana guard Grace Berger, Oregon forward Sedona Prince and Stanford guard Haley Jones. Maryland guard Diamond Miller would declare for the draft on Thursday.
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