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WNBA Draft

WNBA Draft

  • Premiered: 
    April 20, 2001
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ESPN2
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Draft for WNBA Basketball 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: basketball

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1997, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) has held its annual WNBA DRAFT, allowing teams to select eligible college players in an order based on record and the results of a draft lottery. All round o the WNBA DRAFT are held on a single day. First held on April 18, 1997, Tina Thompson was the first No. 1 draft pick, selected by the Houston Comets. The 2001 WNBA DRAFT, held on Friday, April 20 at the NBA Entertainment studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, was the first draft to air on national television, as ESPN2 and NBA TV simulcast the first round, while only NBA TV covered the remaining three rounds. During this telecast and other early drafts, all picks were made via conference call with team representatives. From 2001 through 2012, the WNBA DRAFT was held during the afternoon (Eastern Time), with the first round televised by an ESPN channel and later rounds broadcast by NBA TV. Since 2013, the WNBA DRAFT has usually been held during primetime (Eastern Time), with the first round broadcast by ESPN2 and rounds 2 and 3 televised by ESPNU, but in 2015 the second and third rounds were streamed on ESPN3.
On Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 7-8pm ET/4-5pm PT, ESPN2 presented live coverage of the first round of the 2018 WNBA DRAFT from Nike New York Headquarters in New York, which hosted the draft for the first time. Coverage for the second and third rounds moved to ESPNU, beginning at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Anchor Ryan Ruocco is joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and LaChina Robinson, and reporter Holly Rowe.

New franchise Las Vegas Aces -- coached by WNBA championship coach Bill Laimbeer -- hold the top pick in the draft, while the remainder of the top five include: No. 2 Indiana Fever; No. 3 Chicago Sky (from Atlanta); No. 4 Chicago Sky; and No. 5 Seattle Storm.


Firsts, Lasts & Notable Notes

  • April 15, 2013: First time WNBA Draft is televised during prime time.