May 3, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Ivy League roundup

Ivy League reporter Jenn Hatfield joins host Natalie Heavren

So much has happened around the Ivy League since mid-March and The Next’s Ivy League reporter Jenn Hatfield joins host Natalie Heavren on today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball to discuss it all. The pair discuss the trio of Ivy League graduates that were drafted last month — including the celebrations, if they’re in training camp, and what this means in a historical context.

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After a historic three current and former Ivy League players were picked up during the third round of the 2024 WNBA Draft, Hatfield spoke about the celebrations that erupted across the league:

“So they’re sitting there just waiting, biding their time, getting nervous in that second round, wondering if they might go there. And finally their name gets called,” Hatfield said. “[McKenzie Forbes] had a watch party at USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s house, with her family, teammates, friends, that sort of thing. So that place went nuts when she got selected. They really celebrated … so just a really great moment, especially because she was able to stay in Los Angeles. Abbey Hsu did her watch party at Columbia with her teammates and her family and her coaches. It looks like the same room where they watched their NCAA Tournament selection and you know, they similarly went nuts.”

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“And then it’s kind of a unique thing where the third round picks come so quickly. So literally as Abbey and everyone in that draft party were still reacting to Abby being drafted, Abbey is the first one to notice Kaitlyn Davis drafted right behind her and so it kind of just it amps up the celebrations again, and Forbes kind of had a similar situation where they had kind of just come down from her selection and were kind of breathing normally again, and then Davis gets drafted and the whole thing starts again,” she continued.

Hatfield noted that only five Ivy League players had ever been drafted into the WNBA, and no draft prior to this season’s had seen more than a single Ivy League player drafted. This made for an especially important night.

The two then discussed the outcomes for each player drafted; Forbes is currently fighting for a spot with the LA Sparks, but Hsu and Davis won’t be in training camps this season.

“[Hsu and Davis are] what’s known as draft and stash,” Hatfield explained. “So neither of those players are getting brought into their respective teams training camps, but those teams will retain their rights and they’ll be able to potentially be invited to come to camp next year, when the decision makers there think they have a better chance of making the roster. So in the meantime, they can work on their games and develop as players, it just won’t be in the WNBA.”

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As for Forbes’ chances in LA, Hatfield says she wouldn’t be surprised to see the guard stick around longer than most would expect:

“The Sparks knew what they were getting when they drafted her, there were pretty much all of her games because they’re a local team,” Hatfield said. “They saw her play a ton this year, they even saw her play when she was at Harvard … they were very surprised she was still available in the third round. Some mock drafts had her I think as high as 13th overall. So she slipped a little bit, but to a spot that is just great for her, great for the Sparks … [also] her trainer, when she was a little kid, is actually an assistant coach with Spark, so she’s got all these connections to LA. And there are a lot of guards in that training camp, but you know, she’s competitive, she always believes in herself, she’s going to attack that.”

Jenn and Natalie also talk about Ivy League players in the transfer portal and Cornell’s new head coach Emily Garner. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

Written by The Next

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