The WNBA Draft took place Friday night (April 17), modified to be completely remote during the ongoing self-isolation as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Virginia’s superstar Jocelyn Willoughby was picked No. 10 overall in the first round by the Phoenix Mercury before being traded to the New York Liberty.
Willoughby was the first Virginia player picked in the WNBA Draft since Monica Wright went No. 2 in 2010. She averaged an ACC best 19.2 points per game this season, and added 7.5 rebounds per game. Her performance earned her a spot on the All-ACC First Team, and she was named the ACC Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the year.
“It’s just such an amazing feeling, anticipating and waiting to hear my name called and then to finally hear it,” Willoughby told Virginia Sports on getting drafted. “It was just such a feeling of excitement and relief at the same time to just know. I am prepared for this next chapter and stage in my life, so it was it was an incredible feeling.”
Her reaction — via video chat — was by far the most wholesome of any draftee that evening. The broadcast cut to Willoughby, sitting in what looks like her home’s dining room, after the WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced the pick. Willoughby, dressed to the nines in a black one-shoulder dress, grinned from ear-to-ear. After a moment of stunned silence, she says simply, “wow.”
Jocelyn Willoughby's reaction to being the 10th pick is so wholesome pic.twitter.com/x7WHe2DW3k— ACC Network (@accnetwork) April 18, 2020
At the conclusion of the draft, the New York Liberty traded Shatori Walker-Kimbrough to the Mercury for Willoughby. She will join the No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon) as well as players like Kia Nurse and Asia Durr on the Liberty. As a native of East Orange, New Jersey, Willoughby will be close to home.
Willoughby headlined the class of eight ACC players that got drafted in this year’s WNBA Draft.