For the third consecutive year, Notre Dame women’s basketball has a player drafted 3rd overall in the WNBA Draft. Kayla McBride was drafted 3rd overall on Monday night's draft by the San Antonio Stars. Forward Natalie Achonwa was taken six picks later, 9th overall by the Indiana Fever, marking the second time in three years, two Fighting Irish players were chosen in the first round of the Draft.
At No. 3, McBride matches former teammates Devereaux Peters and Skylar Diggins as the highest-drafted Notre Dame player in program history. Peters went third overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft to the Minnesota Lynx, and Diggins followed suit last year when she was chosen third by the Tulsa Shock.
"I'm really excited," McBride said following being selected. "Being (at the draft) is an honor and to go number three is more than I expected."
The same goes for her teammate Achonwa. Achonwa was visibly emotional when the Fever selected her with the 9th pick. There was some uncertainty over her draft value, after tearing her ACL in the Elite Eight win exactly two weeks ago. Achonwa will likely miss her entire rookie year rehabbing the injury, which speaks volumes to how highly the Fever think of her ability. Anchowa is excited to remain close to the Notre Dame fan base.
"Being from Canada, Indiana is all I know," Achonwa said of her destination. "To get back to Indiana means the world to me."
McBride and Achonwa are less than a week removed from spearheading the most successful four-year run in Fighting Irish women’s basketball history and helping lead Notre Dame to four consecutive NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances (2011-14), including three national championship game berths (2011, 2012 and 2014), and a 138-15 record.