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Draft to be Held for Second-straight Year at Mohegan Sun Arena – Home of the Connecticut Sun
The top female college basketball prospects – including Jewell Loyd and Amanda Zahui B., who enter the WNBA Draft by forgoing their remaining college eligibility – will gather at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun, for the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday, April 16. Airing in prime time for the third-straight year, coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPN3 starting at 8 p.m. The entire Draft – three rounds of 12 picks each – can also be seen on WatchESPN. WNBA Draft anchor Kevin Negandhi will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck, and reporter Holly Rowe.
Loyd of Notre Dame, espnW’s National Player of the Year, and Zahui B. of Minnesota, are eligible for the draft by virtue of turning 22 years old this calendar year. Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who helped the Huskies win three consecutive national titles, headlines a list of 12 prospects who will attend the Draft.
The Seattle Storm holds the top pick in the draft for the third time in franchise history after winning the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm. The rest of the top five includes the Tulsa Shock (second pick), Seattle (third, from the Connecticut Sun), Connecticut (fourth, from the New York Liberty) and the Chicago Sky (fifth).
Content will also be offered throughout the day across ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and espnW.com.
WatchESPN is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Production Features & Storylines
- Connecticut Sun and Tulsa Shock representatives onsite
- Live shots and reaction from friends and family in the arena, as well as college head coaches in attendance
- Additional behind-the-scenes coverage during the Draft, plus post-selection interviews with Rowe
- Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun will join the telecast in the second round to discuss Connecticut’s first-round pick, to reflect on being the No. 1 pick just a year ago and on being named 2014 Rookie of the Year
- All-access with top prospects throughout the day
- Interview with WNBA President Laurel Richie
- Discussion and analysis of off-season WNBA storylines and team needs, including Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker’s decision to rest, players leaving before their graduation year and more
- Preview video from Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith
- Mock Draft: espnW experts give first-round predictions
- Exclusive post-pick interviews by ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson, including video with each of the top 12 picks
- A Kate Fagan story on why college stars leaving early for the WNBA is a good thing
- Voepel on how Tulsa and Seattle can reshape their franchises
- Profile on Princeton standout Blake Dietrick
- DraftCast: Live chat, pick-by-pick analysis of each selection and video player of WatchESPN Draft feed
- Top prospects in the WNBA draft answer funny, odd-ball questions edited into a video montage
- “Day In The Life” piece with draftee Zahui B. on espnW social channels
- Team-by-team Draft grades
In October 2014, the NBA and ESPN announced an extension of the relationship between the WNBA and ESPN. Under the terms of the new deal, WNBA games will continue to be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC through the 2025 season. ESPN also will have enhanced in-progress highlight rights for the WNBA on digital and linear platforms.
The 2014 telecast was the most viewed WNBA Draft on ESPN2, up nine percent from the 2013 edition, which featured the highly acclaimed “3 to See” — Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins. The 2014 draft class was led by Chiney Ogwumike, the No. 1 overall selection by the Sun. Chiney, whose sister, Nneka, was the No. 1 pick in 2012 (by Los Angeles), went on to become the WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung.
ESPN2 will debut its schedule of WNBA games on Sunday, June 14, showcasing the Chicago Sky at the Indiana Fever at 1 p.m., followed by the Minnesota Lynx at the Phoenix Mercury at 3 p.m. The schedule also includes the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015, with ABC showcasing the best women’s basketball players in the world from Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m.