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Three UConn Women’s Basketball Players Selected in 2018 WNBA Draft’s First Round

Gabby Williams, Azura Stevens, and Kia Nurse were picked fourth, sixth, and 10th overall on the evening.


The WNBA held its annual player selection meeting Thursday evening with three Huskies, and one Husky transfer, hearing their names called on the night. The three Huskies were all selected within the first 10 picks, marking the third time in UConn history—along with 2002 and 2016—that this has happened.

Gabby Williams was the first one, at fourth overall to the Chicago Sky. The superstar who did a little bit of everything for Geno Auriemma’s squad will be joining fellow former Husky Stef Dolson in the Windy City.

“I just hugged my mom and said we did it,” Williams said. “It’s been a long journey. Just to finally hear my name being called, it was amazing... Now, I’m just on cloud nine.”

With the sixth pick in the draft, the Dallas Wings selected Azura Stevens. Her surprise decision to declare for the draft with one year of eligibility shook up the first round outlook, and she landed at the franchise originally known as the Detroit Shock. There Stevens will join former Husky Saniya Chong, who was a third-round pick of the team and UConn’s only draftee in 2017.

“I feel really confident going into this team to be able to adapt and adjust to the new environment and the team and whatever they need to do,” Stevens said, referring to how her transfer experience will help her adjust at the next level.

NBAE/Getty Images

The New York Liberty took Kia Nurse with the 10th overall pick. She’ll be the fourth Husky on that roster, joining Tina Charles (2010), Kelly Faris (2013), Bria Hartley (2014), and Kiah Stokes (2015).

“Absolutely,” Nurse said about whether she was a good fit with New York. “The conversations that I’ve had with them, watching them over the last couple summers, I think it’s a place I fit in very well and I’m very excited to get started.”

Natalie Butler, who joined UConn as a transfer from Georgetown and ended her career at George Mason as a graduate transfer, was taken with the sixth pick of the third round by the Wings.

Since the formation of the WNBA in 1997, UConn has had 36 draft picks, with an 11-year streak of having at least one player selected. In that time, the Huskies have produced 23 first-round picks.