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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 4/16/2024, Last updated: 4/16/2024
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Seven Big Ten Standouts Selected in 2024 WNBA Draft

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Seven Big Ten Conference student-athletes were chosen in the 2024 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft that took place on Monday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The seven selections are the most for the conference since 2005.

The Big Ten has now had multiple student-athletes from current member schools chosen in the WNBA Draft in every one of the league’s 28 seasons of existence.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was the first Big Ten player selected this year as the No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever. Clark is just the third No. 1 pick in the history of the Big Ten Conference, joining Vicky Bullett, MD* (1997) and Janel McCarville, MINN (2005). She is the highest draft selection in Iowa’s program history.

Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon was the next Big Ten standout off the board, going No. 5 overall in the first round to the Dallas Wings. Sheldon is the first Buckeye to be drafted in the first round since Kelsey Mitchell in 2018.

With the selections of Clark and Sheldon, the Big Ten had multiple first-round WNBA Draft picks from current member schools for the third consecutive year and 15th time in the event’s history, as well as the sixth time since 2015 (when Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference).

Ohio State’s Celeste Taylor heard her name called in the second round as the No. 15 pick by the Indiana Fever. Taylor joined fellow draftee Sheldon as the 16th and 17th players from Ohio State to be selected in the WNBA Draft, the first Buckeye duo since 2018 (Kelsey Mitchell and Stephanie Mavunga).  

Iowa’s Kate Martin was selected in the second round at No. 18 by the reigning WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces. Martin is the first Big Ten player drafted by the Aces organization. She and former teammate Clark are the 18th and 19th Hawkeyes to be drafted or signed to a WNBA team. It is the first time that Iowa has had multiple players taken in the same draft since it had three chosen in 1998.

Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes opened the third round for the Big Ten as the No. 26 pick by the Seattle Storm. It was the third straight year that Indiana had a player selected in the WNBA Draft and Holmes became the sixth Hoosier in school history to be chosen. She is the first conference player taken by the Storm since 2013 and the fifth overall.  

Nebraska’s Jaz Shelley kept things going as the 29th selection in the third round to the Phoenix Mercury. Shelley is the ninth Husker overall to be drafted and first since Jordan Hooper in 2014. She is the 13th Big Ten player drafted by the Mercury, the first since 2018.

Penn State’s Ashley Owusu rounded out the Big Ten contingent after going 33rd overall to the Dallas Wings. Owusu is the first Lady Lion to be drafted in a decade, dating back to Maggie Lucas’ selection in 2014, and the 16th overall student-athlete from Penn State to earn a selection.  

Clark and Taylor are the 12th and 13th student-athletes from a Big Ten program to be drafted by the Fever, bringing the tally to five in the last three years. Sheldon and Owusu are the 13th and 14th Big Ten student-athletes drafted by the Wings franchise (formerly the Detroit Shock from 1998-2009 and the Tulsa Shock from 2010-15).

2024 WNBA Draft – Big Ten Selections

Round 1

No. 1 Caitlin Clark (Iowa) – Indiana Fever

No. 5 Jacy Sheldon (Ohio State) – Dallas Wings

Round 2

No. 15  Celeste Taylor (Ohio State) – Indiana Fever

No. 18  Kate Martin (Iowa) – Las Vegas Aces

Round 3

No. 26  Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana) – Seattle Storm

No. 29  Jaz Shelley (Nebraska) – Phoenix Mercury

No. 33  Ashley Owusu (Penn State) – Dallas Wings

* - prior to Maryland becoming a Big Ten Conference member