Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Hal Jalikakik
As I watched the 2020 NBA Draft online, I must say it was a different, but what is not these days? This draft certainly felt a bit different as everyone knew who was going to be the Number 1 pick, it just wasn’t on a national stage where each player got to walk and be introduced by Commissioner Engelbert. At this point, this could be the only thing the WNBA does this season. So many unknowns at this point.
The New York Liberty took Sabrina Ionescu with the first pick, but with everything going on in the city, she may not get to walk down Broadway anytime soon.
“It’s a blessing,” Ionescu said on the ESPN’s draft broadcast. She added: “I’ve only been to New York twice, but I’m really excited to be able to get to Brooklyn and just enjoy the city and start playing.”
Satou Sabally, one of the few college juniors in the draft, was selected next.
“It’s so exciting,” Sabally said on the ESPN broadcast. “I would have never thought I would be able to be picked so high.”
Local D.C native and Princeton standout Bella Alarie was picked 5th by the Dallas Wings. She will compliment Sabally nicely on this team, who now has a solid roster filled after the departure of Skyler Diggins- Smith.
The league also honored Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester before the start of the draft. Engelbert announced their names as jerseys were shown on the screen with each of the three players on them. The teenagers were among the nine people who died in the helicopter accident on Jan. 26, including Kobe Bryant.
“I think it was a very beautiful thing that the WNBA did to be able to draft those three girls,” Ionescu said. “They deserved it. I know they’re looking down and smiling and really excited.”