Skip to main content

Lynx headline WNBA Draft by taking UConn's Napheesa Collier, Gophers' Kenisha Bell

Cheryl Reeve says Collier can do it all.
Napheesa Collier

With the sixth pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, the Minnesota Lynx selected University of Connecticut star Napheesa Collier – and then used the 30th overall pick to take former Gophers star point guard Kenisha Bell. 

Amazing fact about Collier: She's one of five players to score 2,000+ points and 1,000+ rebounds in her college career, joining Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart and Rebecca Lobo, according to the Lynx

That's some elite company for Collier, who at 6-foot-2 will have a chance to make an immediate impact in Minnesota's lineup. Collier averaged 20.8 points, 10.8 rebounds 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks per game this past season, helping lead the Huskies to the Final Four. 

The first team All-American (2019 and 2017) was referred to as a Swiss Army knife by Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve, while ESPN's draft covered called her the most complete player in the draft. 

"I can just envision Napheesa just, the first day, it being natural for her," said Reeve, via the Lynx website. "This is a player who is going got be a pro for a long time. Consistent, steady, has to improve a bit offensively and she’ll see that, but I have a comfort level with her, that’s why we were so excited.”

Minnesota followed up the pick of Collier with a trio of selections in the second round, and then ended the draft by taking Bell from the Gophers in the third round.

“She defends and she’s an elite athlete. Those two things are an automatic get her in to camp and see if you can learn about her offensively,” Reeve said.

  • Round 1: Napheesa Collier, F, Connecticut (6th overall)
  • Round 2: Jessica Shepard, F, Notre Dame (16th overall)
  • Round 2: Natisha Heideman, G, Marquette (18th overall, traded to Connecticut)
  • Round 2: Cierra Dillard, G, Buffalo (20th overall)
  • Round 3: Kenisha Bell, G, Minnesota (30th overall)

Minnesota traded Heideman to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for guard Lexie Brown, who was the ninth overall pick in last year's draft. 

“Lexie Brown is a player that we linked in last year’s draft, just couldn’t fit into Connecticut’s rotation and they offered her to us,” said Reeve. “We think it’s a big deal for us in terms of positional need. Three-point, shooting, she plays defense, she’s pretty darn eager to be here in Minnesota.”

The Lynx open the WNBA season May 10, which is now less than one month away. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.

ShutterflyGoogle

Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.

millcitymuseum_hr1

Mill City Museum in the running to be named best history museum in the U.S.

The museum offers scenic views of the Mississippi River.

HolmgrenMugRamseyCo

Man charged with attempted murder of White Bear Lake police officer

Daniel Holmgren Jr., 33, was being served an arrest warrant at the time of the incident.

image

Gallery: 1,000-acre Wisconsin resort listed for nearly $4.3M

The lush landscape features a creek and private lake.

school bus

Alert after Woodbury students approached by strangers asking if they want candy

Valley Crossing Elementary School urged parents to go over safety information with their children in response to the incident.

basketball unsplash stock

North St. Paul basketball cancels Eden Prairie game after opposing coach's reinstatement

Head Coach Cornelius Gilleylen said he let his players decide amongst themselves.

Pixabay - school - classroom

These are the nominees for 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Education Minnesota has nominated 131 teachers from across the state.

TyreNicholsGoFundMe

Cities prepare for release of footage showing Tyre Nichols' fatal arrest by Memphis PD

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara issued a statement on the incident Thursday.

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.

Related

Cheryl Reeve

Mock drafts link Lynx to point guards in WNBA Draft

Most mock drafts have the Lynx addressing a need in their backcourt.

Cheryl Reeve

Cheryl Reeve: 'We want to focus on taking the best player available'

Virtually every mock draft has the Lynx taking a point guard.

Napheesa Collier

Napheesa Collier named WNBA Rookie of the Year

The 22-year-old out of UConn proved to be a great draft pick.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 6.50.12 PM

Lynx select Mikiah Herbert Harrigan in first round of 2020 WNBA Draft

The Lynx also added UConn guard Crystal Dangerfield and traded for Rice guard Erica Ogwumike.

Rennia Davis

Lynx select Rennia Davis in 2021 WNBA Draft

The Tennessee wing was selected ninth overall.

Lynx roll in opener behind rookie Collier's explosive debut

The sixth overall pick scored a game-high 27 points.

Cheryl Reeve

Reeve, Dangerfield win coach, rookie of the year awards for Lynx

Dangerfield is the first second-round pick to win the award.