Here’s how the Dallas Wings fared at the 2021 WNBA Draft with three first-round picks

Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale, center, celebrates with teammates following the game Aug. 14, 2019, against the Los Angeles Sparks at College Park Center.

The Dallas Wings finished their 2020 campaign with an 8-14 record, last place in the Western Conference and missed the 2020 WNBA Playoffs.

After having a below average season, their potential for 2021 is much higher because the Wings were able to acquire the first overall pick and secure two more top five picks in the 2021 WNBA Draft.

The Wings held the second overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft and selected the University of Oregon forward Satou Sabally. In 2021, the Wings owned the first, second and fifth overall picks in the first round of the draft, and the 13th overall pick in the second round. Dallas is the first team in WNBA history to hold the first two picks in a draft.

Here’s how the Wings used their picks Thursday night.

With the first pick, the Wings selected UT-Austin junior center Charli Collier, the consensus No.1 overall pick. Collier finished her career as a Longhorn, averaging 19 points per game and 11.3 rebounds.

Collier earned First Team All Big 12 honors for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Collier also earned AP Second Team All-American. She was the first player in WNBA history to be drafted first overall from UT-Austin.

Collier is staying in a state of familiarity, after completing high school in Mont Belvieu, Texas, and playing in Austin for her three-year college career.

She expressed her excitement at the opportunity to stay close to home and perform around her loved ones.

“It means a lot to me,” Collier said. “Texas born and raised, everything Texas, so it just means a lot for me to be here for my hometown, and my fans, my friends, my family, just supporting me right down the street.”

With the second overall pick, the Wings added more to their frontcourt with center Awak Kuier from Finland. She averaged 14.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.

Most recently, Kuier played in the Italian Serie A1 and finished averaging 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and shooting 51.1% from the field. She will be the first Finnish player to play in the WNBA, and is the sixth player to be drafted in the top 5 without NCAA experience.

Kuier said she will be a good fit in Wings head coach Vickie Johnson’s system. She said she knows Johnson is a defensive coach, and she is ready to put in the work on the defensive side of the ball.

“I like to play defense, so I feel like I’m going to fit very well,” Kuier said.

With the Wings’ final pick in the first round, they selected Chelsea Dungee, University of Arkansas senior guard, fifth overall.

Dungee led the Southeastern Conference in points per game at 22.3 points per game and earned First Team All-SEC and AP Third Team All-American honors.

Dallas finished off their draft by selecting Dana Evans, University of Louisville senior guard, in the second round with the 13th overall pick. Evans finished her career as a Cardinal averaging 20.1 points and 3.9 assists per game.

The abundance of picks for the Wings in a draft is not new, as Wings CEO Greg Bibb has accumulated several first-round picks over the course of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 drafts.

“We had built a roster several years ago that was centered around a couple of superstar players. We needed to pivot from that strategy,” Bibb said

Bibb said the organization made the decision to aggregate as many draft picks as possible with an eye toward the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

“So far through two-thirds of that process, I am ecstatic at the talent we have been able to add to our team,” Bibb said.

The Wings will host the Seattle Storm in their home opener at 7 p.m. May 22 at College Park Center.

@D_Tineo4

sports-editorshorthorn@uta.edu

Like our work? Don’t steal it! Share the link or email us for information on how to get permission to use our content.

Click here to report an accessibility issue.

Load comments