Villa Maria graduate and former Notre Dame star Kayla McBride took the next step in her basketball career Monday when she was selected by the San Antonio Stars with the No. 3 overall pick in the WNBA draft.
Here are a few observations about McBride, the Stars and the WNBA draft:
• New uniform: Check out McBride’s first photo in a Stars jersey.
• On the schedule: McBride will make her first appearance on the court with the Stars on May 2 when they visit the Tulsa Shock in a preseason game. McBride is scheduled to open her career May 16 when the Stars visit the Atlanta Dream in the regular-season opener. The Stars will play a 34-game schedule that will conclude Aug. 17 in Chicago.
• Last season: The Stars finished 12-22 and placed fifth in the six-team Western Conference in 2013.
• Stars guards: Jia Perkins, a 10th-year pro out of Texas Tech, and Danielle Robinson, a third-year player out of Oklahoma, are the Stars’ starters at guard. Perkins ranked second on the team with an average of 13.9 points per game and Robinson was third at 11.2 ppg. Here’s the Stars’ roster.
• Family event: Kayla McBride’s parents
and sister Karlee joined her at her table at the WNBA draft Monday, as did Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. (Note: Karlee could not attend the draft, but their youngest sister and brother were at the draft.)
• Irish doublin’ up: McBride’s college teammate Natalie Achonwa did not play in the women’s Final Four because of a knee injury. However, Achonwa was selected in Monday’s first round with the ninth pick by the Phoenix Mercury.
• Hoosier hopes? One thought before the draft was that the Indiana Fever would be interested in McBride if she slipped to the No. 5 pick. That would have been intriguing. After all, McBride went to college in South Bend, and her sister is a freshman at Indiana in Bloomington. San Antonio made sure that McBride didn’t slip to that pick.
• Juniors revisited: How good was the 2010 Team USA Under-18 team? Four of the top seven picks in Monday’s WNBA draft played on Team USA when they were in high school: No. 1 pick Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), No. 3 McBride (Notre Dame), No. 6 Stefanie Dolson (UConn) and No. 7 Bria Hartley (UConn).
• Future Team USA prospects: First-round picks McBride, Dolson, Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland) are on the 33-player pool for the 2014-16 USA Basketball Women’s National roster. McBride’s new teammates, Danielle Robinson and Sophia Young-Malcom, are also on that Team USA roster pool.
– Jeff Kirik, sports editor