By Charles Glover, Jr.
Last week Amanda Zahui B from the University of Minnesota and Jewell Loyd from Notre Dame University left school early to declare for the WNBA draft. Both have a good chance of being the first draft pick and have bright basketball futures ahead of them.
In order to declare for draft the WNBA “requires players to be at least 22, to have completed their college eligibility, to have graduated from a four-year college or to be four years removed from high school.” Zahui B. will be 22 in September and Loyd will be 22 in October.
Leaving school early for the WNBA may not be unprecedented but it is uncommon. The last early entrant to the WNBA draft was Candace Parker in 2008. Parker would go on to be Rookie of the Year and WNBA MVP that season. However, Parker’s success was not an example often duplicated despite the many stars to enter the WNBA the last several years. Neither Zahui B.nor Loyd gave detailed information about the thought process for entering the draft though they gave comments about their future.
Zahui B., who is from Stockholm, is conscious of the challenges ahead.
“Over the past few years I’ve learned a lot about making difficult decisions involving my life, education, and future starting with a major move from my home country to the United States. Though challenging, that initial decision has proved to be a step in the right direction,” she said of the process.
Loyd is hoping that the success she had in college will translate to the next level.
“I am incredibly grateful for my experience at Notre Dame and the support I have received from Coach (Muffet) McGraw, our staff, my teammates and the entire ND community,” Loyd said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I have grown as a woman and as a basketball player and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an inspiring community.”
The WNBA draft is April 16, and as New York Times writer Pat Borzi summarized “the pool of players lacks a consensus top pick.” Both Zahui B. and Loyd have a great chance to be the first player taken on draft day.–OnPointPress.net–
Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.