Here’s a look back at the team’s first-round selections over the last five years.
As the Sky and coach James Wade prepare for the second virtual WNBA Draft, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN, here’s a look back at the team’s first-round selections over the last five years.
2020: No. 8 Ruthy Hebard, Oregon, Forward
The Chicago Sky’s most recent draft pick was an instant contributor, and that’s something Wade is looking to emulate in this year’s draft. Hebard came in and despite challenges presented by the 2020 season, averaged 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 22 games.
2019: No. 4 Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn, Guard/Forward
In her rookie season with the Sky, Samuelson averaged 2.4 points in 20 games played. Wade traded her to the Dallas Wings for Azura Stevens head of the 2020 season. Stevens came in and before suffering a knee injury, was an asset to the Sky averaging 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 13 games. She was a starter for all 13.
2018: No. 3 Diamond DeShields, Tennessee, Guard and No. 4 Gabby Williams, UConn, Forward
The 2018 draft was the Sky’s most successful in the last five years. Drafted by former coach Amber Stocks, DeShields and Williams were instant contributors, and DeShields has grown into a franchise player. Both are restricted free agents in 2022.
2017: No. 2 Alaina Coates, South Carolina, Center and No. 9 Tori Jankoska, Michigan State, Guard
Since being drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Coates has bounced around the league, playing for four teams in four years. Coates officially signed with the Sky in 2018 after an ankle injury sidelined her and averaged 3.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in her rookie season. Coates was traded to Minnesota in 2019 for a 2020 third-round pick. After being waived by the Lynx, Coates signed with the Atlanta Dream, where she played nine games. She was signed by the Washington Mystics in 2020 and averaged 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20 games.
Jankoska was waived by the Sky ahead of the 2017 season. After playing professionally for the Polish basketball club Basket Gdynia, she entered the coaching ranks in 2018-19 as the Director of Recruiting Operations and Player Personnel at Maryland. Currently, she’s the Missouri State women’s basketball team’s assistant coach.
2016: No. 10 Imani McGee-Stafford, Texas, Center
McGee-Stafford averaged 6.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game during her rookie season and was named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team. In the middle of the 2017 season, McGee-Stafford and Tamera Young were traded to the Atlanta Dream for Jordan Hooper and the Dream’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft.
She was traded to the Dallas Wings in 2019 and was placed on the team’s suspended list ahead of the 2020 season after informing the team she’d be pursuing a law degree.