Photos via ESPN Images
- WNBA’s first in-person draft since 2019 will originate from Spring Studios in New York City
- Ryan Ruocco hosts on-site with Rebecca Lobo, LaChina Robinson and Holly Rowe
- ESPN coverage will feature WNBA draft room cameras at three team headquarters – Atlanta Dream, Indiana Fever and Washington Mystics
ESPN will televise the 2022 WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm live on Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. ET from New York City’s acclaimed Spring Studios – the home to such iconic events as Fashion Week and The Tribeca Film Festival. Ryan Ruocco will host on-site joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and LaChina Robinson, and reporter Holly Rowe.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the first-round draft picks live as top prospects participate in the first in-person draft event for the league since 2019.
From the arrival of the draft prospects on the signature WNBA “Orange Carpet” through the completion of the third round, ESPN will have comprehensive coverage throughout the two-hour WNBA Draft presentation. ESPN will have cameras inside three team draft rooms – Atlanta Dream (which now holds the No. 1 overall pick), Indiana Fever and Washington Mystics.
Rowe will interview members of the 2022 draft class once they are selected. A roundtable discussion will also highlight the 50-year anniversary of Title IX and ESPN’s upcoming Fifty/50 initiative.
“Draft night is always exciting as these amazing, young women realize their basketball dreams of joining the WNBA,” said ESPN coordinating producer Sara Gaiero. “We’re thrilled to be in New York for the first in-person draft in three years, especially at a time when there’s so much positive momentum surrounding the league and the sport of women’s basketball.”
ESPN’s first-ever WNBA Draft Preview Show on Saturday
Two days before WNBA Draft, ESPN will hosts its first-ever WNBA Draft Preview Show – Saturday, April 9, at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2. LaChina Robinson will host the 30-minute special with analyst Rebecca Lobo. Together, they will breakdown the top draft prospects, discuss team needs and whose stock is on the rise from the NCAA Tournament.
ESPN.com covers WNBA Draft from every angle
The night of the draft, ESPN.com will have multiple immediate reaction pieces, including:
- WNBA Draftcast: Live round-by-round coverage and analysis of picks, including team-by-team needs, prospect grades and rankings by position
- Live coverage by ESPN staff writer Alexa Philippou, who will track draft day trades, picks and on-site news
- WNBA Draft Grades: Which teams were the winners and losers of the draft? ESPN staff writer Mechelle Voepel’s report card grades each team’s draft class.
In advance of the WNBA draft, ESPN.com coverage will include:
- Voepel’s final WNBA mock draft, projecting all three rounds
- Profiles of Baylor senior NaLyssa Smith (Voepel) and Kentucky senior Rhyne Howard (Philippou), the two All-Americans believed to be in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick
- Aishwarya Kumar profiles Mali star Sika Kone, a projected first-round draft pick
- Additionally, Andscape reporter Mia Berry profiles Jackson State’s Ameshya Williams-Holliday, who nearly gave up on basketball after being a five-star recruit at Mississippi State. She stepped away from the sport and then got pregnant, believing her career was over. Two years later at JSU, Williams-Holliday re-emerged as the SWAC Player of the Year and a WNBA draft prospect. If she’s drafted Monday, she will be the first HBCU player drafted into the WNBA in 20 years.
ESPN Social plans all-access takeover, Orange Carpet coverage, and more
ESPN Social plans for WNBA Draft will include:
- An all access social takeover with projected top picks on SportsCenter IG stories
- Live on-site content from Spring Studios in New York, including:
- Fresh from the Orange Carpet: Fashion highlights
- Post-pick reactions from players
- Live draft selection updates with custom images on the ESPN, espnW and SportCenter Twitter handles
- Marketing promos highlighting top prospects that will appear on television and social platforms
ESPN Fantasy Introduces Women’s Basketball presented by State Farm in 2022
The upcoming 2022 WNBA season (tipping off May 6) marks the debut of ESPN Fantasy’s first season-long, full-scale fantasy game dedicated to a major women’s sport. Women’s Basketball presented by State Farm is now open and ready for fans to sign-up, create and join leagues, and prepare for their drafts in the ESPN Fantasy App and at ESPN.com/Fantasy. Release.